A few quick thoughts about developments in the comic industry, new emerging business models and some resulting trends.
Again a quick disclaimer: I’m not normally someone who buys comics but this is where the culture war is burning hottest right now and I simply can’t look away from the dumpster fire that raging all over the internet. I find the whole culture war deeply fascinating; even if I do take a much more holistic approach than most people. In the end it’s all one big Nerdwar and we must defend our hobbies, if not for our sakes then at least for the next generation. I vow to respect your hobbies and I ask only that you in turn respect mine. Comics is where things are happening now, I simply have to talk about it but I don’t do so lightly and I well take the time to listen to experts and long time fans when I come across them.
Also I DO NOT have any sort of insider information. I’d like to think that I’m paying attention and good at guessing what other people are doing.
As the mainstream comics industry begins to shake itself apart people are naturally going to begin looking at other models producing and more importantly distributing comics.
The recent wave of crowdfunded indie comics certainly comes to mind including not only Diversity and Comics’ Jawbreakers, EVS’ Cyberfrog reboot, pair of Chuck Dixon related projects (Ravage: Kill All Men and Jungle Comics)
There’s also smaller projects like
Cirsova’s Wild Stars 35th Anniversary Edition
Jack Iron: Steel Cowboy #2 by Cody Fernandez
You can read Issue 1 for free here.
and Silvio Spotti’s Ruby and Warriors of Dion
It does not hurt that the main character is a hot redhead.
While this model is not going to be enough to fully feed the huddled masses starving for soy-free entertainment; it does produce comics that hardcore fans want and gives creators a great deal of freedom in doing so.
A second model would seem to be what Alterna Comics is doing. Keeping things cheap by printing on newsprint and focusing on having fun stories. They also seem to making at least passable all ages comics which are quite important from a cultural point of view as such books are how a lot of children learn to enjoy reading.
I have heard nothing but good things about Alterna Comics and I really should be paying more attention to them. Again distribution is a major problem; these comics really should be in toy stores and 7-11s.
A third model involves a focus on digital content. Arkhaven/Dark Legion is doing some of this but they really have more of a blended model mixing cheap digital content while promising high quality physical copies for fans who really want them.
However for a focus on digital content to work best if helps if the company owns the delivery platform.
And this is exactly what Amazon has in mind. There just be be a few catches with their approach or at least the type of content that they are promoting.
I meant to get to this earlier but a few days ago Amazon announced a new series of in house original comics for their digital distribution platform Comixology.
For the lack of better term I’m going to call it Corporately Subsidized Tumblr Cringe. Sadly we should expect to see a lot more of this going forward.
Comicsgater Mim Headroom on the new Amazon originals [13 mins]
Bit of rumbling video but he makes a lot of good points here.
-All the comics in question seems to be going for “LOL so random.”
-This new line is a direct competitor to SJW Marvel; as it is targeting the same audience.
-Younger comic readers have no brand loyalty towards Marvel.
-Amazon is talking about print on demand; which will bypass Diamond.
-This whole line of comics could be a loss leader which Amazon eating the cost in order to promote Comixology as a platform.
His advice to a comic shop around 9min mark actually makes a lot of sense and would be good way to build up a customer base.
And in other news the DC Vertigo relaunch looks like very good news for Alt-Comics. That is some serious cringe there folks.
Picture unrelated but too awesome to not share.
— Wolfman Out—