Fangrabs aims to be the Netflix for comics

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logo Fangrabs aims to be the Netflix for comics
Fangrabs is a comics rental site. You pick up the books in your queue have them mailed to you, you read em and mail em back. Just like Netflix. They have over 6,500 titles to choose from, including manga, Walking Dead, DC, Marvel. etc. Several plans are available, including $15 for two books a month and unlimited plans starting at $20 a month. There are no late fees and presumably a mailing envelope, which is our great downfall.

I think this is a pretty sound idea for a service, but I hope their overall business plan is better than the logo and name “Fangrabs” — not the most attractive image ever.

What do you think, Beatniks? Would you use a service like this?

Comments

  1. For those too lazy to go to your local library.

  2. You can OWN a pretty fair amount of books from online retailers for $15 a month. On deals, you could probably own two a month.

    Damage, slow delivery, Probably only single copies of several books in their library.

    Nah… doing this DIGITALLY could work really well, with DRM time limits and payments per rental to publishers. But Comixology could do that.

    Nah, this is doomed.

  3. Seems extremely pricey (and probably necessarily so, with their shipping and library costs). If this were considerably cheaper, and a digital/nigh-instantaneous service, I could see this being worth checking out. But with the minimum pricing at $20/month for 2 books a month, tops, there’s not much price difference compared to just buying the things off InStockTrades or Amazon… and with those options, you get to own the books. Even the “unlimited” options will have wait times of between 3 and 14 days due to shipping, according to their FAQ… which means that the unlimited option might also result in only 2 books a month.

    Also, agreed: the name and logo don’t inspire much confidence.

  4. jacob lyon goddard says:

    The biggest part Netflix’s appeal is that it has just about every dvd ever released in region 1.

    “6,500 titles” sounds like a drop in a bucket.
    ” including manga, Walking Dead, DC, Marvel. etc…” Doesn’t give me hope either.
    The only reason I’d use a service like this is for foreign stuff, long long out of print stuff, or the super small press stuff; and this press release doesn’t make it seem like they are up to the task.

  5. jaroslav hasek says:

    unless they have a far more efficient supply chain than amazon i don’t see how these makes sense. digital rentals, absolutely. but i don’t predict much success here.

    however i salute the entrepreneurs risking their money on this venture and applaud their efforts. best of luck to them.

  6. I also wish them the best of luck. If they help someone find comics to enjoy then I’m all for it. That said… (as Rob S noted above)… “… the name and logo don’t inspire much confidence.”

    Agreed. Of the things that can be easily managed and fixed; the name and logo are the flag wavers on the front lines. Currently, they are not helping.

  7. This doesn’t sound well thought out. What condition are the comics coming and going out: mint for 1st reader, good for 2nd, missing pages by reader 3? The cost is too high, and having no late fees will kill it. Plus they will likely get clobbered by companies who complain that it is ‘sharing comics’ without paying.
    If sharing physical copies is totally okay, then we need a cafe that is stocked with comics to read inhouse, for ‘club members’ only. Sign out one comic at a time, and check it back in. Sit there and read it. A library with coffee. Flat rate per visit or something. Ok, I’m going to get an IPO going and sell this., franchises fame, money

  8. J Rico says:

    I have always flirted with the idea of a cafe with a reason space, but haven’t really found a good way to pull it off. However I am now in the beginning stages of having a non profit public comic and graphic novel library, something where you could could come to read maybe have functions and classes and to study sequential art.

  9. J Rico says:

    It is actually suppose to be reading space, oh auto correct.

  10. maybe they are just sitting on the domain until the league of rabbi vampires, or, Fang Rabs, wants it.

    I would be surprised if they got many takers, and while the price seems high, books are heavy and they’re shipping them twice! But, I guess, there’s not a whole lot of comic stores left out there, not every library has a big selection, etc…. For the people it works out for, more power to ‘em.

  11. Interesting idea if the material extends beyond the Big Two and into some books I never see locally, but “Fangrabs” sounds like a support group for convention gropers.

  12. Ok, I looked at their database of availible titles.

    Someone there is really stupid as they’ve got myriad Absolutes listed. Those shipped media mail rate — I do book publicity so I’m really familiar with postal rates — could easily be ten dollars each way. Eh?

  13. Kalen Knowles says:

    While I could see this being a good system for some out in the boonies, I already have this service for free, and it’s called the Seattle Public Library. And I can check out 50 things for a month. …And there are late fees, so, I guess they win on that point.

  14. Since the logo looks like something created by 13 year olds in MS Paint I’m thinking this probably hasn’t been well thought out. Does anyone really think Warner and Disney aren’t going to crush this with legal actions?

  15. I’ve used this service since January and believe it fills a pretty interesting space. I’ve used Marvel Unlimited for years to catch up on the titles I’ve missed over the years, but Marvel always tosses huge holes into their coverage. I assume that’s because they bait you with coverage, then send you to retail to fill in the blanks. I really am not looking to collect, I just want to read.

    At first I was iffy on Fangrabs, since they seem to be a small operations. However, by doing a netflix like service for graphic novels – things have worked out well. Given shipping you can only check out so many books a month. However, since they are grphic novels they obviously contain several comics worth of reading to a dozen pending the book. I have one Avenger Disassembled, it was like 400 pages and Amazon wanted $35. I’m paying $15 a month to rent two books a month. That’s a good deal for me.

    They appear to be located in Texas, so most places should get books in 3 or 4 days I would imagine. I’m in Florida and its taken 2 – 3 days to get a title. 4 -6 with return / next book to me.

    The catalog says they have X many books, but they take requests. When I started reading Marvel again after 15 years I decided to start at 2002 and move forward. All my requests have been honored and so far I’ve been able to keep the flow going without issue. My second batch of books were 350 and 400 pages big, so the turn around is fine for me. Books were in great shape, so that’s not an issue. I e-mailed the owner before setting up an account and they apparently retire rough looking books. Not been an issue for me yet.

    The only negatives I’ve found is the site isn’t slick like a netflix or gamefly, the logo is God aweful. One time a book took 6 days to get to me. I was kind of miffed, but it was only one time. Same thing use to happen with Gamefly before they opened 8 distribution centers.

    If anyone was curious if this was worth trying, I would say yes. $15 isn’t a bad price to test it out for yourself.

  16. Official Response from Fangrabs:

    Yay! We made the news!

    I wanted to clear a few things up here based on the comments. We can take criticism and it can only make us better. I would also like to extend a FREE TRIAL to all the staff at comicsbeat.com (2) book unlimited for a month to give us a review. I would also like to offer the fans of comicsbeat.com a chance to win some free graphic novels for a year. Drum us up a new logo! If we select yours will give you a 2 book unlimited plan for a year! Send submission to john.barnhouse@fangrabs.com. I would like to thank everyone that replied.

    1.) We don’t rent out individual comics. We only deal in Graphic Novels and or Mangas

    2.) Yes, there is included pre-paid mailer for when you send the books back.

    3.) With our unlimited plan of $20 dollars we ship you books, you read them return them we ship you the next ones rinse and repeat till the end of the month. It’s possible to go 6-8 cycles depending how fast you read. That’s 6-8 graphic novels. And digital is great but paying 2.99-3.99 a pop per comic like Cosmixology that’s 5-7 comics.

    4.) We ship all packages by USPS delivery service. Most people get them in 2-4 days tops. “Members can expect shipping times of 3-14 estimated”. This is what it says at USPS.

    5.) We take requests. If you don’t see it in our online inventory we will get it for you. All you need to do is ask!

    6.) We carry many titles from many different Publishers IDW, Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Image, Viz Media. Even smaller houses like BOOM, Fantagraphics and Indie Houses and Self Publishers. If you’re looking for something and we don’t have it will do our best to get it for you.

    Thanks Again!

    John Owner of Fangrabs.com

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  1. […] there any point in renting graphic novels through the mail? No, not so long as my library will get me anything I want to read, without worrying about postal […]

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