On Tuesday morning, Scribd—a Netflix-esque subscription service for digital books—announced that it would be adding a new category to its offerings: comic books.
Partnering with a wide range of publishers including Marvel, Valiant, Archie, Boom! Studios, Dynamite, and IDW/Top Shelf, the service will now include over 10,000 popular titles, from Runaways to Lumberjanes to Locke and Key. It’s a solid list of fantastic comics, to be made searchable by character, series, or curated selection.
Notably absent from the featured publishers are DC Comics, Dark Horse, and Image Comics.
It’s really quite curious that we aren’t drowning in Netflix-style digital comic book services. If you want to get into comic books, at some point you’re going to find yourself with a lot of catching up to do—it’s just the nature of the medium. Unfortunately, catching up is still a pretty hard thing to do affordably—tracking down dozens of issues and collected editions just adds up. Diving into back issues is almost a necessity when it comes to reading comics, but few publishers outside of Marvel (via its Marvel Unlimited app) have explored the space.
While the limits of Scribd’s offerings—or how recent or complete the collections are—aren’t clear yet, it’s definitely filling a void that’s been curiously vacant, and with some pretty great comics, too.