I’m a big fan of the concept of Graphic.ly. It’s where you go to find online comics and read them in a screen friendly way. I’ve used their app on my touchscreen laptop. I think their Chrome Extension is a successful trail blazer (and an illustration of just how powerful the future web will be). I’m clearly not the only person who likes them; not content with raising $1.2m in an initial investor round, Graphic.ly has drummed up a further $3m in support.
We have some idea what Graphic.ly might be up to. They’ve already bought iFanBoy as a way to get close to community and content. That’s paramout of digital success. Is there reason for them to buy any more communities? I think they might be tempted but unless there’s a very strong niche I would worry they’d be paying over the top for infrastructure they don’t need.
Graphic.ly do have big guns on board, they’ve got some 150 publishers and that includes Top Cow and Marvel. I suspect they’ll need to use some of this money to secure a larger library. I don’t know if I’m just overly picky but when I go fishing for a new read I never seem to find anything that suits my mood there.
The other very significant challenge is speed – can Graphic.ly bring me comics quickly? Until it can I suspect it’ll always be playing catch up. Fans have things like “spoilers” and “I can’t wait to read what happens next” to contend with.
I said at the start of this post that I’m a fan of the concept of Graphic.ly. I really am. I’m just slightly puzzled as to why I don’t spend more money there. I suspect that’s due to the combination of small factors, some outlined above. The very good news for Graphic.ly is that these all seem like small issues, the sort of thing that a fresh $3m in investment will allow them to tick off one at a time (and with all that investor pressure they’ll certainly have extra incentive to get it right).
If you’re interested, Micah Baldwin, Graphic.ly’s CEO, kindly gave Geek Native an interview back when Graphic.ly was hot off the press.