This week on Robot 6:
- I take a look at the new Flash Gordon comic being published by Dynamite Entertainment.
- We catch up with Ronnie in the Ronnie Filyaw webcomic, Whomp!
Mark Waid’s Thrillbent has some pretty good titles.
Well, OK, I only read one. Insufferable, which I reviewed here. However, these comics will no longer be free, as Thrillbent will now be charging a $3.99 monthly fee to view those comics.
I’ve always been open with you, our readers, about not only our successes but our challenges—chief among them, how to pay for all this. How to streamline that social contract between us, the content providers, and our fans, who are willing to pay a fair price for what we provide so that we can keep bringing the new.
On our storefront, we’ve experimented with different models—some downloads with fixed prices, some pay-what-you-will, all DRM-free—and that’s been helpful but unpredictable. We’ve always been resistant to putting up some sort of tip jar because (it’s a personal thing, no judgments) that just makes me uncomfortable. Still, we know we have a proven audience out there willing and eager to support us financially so we can continue to bring them new content, and we think we’ve finally figured out how to give readers that opportunity in form that nets them the most value. From Waid himself:
This past weekend, we stealth-launched the Thrillbent iPad app. It’s a thing of beauty. If you’re so inclined, go check it out (and, yes, Android is in the works). Effective immediately, the Thrillbent website will sync up with it—make sure your name is on the mailing list for immediate notification—as we begin to roll out even more new series. There will still be free content on Thrillbent, there always will be—we’re big believers in the marketing power of “free”—but to that, we’re adding a “Hulu Plus” level of new content, if you will….
Ultimately, what we arrived at was this: a monthly subscription model that allows access to all Thrillbent material past and present for the price of one print comic: $3.99.
For that $3.99, you’ll be able to read everything as it rolls out, the moment it’s posted. You’ll receive push and/or e-mail notifications whenever new content is posted. Create a subscription account and your info will be kept up-to-date on the website, the iPad app, and all future apps and platforms, meaning wherever you’re signed in, we’ll keep track for you of what you’ve already read and what’s new so you can tell at a glance where you are in any given series. And, yes, anything you’ve already purchased carries over to the new system, no worries there.
Will it work? SHRUG. Getting money for work online has been one of the biggest challenges for anyone in any field. A few models (Penny Arcade, The Oatmeal) have been successful, but those almost always rely on the popularity of gags that can translate to t-shirts and posters. Making money off of longform comics is a little more difficult. Comixology has proven to be a sustainable model, and Waid is a well respected comic writer. However, his non-Marvel/DC stuff doesn’t exactly burn up the charts.
(h/t Comics Alliance)
Two more Robot 6 pieces debuted this week:
As for this site, I’m targeting end of this week for when a new review’s going to be up.
New article at Robot 6 is up! Here, I discuss Stripped‘s subtext about comic strips and childhood, and I theorize how Penny Arcade‘s recent moves may be steering things that direction in the world of webcomics.
EDIT: Also they decided to publish my review of Pole Dancing Adventures, a webcomic about pole dancing. On the same day I did that piece on kids’ webcomics.
Eisner Awards, eh? What is this malarkey! Some people are bechuffed — bechuffed, I say! — about some of the candidates that were passed over this year! Why, it’s enough to incite a riot!
… OK, so no one is bechuffed. They’re barely even bedraggled. I mean… there’s like a dozen comic-related award ceremonies this year.
But that doesn’t stop Lauren Davis from listing 51 Awesome Webcomics that she believes are deserving of recognition come Eisner time.
The category for Best Digital Comic launched in 2005 and it’s always been perplexing for avid followers of webcomics. We’ve hoped that the category would be an opportunity to highlight independent comics by lesser known creators and in some years, it has done an excellent job of doing just that. However, the nominees tend to include creators who have strong ties to the world of print comics, and sometimes digital offerings by big-name creators edge out people who have been working in webcomics for years. (Case in point, Joss Whedon and Fabio Moon took home the 2008 Eisner for Best Digital Comic for the Dark Horse digital release of Sugarshock!)
You dare impugn the name of the Honorable Master Joss Whedon, Ms. Davis? What, are you just asking for a thousand browncoats to be mailed your way? Because if you are … can … can you loan me one? It’s sorta chilly out here. My size is Extra Large.
Lauren Davis’ list is quite comprehensive, ranging from JL8 to Unsounded to Dresden Codak to Something Positive to… well… there are 51 of them. Read it for yourself, homies!
(Full disclosure, Ms. Davis mentions this humble site in her piece. Thanks for the shout-out!)
So… sick of Homestuck yet? Well, you’re about to get sicker. Andrew Hussie just launched Paradox Space, a home for canon Homestuck fan comics. And while that sounds like something that could go off the rails, Hussie is savvy enough to get fan comics from people who know what they’re doing. People like that Paranatural guy. And KC Green. And … I’m not sure what Jonathan Griffiths and J.N. Wiedle do, but it looks alright.
So the 2014 Eisner noms were announced today. My new employer, Robot 6, did not make it into the Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism category this year (though parent company Comic Book Resources did). Hopefully my coverage of webcomics will be enough to tip the scale next time the awards are considered.
Anyway, you know what you’re here for. What are the nominees for Best Online Comic this year, El Santo? Well, glad you asked. First of all, it’s now called “Best Digital/Webcomic.” Make up your mind, Eisners! Second, the awards are a pretty dang eclectic mix… and there’s only one here that I recognize.
Incidentally, the Sugarshock-o-Meter is starting to gain sentience, question its existence and purpose in life. Stay Calm and carry on, Sugarshock-o-Meter!
In other news, The Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks is up form Best Publication for Kids (ages 8-12) and Best Humor Publication.