Two weeks ago I talked about how now is the greatest time in history to be a comics fan. Among other things, I mentioned Comixology. I've got concerns about Comixology -- it uses a proprietary, DRM-encumbered format, meaning there's a risk of a monopoly, same as any time a single major provider uses a proprietary, DRM-encumbered format -- but ultimately, I think that shit will work itself out. That doesn't mean we shouldn't be concerned, shouldn't complain, shouldn't put pressure on Comixology and the publishers who use it to find another way -- but the music industry ultimately realized that a standards-compliant, DRM-free format was in its best interest, and the book publishers are beginning to get the message too; I think it's only a matter of time for comics. (TV and movies will be dead fucking last to get the message and will, like the music industry, wait until their bottom line has seriously suffered for their foot-dragging, knuckle-dragging stupidity, but they'll come around too.)
At any rate, those caveats in mind, I think that the recent announcement that Comixology is the third-highest earning iPad app of 2012 is a fucking good sign for the comics industry. It shows there's a big demand and it's getting bigger.
Moreover, while I've heard people express concern for years that digital comics will spell the end of print comics, they sure don't seem to be posing a threat -- which makes sense. The way I see it, people who get their comics through Comixology aren't any less likely to buy comics in print; if you've never bought a comic before, then you're not a lost sale, and if you have bought comics from bookstores or especially from specialty shops, you're not going to stop doing that just because you can get them on your iPad or what-have-you now.
For my part, I'm about to get a Nexus 7. For starters, the thing looks pretty small and I'm skeptical that it will even be satisfactory for reading comics on. Even if it is, I am confident it will not compare to the experience of reading a full-size comic.
That said, as I mentioned in that other post, there are a shitload of comics that are not currently in print, and if I find that it is comfortable to read comics on the Nexus 7, I will certainly start reading comics on it that are not available in my local comic shop.
That doesn't mean I'll stop shopping at my local comic shop. It doesn't even mean that I'll spend less money there. It just means I'll have one more way to experience comics (whether they're ones I've bought or acquired for free).
And while I love my local comic shop, it also means that people can make money selling comics to a niche audience without having to worry about print costs or Diamond minimum distribution numbers.
Ultimately, it's not a zero-sum game (except insofar as every consumer's entertainment budget is a zero-sum game). Digital comics doesn't mean the same audience gets the same comics from a different distributor, it means the potential for a new audience and different comics. And those are good things that make the medium richer for all of us.