The Book You Need To Read To Understand The Economics Of Digital Comics

Want to understand what is going on in the world of webcomics and digital comics publishing? Here's a book all about the current digital landscape, available as a crowdfunded preorder. You can also crowdfund a magical transgender TV series, a comic about an all-female space crew, and a chance to have your own superhero action figure.

Top image from The Galaxy Girls.

The Economics of Digital Comics

The last edition of Todd Allen's The Economics of Web Comics came out in 2007, and it was taught at Savannah College of Art and Design to help cartoonists understand the financial landscape of online comics. But now that landscape has radically changed and includes not just webcomics, but also a host of digital publishing platforms—plus crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, IndieGogo, and Patreon.

Allen isn't interested in telling people what kind of comics to make or giving them a step-by-step guide to earning income from their comics. Instead, he hopes to give creators a richer understanding of what is out there—what to consider in terms of advertising and merchandising, the various publishing platforms that are out there and their revenue splits and digital rights management, the advantages and pitfalls of different types of crowdfunding, what works for story-driven comics compared to gag comics. We spoke to Allen about the book and it's clear that he has a vast knowledge of digital publishing—something he writes about extensively for Publisher's Weekly—and he's going to be sharing that knowledge and hopefully giving creators better tools to take charge of their earnings.

For a $9 pledge, Allen is offering backers a digital copy of the book. For a $20 pledge, he's offering a paperback copy.

RESTORATION: an online sci-fi mini-series

In a future where people can digitally backup their memories, one man wakes up in a body that is not his own. Here's the pitch for the web series Restoration:

2019. A company - RESTORATION LIFE SERVICES - offers individuals the service of having their memories downloaded for backup. So, in the event of death, those memories can be uploaded into a new body, a generic host, nicknamed a "jerry".

After a routine backup, Oliver Klein wakes up to find that his memories have been restored into a body that is not his own. Trapped in this foreign body, Oliver Klein struggles to reconnect with his family and his life, and must come face-to-face-with the truth that he is not the only Oliver Klein.

And this foreign body? It has its own "muscle memory"*. Soon, Oliver discovers that he is capable of doing things the original Oliver never could and never would.

(* Science alert: We know that Muscle Memory doesn't exist. We are really talking about 'Procedural Memory'; and the distinction between 'Procedural Memory' and 'Declarative Memory' is a key element in Restoration's story).

For a $20 pledge, backers can nab an HD download of the full series, plus the soundtrack and other rewards.

The Galaxy Girls - Graphic Novel

Sherard Jackson and Shawn DePasquale are creating their digital comic about two sisters trying to repair their broken relationship amidst the chaos of an action-packed space adventure:

The all-female crew of The Galaxy Girl will have to deliver a cache of Quantum-Hallucinogens to a planet of mythical-God worshipping natives, however, the mission is quickly revealed to be set-up and it isn't long before the Intergalactic Union sends in their elite police force to impound the girls' ship and arrest the team.

Now Mallori and the rest of the "Galaxy Girls" race the clock to build an army big enough to fight the Intergalactic Union, protect the planet stronghold of the Independent movement (a rebellious uprising of those who believe the Union is an evil empire), and steal their damn ship back!

You can read a 12-page preview on Imgur. For a $10 pledge, backers can get the full 100-page comic.

Interfictions Online

Interfictions Online is a web-based literary journal that publishes genre-bending fiction, non-fiction, poetry and everything in between. They're looking for a bit of help funding their next few issues and keeping the word party going. The team is offering various chapbooks and ebooks at various pledge levels.

The Switch - A Fantastic Transgender Comedy

This comedy series is tinged with a bit of magical realism as the main character Sü comes out as a trans woman and finds herself suddenly unemployed and sleeping on her ex's couch. The team is hoping to create a high-production values web series that at once entertains and "agitate[s] for change." For a $40 pledge, the team is offering backers a download of the show's entire first season.

Be A Superhero Action Figure

Have you always wanted to be a superhero? You can at least have your own superhero action figure thanks to the folks at You Kick Ass. They're sculpting likenesses of customers and putting their customers' heads on superhero action figure bodies. You just send them a photograph of yourself, pick the pose you want, and choose your superhero name and powers. They are offering their customized action figures for a $60 pledge.