Ok, I may have missed “Talk like a Pirate Day”– but we’re talking about a whole other thing here.
On this week’s page, I mentioned that I wanted to try a little experiment out– so, here’s the grand unveiling:
I pirated our comic.
(Which begs the question, is it really pirating if you own it? Or is it distributing?)
Whatever your thoughts on Digital Comic distribution or Piracy are, there’s one thing you can’t dispute: it’s here and it’s here to stay. There are arguments on both ends of the issue– Ron Marz has a great reputation as a creator who stands up against piracy. On the other hand, there are those who argue that piracy actually helps sales. (at least with Anime in the study)
At the end of the day though, we aren’t pirating here– we own Spy6teen, so we can do whatever we want with it. Including distributing it on torrent sites.
I chose to package and upload our Spy6teen torrent on Demonoid.me, which rides the #2 position in terms of popularity– just shy of the world’s most famous torrent site: The Pirate Bay.
Doing my research, Demonoid seemed to be a good choice- It’s community driven and polices against viruses. Plus it is porn free. All of which were important to me in releasing our comic via a torrent site.
We released it a few hours ago and are already sitting somewhere around 87 downloads (that I can track, at least)– Yes, it was totally by design that I chose to release it today, Wednesday = New Comic Day– so what better day to pop ‘er up than on 0-day.
Timing-wise, it was also kind of interesting to release this week– as a flood of new DC #1s hit the scan sites, why not introduce them to another first issue?
As the day/week goes on, we’ll see how effective this method of distribution is going to be– will folks swing over to the site after reading our first issue? I’d hope so, since most of them are reading other comics on their computers. Will they pick up a digital issue? (I assume not)– will they drop us a donation? (Don’t know)
All that said, as a distribution method, I think if you’re a small independent publisher/author/team, this is something you should really look into. As is, I can’t really afford to do a massive print run of our comic– and the simple fact is, I REALLY can’t afford to print 2,500 copies of the book– which is what Diamond (the Comic Book Distributor) requires to even get our book INTO shops– and that’s if they decide they want to carry it.
Basically, if you aren’t in Diamond, you aren’t in comic book stores.
But, releasing via torrent:
we’re basically on the same shelf space as every other major title releasing this week.
Morality of piracy aside, as a tiny, tiny, tiny, publisher– this is an opportunity we need to be looking at.
So that’s that– it’s up an available, and if you’re interested in helping us out, download and seed Spy6teen #1 here:
So, raise those sails and avast…and…well…I….I don’t really speak pirate…Johnny Depp or something.
Be back next week with a look at how Operation Torrent went!
Well, that time of year is upon us again– heck, it was a year ago almost to the day that I posted up the first PRE-SDCC blog! Kind of weird going back and reading that!
Most of it still holds up, though. Like last year, I’m on a limited time schedule– only heading down to San Diego for the weekend– basically, Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday morning/early afternoon. If there’s one thing that you can absolutely count on, traffic is horrible leaving San Diego– so, I’m expecting at least a 4 hour commute to a 2 hour drive.
Here’s more or less my plan for the Con– That said, if there’s one thing I’ve learned about the Con, it’s that fun is often the reward when you go OFF plan.
So, this is the general idea of where I might be:
Because of the work schedule (oddly, working on a project that is AT Comic Con) I won’t get a chance to head down until about 5pm– which lands me in the Gaslamp Quarter around 8 or 9PM– Just enough time to meet up with friends, eat awesome San Diego Fish Tacos, and party into the late night–
This is likely the evening that I’ll hit up TRICKSTER in the after hours– If you haven’t heard about Trickster, it’s sort of a mini-con/shop/hangout created by a collection of Indie and Creator Owned Comic Book talent that decided to create an alternate venue from the madness of the Convention Center–
Since the Eisners are Friday night, it should be a fun party night filled with a lot of celebrating– Hoping that my nominated pals bring home the statue!
(And no, Editor DJ is not nominated this year!)
Saturday starts CON FLOOR day–I’ll likely be all over the place– Kicking off by dropping some of the Spy6teen cards over on the Sails freebie table– The good thing about that table is, no matter what: people take stuff. I have no idea what creates the frenzy mentality of nabbing…well, anything (does anyone REALLY need a postcard that advertises the relaunch of Starlog magazine?) — but I do hope that we nab at least one or two new readers from the freebie table!
From there, it’ll be off to the floor– Meeting up with pals at their booths/Artist Alley and doing some general networking. In general, I try to skirt shy of the mega-booths– as traffic gets…well, “congested” would be putting it lightly.
The Panels I HOPE to get to are as follows:
2:30-3:30 Digital Disruption: Comics, Webcomics, and the Business Model of the Future— The explosion of online digital distribution — not all of it authorized — has created both challenges and opportunities for comics creators and publishers. What is the business model of the future? What can we learn from the webcomics movement? How have other media created innovative money-making solutions for creators? Comics industry legend Mark Waid (Daredevil) and webcomics pioneer Scott Kurtz (PvP) conduct a no-holds-barred discussion on competing with “free,” confronting the torrents, and bringing marketable value to the comics audience today. Moderated by Bruce Lidl (PeerPress.net). Room 8
(I’ve said it before on Blog@16: When Mark Waid talks, it’s a good idea to listen!)
3:00-4:00 The Write Stuff III: Writing for Genre Television and Beyond— Meet the writers and producers who make genre entertainment what it is today, and get an incredible insider look from the scribes behind some of today’s hottest genre shows as they share their candid thoughts on how to make the series we love (and sometimes loathe). Find out the secrets to getting TV shows made and how to break in and break out in today’s highly competitive broadcast environment — and why network executives actually care about what you write on message boards. No canned speeches and press releases here — get the straight scoop from television’s most talented writers and producers, including Javier Grillo-Marxuach (The Middleman, Lost), Ashley E. Miller (Fringe, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), Robert Hewitt Wolfe (Alphas, The Gates, Riverworld), Steve Kriozere (NCIS, Femme Fatales), Steve Melching (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Transformers: The Series), Gabrielle Stanton (The Vampire Chronicles, Haven), Jose Molina (Firefly, Terra Nova), Amy Berg (Eureka, Leverage), and Mark A. Altman (Femme Fatales, Castle). Moderated by Jeff Goldsmith (The Q&A With Jeff Goldsmith) hosts. Room 23ABC
(Already a scheduling conflict!!)
5:00-6:00 Pitch Perfect— Andy Schmidt (Comics Experience founder, former Marvel and IDW editor) and panelists John Layman (Chew) and Mike Costa (G.I. Joe: Cobra) reveal the keys to creating the perfect pitch for a comics publisher: what must you have, what to leave out, and how to conduct yourself with interviews and correspondence. This might be the most valuable panel you ever attend! Room 30CDE
(Wanting to hit this to support my buddy, Mike Costa– If, by chance, you’re intrested in reading pitches, you can check out Mike’s proposal for his Wildstorm series: Hawksmoor, here. )
6:30-7:30 Dawn of the Digital Era— Join Thomas Jane (Hung, The Punisher, RawStudios.com) in person with industry stars Tim Bradstreet (The Punisher), Jimmy Palmiotti (Jonah Hex, Painkiller Jane), David Uslan (Graphicly.com, Branded Entertainment), and Pepe Moreno (Batman Digital Justice, Rebel, Amusedom.com) to discuss the rapidly emerging digital distribution platform of comics! They’ll provide an in-depth look at the creative and business aspects of the digital medium, aiming to demystify the taboos associated with digital comics and demonstrate how they can be more accessible for consumers and profitable for artists. You will learn how it all works together: from social media marketing to worldwide simultaneous distribution on multiple devices. With a moderator like Geoff Boucher (LA Times Hero Complex), this will be a panel you won’t want to miss! Room 8
So, as you can see, I’m mostly focusing on the digital comic/distribution panels this year. The shame about Comic Con is that there’s just SO MUCH COOL STUFF going on– But you can’t take it all in. The only thing you can do is to focus on a few, and leave plenty of breathing room for exploring, meeting people, and– standing in line/walking from place to place.
(Anyone who has been knows, there’s a LOT of walking)
Early Saturday evening, I hope to make it over to Nerd HQ, another off-site mini-Con– mostly to check out what the scene is like. That’ll be followed up by a TBD dinner and then hauling over to the Tilted Kilt to meet up with some of the nerd crew.
Midnight on Saturday is my buddy (and super talented artist/writer) Tony Fleecs‘ birthday bash at the Star Bar– and I’m sure that night will probably end in chaos.
Sunday, I pretty much reserve for hitting the floor and trying to find a few vendor deals. My buddy (and another talent artist!) Pat Loika snapped off this shot yesterday:
…where I spy the Walking Dead Compendium for only $25– so…that’ll be mine. Sunday is such a great deal day– There isn’t a ton of stuff on my “to-get” list, but I’m pretty positive that I’ll still be coming back with half a library.
I’ll likely do a little more grassroots Spy6teen’ing on Sunday before calling it a wrap around 1pm and fighting the northbound I-5 back to LA.
So…those are my Con plans– if you happen to be around, please drop me a tweet @citizentim and let me know– It’d be great to catch up in person! In the meantime, I still have a few errands to run– including a trip to Target to pick up a backpack– exciting, right?!
Next week (hopefully), I’ll have a full post-con writeup with tons of pictures for you guys!
Until then…once more, into the breech!
Well, I was planning on starting the new blog series this week– but only hours after we posted up this week’s page, DC Comics dropped a bombshell on the comic book industry– I’m sure you’ve seen the news by now, but if not: They’re rebooting their entire universe in September.
52 brand new #1s– Relaunching/Rebooting everything from Aquaman to Zantana– Here’s the press:
As a guy who has more or less waned in DC proper titles, this actually has me fairly excited for a line of books that I haven’t been keeping up with. Generally, I tend to follow creators more than characters or books (For example, I’ll pop onto Superman if Morrison is writing it, but usually leave after his run is over)– but I’ll admit, I have kind of missed following along with a universe.
DC’s problem has always been that it slavishly chains itself to continuity– I can’t think of the number of books I’ve read where the cliffhanger ending reflects/recalls an event that happened long before I started reading…”AHA! It’s ME! DR. PHANTOMAS!!! — wait, who?!”
I know a lot of long time fans and readers are storming the messageboards, spewing a lot of hate– and believe me, I get it– nullifying storylines that they’ve taken a personal investment in, yeah it sucks. But it’s the bandaid rip that’s needed to happen since…well, since the last time DC rebooted their universe.
I also have a sneaking suspicion this has a lot to do with DC’s move to its new offices in Burbank, and the overall rebranding of DC Comics as DC Entertainment. A new phase for the company as a whole, which is reflected in a rebirth of their titles.
It’ll be interesting to see if this “sticks” or not– kneejerk reaction from most of the fanboy community is that they’ll return to “legacy” numbering within a few years…Particularly in the case of Action Comics, which is only 99 months away from hitting 1000 issues– I mean, reboot or not, that’s a huge milestone, and I doubt that DC won’t capitalize on that.
Of course, the reboot is big news– but for me, the bigger news is hidden in the story: That DC is going Digital Day and Date with ALL their comics. Want Superman #1, but can’t get to the comic store? Download it the same day!
If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know that I’ve been soapboxing day and date for awhile now. So, honestly, I have all the respect in the world for DC stepping up to the plate.
I’ll admit, I’d heard industry rumors about the rebooting of the U for the last few months– but the Day/Date thing? That caught me off guard.
Pricing is interesting–
DC Comics has announced that the oversized Justice League #1 by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee will be available as a print-and-digital edition for $4.99, as well as separately in digital and print for $3.99 respectively.
DC is promising that the print and digital comics across the line will have the same price, with the digital price dropping to $1.99 after four weeks, with oversized comics such as Justice League #1 dropping from $3.99 to $2.99.
I like the fact that they’re dropping the price point for the “digital back bin”– but I still don’t agree with a same price structure for Digital and Print. Really, the only way that you’re going to activly bring in a new audience and/or have your current readers start to make a real switch is to bring value to the digital editions. True Multimedia bonus content, social interaction (a 2.0 letter page perhaps?)– as dopey as it sounds: Building a community and looking at things like badges and ranks– basically, nicking from the Video Game industry– THAT’S the kind of incentives you’ll need to port over a print audience to digital.
Interestingly, Comic Book Resources ran a poll asking what effect day and date will have over their readers:
Interesting to note that it’s roughly 50/50 in terms of those who WILL buy digital and those who are sticking with print. Of course, the thing to keep in mind here is that CBR’s readership is probably 100% comic book readers– and doesn’t reflect the new readership that DC is likely hoping to build with their digital platform.
Speaking of which: I just don’t think $3.99 a book is going to bring in impluse non-comic readers– I do hope they’ve got something in place to whet the appetite of new consumers down the road…say, in 6 months to offer these digital #1 versions for free. I could see that piquing the interest of a bunch of commutators headed to work on the morning train– Iphone/Ipad in hand…
I do understand though- part of the pricing dance is to keep print retailers in the direct market appeased. After all, if you’re opening a new distribution system with the same product at a deeply discounted price, you’re probably going to run your original distributors out of town.
That said, I just don’t think that’s true– If you look at the pie chart above, Digital is really just going to take out 25% of the base– and, I point back to my interview with Graphic.ly‘s Micah Baldwin:
“…because I’ll say things like “I really hope that comic book stores that are not ready for digital, or not willing to work in a way that makes some sense, I do hope they die.” Because they’re not good for the industry.”
Point being, I get why they’re doing the distributor dance– but honestly, if you want to capture a new audience, you aren’t going to do it using the same bait. At some point, you’re going to have to put your chips into the new pot…
Titles and creative teams are slowly being leaked out. Beyond the Justice League (with Johns and Lee), we’ve got 10 more titles that have been announced…
Personally, I’m excited about all of this– and obviously, excited for our friends at DC– and I know I’ll be sampling a number of these #1’s– but what about you? Will you be checking any of them out?
So, yeah– this week with our own little “relaunch” plus getting caught under some work, I didn’t really get the chance to properly prep for the new Blog@16 series– So, hopefully I’ll get the chance to lay all that out this weekend and begin it NEXT week!
The month over at Top Web Comics has reset (is it June, already?!) so now is the perfect time to pass a vote or two our way and help us climb the charts!!
I know I said I was going to change out the incentive– but I’ve been having some trouble with my Flickr account (where said images are hosted)– but I’ll try to get those worked out in the next day or so!
Well, that’s it for this week– we’ll seeya on Tuesday fo…
TROUBLE IN DUBAI!!