Buying without shopping: Alternatives to traditional comic book stores

If you’re still not really keen on going into a traditional comic book store, don’t worry. I have a couple alternatives for you, both of which have seen some recent developments.

comics by mail

Book stores like Barnes & Noble tend to sell at least some comic material as well. Photo via Wikipedia under creative commons.

If you ever wanted to be in a one-sided snail-mail relationship with a comic book, this might be just for you.

Image comics just launched Image Direct Thursday.

According to their website, the program would allow readers in the U.S. to either pay for a single issue or a subscription to a series, and have it mailed to their doors.

More importantly, as explained in this Comics Alliance article, comics purchased through Image Direct receive up to 35 percent off the regular price.

Digital reading

The ability to purchase digital versions of comics has existed for a while now from both publisher’s websites and a company that aggregates a few big-name publishers — though some like Dark Horse are absent — Comixology.

Comixology’s website and app used to be a much more powerful combination. However as explained in an April 2014 article by Mashable, after being acquired by Amazon, Comixology shut down their app and replaced it with one that no-longer allows in-app purchases for iOS users.

According to a company statement in the Mashable article, Comixology defended the move and believed that using their website is more advantageous, and allows for better shopping.

So it used to be better — and less clunky — but for now you’ll have to head to the Comixology website to stock up a library if stores aren’t for you.


Both alternative comic-gathering methods have their pros and cons. They hamper impulse buys, but still give you reasonably easy-access to comics — both sometimes at a lower price — without having to walk into a comic book store.


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