“Digital comics should be 99 cents. END OF STATEMENT.” stated Waid. He e0xplained that the biggest reason that the big publishers are matching their print prices for digital comics is “because they don’t want to undercut the 1800 Diamond retailers. I don’t want to undercut them either. Marvel and DC can afford to do floppy comics every month.
They’re funded by big giant corporations, they’ve got the momentum of years of publication, the large print runs.” Waid continued to explain that the economy of scale for printing means that smaller companies end up paying so much more to physically print a book when it sells in the 5,000 to 7,000 range, which is sadly not a bad sale for something not from the biggest publishers. At that range, you are almost guaranteed to lose money on making individual issues. “It’s not that I don’t want to give comic shops a comic by me that they can sell. I can’t give it to them in that format. Three issues, then I’ll vanish, nobody wins.”
Digital files that could be converted into print is where his current plans lie. If a traditional printed comics page is letter format, you can quickly create one from a digital comic by stacking two landscape panels, one above the other. Doing so means that you lose full page spreads, but you will gain other tricks to compensate. Waid asked the audience to check out the Marvel Infinite Comics that he helped design, as many of the techniques and ideas used there will be appearing in his creator-owned work. This is still a work in progress, as Waid was done between six to nine digital comics total so far, and working with different artists with different approaches has lead him to discovering new ideas and concepts with every collaboration.
Then – over at his blog we got this:
Hi. Mark Waid here. As promised if you were paying attention at WonderCon today during my spotlight panel, here’s a free PDF download of a short digital-comics story I did as proof-of-concept with the talented artist Jeremy Rock. It’s a little zombie story called “Luther”, and it’s a sample of the approach I’m taking to my long-promised–and now imminent–series of Digital Comics.
Download it for free. Open it in whatever program you use to read PDF files. A simple right-click or page-tap takes you through, screen by screen, dead simple. For best results, view it full-screen, landscape format, so each image reads as a separate “page.” And enjoy. Free from Jeremy and me to you.
If you like it, we could use your assistance. Send the link to your friends. In fact, I encourage you to share “Luther” with as many people as you like. Help us spread the word. Help us show off what we think Digital Comics can be. Help point the audience here. It’d be much appreciated.
Then come back here April 2 to see what else I have in mind for the future of webcomics and find out how you can participate.