More updates and how we think digital distribution and comic book stores go hand-in-hand
First, updates on issue 2. Inks are almost through, and are in the process of being revised. Colors and lettering should be up next once we get the OK from the Editor, after which I’ll start the countdown to issue 2. Thank you guys for being so patient with us! Trust me, you’re going to love issue 2: we think it’ll be worth the wait.
Now, as some of you know, we had kind of a major announcement back on Tuesday, where we announced that Torchbearer was on the shelves of Alex’s MVP Cards and Comics, Forbidden Planet , St. Mark’s Comics , Jim Hanley’s , Roger’s Time Machine and Manhattan Comics. As a company (really, we’re just a bunch of creators who are gathered under one legal roof), there’s nothing better than seeing your pride and joy out there for others to enjoy. Given that this is our first comic book produced, we’re both super-excited and learning along the way on how we can do things better to reach more people and get them just as excited as us.Thinking that way may somewhat somber our excitement, but it’s critical to do so, given the fact that we are competing for your attention, and our competitors are… well, Disney and TimeWarner, for starters.
So, inevitably, as we saw our comics up on the shelves, our thoughts turned to our digital versions and what it means to have both digital and physical versions being distributed. Speaking as lovers of books in all their forms and consumers of their digital versions, we’re conflicted. On the one hand, we love books. (Really, we even love the smell of them) and we cannot imagine ever parting with them. On the other hand, we also love the ease and comfort of a (insert your own electronic reading device here) provides. Our backs and shoulders thank us in our commute every time we don’t have to carry our books.
At times, it feels like the two markets, digital and print, don’t meet. Customers who buy the digital version don’t tend to buy the print version, and vice-versa. This Exclusive-Or kind of relationship doesn’t really bode well with us. As we started considering different strategies and solutions (we don’t have anything solid worth sharing… yet), we started thinking about our relationship to these marketplaces. ‘Cause, see: in our master strategy, they complement each other.
We think that the best way we’ll be able to expand in this day and age is with fan engagement. The two most effective ways we can do this is by having an active web presence and being physically accessible to our fans. By being both globally reachable through the internet and locally, we can carry out a two-prong approach to expanding our readership. And quite frankly, the best way to engage fans locally is through your local comic book shop.
Now, we’re not saying we’re the first who thought of this, or the second… or the 37th. But it’s true: as we expand global reach over the internet, we need to build our local foundations through our comic book shops. And I don’t mean just signings, I mean engagement. Chatting with fans, hosting Q/A sessions on the creative process, etc. We can even so much as say that these activities are like having regular mini con-like events with your fans. And that, we think, is a great role that comic book shops should embrace. Comic book shops should become the nexus of local talents and fan engagement, and by featuring local creators, we believe they will be able to position themselves greatly against the perceived oncoming wave of digital comics. Cause no matter what, there’s nothing like meeting other fans and creators in person.
And maybe picking up a copy or two.
After all, isn’t this why cons are popular? Or is it just because of the cosplay?
That’s all for now. As we near the final stretch of issue 2, we’ll see about acting out on these suggestions of ours. We’ll keep you updated.