So sneaky me bypassed my weekly blog commitment last week by announcing my latest entry onto Comixology instead. That same day, Sire fan and newfound Facebook friend Luis Santana hit me up and asked if it’s even worth doing printed comics anymore. The short answer? Maybe. Let’s take a look shall we?

Luis Santana (via FB DM) asked:
“Hey Michael, love your book, The Sire. I was wondering if you could tell me if its worth it to even print comics these days and just go digital through comixology? How has your experience been with them? I am debating on putting out a creator owned comic on print and just go digital. Any advice? Thanks. Keep the great work coming. Luis.”

Well Luis, first off, thanks for digging the book! Really means a lot and helps keep the wheels turning. Now for your question(s). Lets break them down into the following categories:

Print vs Digital Comics

First let’s tackle the ever engaging print vs digital debate. The short answer is: yes, i DO think there’s value in having your book in print form sitting on a store shelf somewhere. It’s even moreso if you can meet Diamond’s monthly minimums and be carried “officially” in stores because it gives your brand legitamacy. You didn’t beg your local shop to carry your books on consignment and it already passed the test of Diamond reps and retailer shops.

But that can be costly as well. And often times, unless you advertise heavily getting the word out on a creator owned book, may end up being more expensive than it’s worth. Best case, sure, you’re in stores. Worst case? You’ve spent ten grand making it happen and you’re not likely to get recouped (unless you Kickstarted it which is a whole OTHER topic)

Speaking of which…

Kickstarter For Comics

Kickstarter is a great way to make this happen. From what I hear from other pros who have gone that route, it does not affect official sales, or the ability to sell in the future by doing so. (In fact, I’ll be making my own Kickstarter announcement at the end of the month so stay tuned!) Definitely a viable route to keeping comics in pritned form. Plus, I’m sure there will be retailer based programs in the future aside from just including a retailer incentive as part of the Kickstarter itself.

Print On Demand: Low Cost Alternative

A final option is one that I’ve now taken with Sire going forward: Print On Demand. With so many on demand shops available, and with my brand having already been established through Diamond already, I now have a low cost companion to digital. Because at the end of the day there are folks that still value comics in printed form AND it gives you something to sell at conventions when you are trying to expand your fan base. Trust me, having a printed comic in someone’s hand when they leave a con gives you a WAY better shot at them reading your stuff than a postcard with a web address.

Comixology Submit: The Future For Creator Owned Comics?

Finally, let’s tackle the second part of your Q and that is Comixology Submit. So far, my experience with Comixology has been a positive one. First off, I LOVE reading comics on my iPad or iPhone and Comixology offers you a variety of ways to enjoy said comic book, what with their guided view technology or straight forwar pdf style approach.

The Sire #3 on comixology last week!

The only complaint I’ve heard (and shared) is that they take a LONG time getting stuff up there. Though, to be fair, now that they’re the big shot on campus in the digital world (knocking of iVerse and Graphicly for the most part), I’m sure they’re being positively overwhelmed with submissions. In which case I can’t complain. And while retailers may cry foul, I think there’s a place for both in this world, but to be fair, comic stores aren’t making big bucks off independents for the most part anyway.

And speaking of Comixology (shameless plug time folks): you can order the first three issues of The Sire there by going clicking the URL below:

Hope that answered your question Luis. Tune in next week right here on where I type some more words. In the meantime, I would love to hear your thoughts. Print…is it worth it anymore for creator owned? Is Comixology the future of comics? Discuss!

Michael Dolce is the creator of The Sire for After Hours Press/MBD Studios Inc and Descendant for Image Comics. He’s also got some cool things coming down the pipeline that he is sure to subliminally plug while he merciliessly preaches to you in this blog.