I'm almost done with this first action sequence, this is about in the middle of the book. I wanted to start there and work my forward, and do the first part of the book last. I seem to always get 'better' or maybe more focused, less experimental, toward the last sprint in a series. I want the first chapter to really smash people in the face....as much as a comic is capable of such a thing. Once the this first sequence is done I'll put a PDF together, so you can read the past 2 months of work in context. I'm really happy with it, which is unusual. I'm still enjoying this a great deal.
I've been reading a lot about digital distribution. I had the thought today that this is an excellent opportunity to lead with a digital only version. Obviously I'm a big fan of digital, Mark Waid is very passionate about the subject, and I agree with his suprisingly controversial idea, we as creators need to lead the charge, it's an opportunity to recapture our distribution, digital is currently a level playing field. I can get as much exposure as the newest X-men on Comixology. I'm all for a new business model for comics. The current one is just not sustainable or good for anyone, especially graphic novel guys like me. With Oink I could see offering the first 32 pages for free, and the entire graphic novel for 9.99, rather than the 19.99 price tag the original carried. Personally, I think comics are the worst entertainment dollar you can currently spend, take video games for example. In a video game you get minimum of 8 hours up to...hundreds of hours of entertainment for $59.99. If you break it down hour by hour, at it's worst case it ranges from $7.00 per hour to pennies if you play something like Fallout 3 for a hundred hours like me. Entertainment money is disposable income, and it's more about bang for your buck.
Comics are more like an album, but typically you listen to a song more than once, but rarely will you read a comic more than once...so even in that comparison you still get more value from a 1.99 song than you do a 4.95 comic that takes up space in your basement.
I think we would have a lot more fans if the price point dropped to .99 or 1.99 for digital. I think the creators can make more money with increased volume and a lower overhead on materials..and almost no cost for distribution. When you buy a comic for $4.95 the pie chart on where that money goes would make your head spin, everything from the paper suppliers, to the shipping cost of the books to the shops, to the guy ringing the register, it all factors in.
I love my local comic shop here, Austin Books. I'm viewing this as a creator who was driven out of comics because of the business model couldn't sustain a creator like me. I'm not a volume type of guy. I get one good idea every few years worth exploring, and I would spend probably 2 years per 100 pages of art and story..and I don't want to paint other peoples stuff, I just don't have any passion for that.
Consider this, I would say a $5.00 cup of coffee at Starbucks has the same entertainment value per dollar, as far as time/money sink, and look where they are right now in this economy...now imagine you want to drink 20 cups of $5.00 coffee a week, it would put anyone in the poor house fast, it punishes your consumer. I remember my last series Blood & Circus was sold for 4.95 for 24 pages of art and story, and because I'm artsy I don't use a lot of text...so you could blow through an issue in less than 10 minutes! I thought they were mad...mad as hatters! They had to though in order to make money, it cost them almost $2.00 per book just to print! Personally I would only see about 0.25 of that per copy! If you ever wonder why I left the wonderful medium of comics...I've never been a believer that creators should have to suffer for their art....poets...poets suffer for their art.