Graphic Comics is entering the competitive digital comics landscape with Graphite, a new, free digital service, that offers works from big name publishers like BOOM! Studios, Dynamite, Papercutz, Tokyo Pop, IDW, popular webcomics, and more, all under one roof. It launched today with more than 10,000 series, including a section devoted to young readers that offers parental controls.
Graphite will offer digital comics in all formats, from independents to major publishers, in 61 languages. The free version includes ads, but if that’s a turn off for you, an ad-free version experience is available for a fee of $4.99 per month.
Like many digital platforms, Graphite is making a big bet on an artificial intelligence based recommendation system. According to Tom Akel, chief content officer, Graphite will take “into account your user behavior, what you’ve watched before, what the pool of people around you liked and cross references that the same way a Netflix algorithm will.” The Graphite team and Chief Technology Officer Rick Strom are confident this feature, and the platform overall, will help digital comic growth in the United States.
As The New York Times points out, it will be interesting to see how Graphite fairs against already established competitors like comiXology, Crunchyroll, Go Comics, and Webtoons. Still, as Filip Sablik of BOOM! Studios points out, having content across multiple platforms is an opportunity to grow their audience.