Monday, April 30, 2012
My Move to Digital Comics--Part 5: Bringing New Readers to Your Work
After reading the first issue of the new Conan the Barbarian series and loving Becky Cloonan's art, I found out that she was going to be on a panel I was moderating at Boston Comic Con. I looked her up on the web and found that she had written and drawn a story called Wolves for a Japanese anthology, and it had since been adapted to English. the single-issue story was available on Graphicly for $0.99. Knowing nothing about it, I immediately bought it, and the story turned out to be fantastic (I reviewed it on issue #420 of Secret Identity).
Last week, I saw a post on Twitter by Steve Niles about him offering a free digital copy of a comic called Edge of Doom on his website. This was a series that he did through IDW back in 2010 that I had completely missed. I downloaded the free issue and was blown away at how awesome it was. I immediately tracked down a trade of the whole miniseries and bought it.
Both of these recent purchases got me to thinking about how creators can use digital to bring readers to their work--particularly their creator-owned work--and introduce them to books they might not otherwise check out. By offering these stories at a reasonable price (in this case, $0.99 and free), there is little to no risk for the reader, and a huge upside for the creator if the person likes what they read.
With print comics, there is always a huge risk of a potential reader missing a book when it comes out, or being afraid to take a chance on a print book due to price. For independent, self-published books (as was the case with Wolves), print quantities may be limited, and the books won't be on every LCS shelf to begin with. That's where digital can offer a second opportunity to get readers' eyes on a book, or introduce them to some new stuff by a creator they already like.
It's exciting to see creators using the digital medium as a tool to expose readers to their work. There is so much stuff out there that we don't even know we're missing.