Dynamite is launching their own digital comics store today. The comics will DRM-Free, which makes DRM-free the new (and welcome) trend in digital. And just because they can, they’re launching with some $0.10 comics and 10% of all digital sales for the first month will be donated to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
The initial format they’re offering the comics in is .PDF, with plans for ePub and .CBZ in the future. Dynamite is also planning on rolling out the library slowly, with new releases posted each Wednesday. You might be thinking there’s not going to be a lot of DRM-free titles coming out of Dynamite, given all the licenses they deal with, but that doesn’t necessarily seem to be the case. Besides the creator-owned, Dynamite-owned and public domain properties, the first batch includes Dresden Files, Wheel of Time, Pathfinder, Green Hornet and it looks like the pulp line will be DRM-Free, too, with The Shadow being the first of the Conde Naste characters in the store. Figure it will take several months for Dynamite to get their entire back catalog online, but the Wednesday release schedule is established.
Dynamite is also offering some free wallpapers on their digital page.
(As an aside, if you haven’t read Howard Chaykin’s American Flagg!, it’s a hugely influential classic that happens to be in the initial roll out. Definitely worth your time.)
This is yet another domino falling after Amazon’s acquisition of Comixology. We’ve seen already seen Valiant expand to iVerse and Madefire, where they used to be exclusive. Now Dynamite is opening their own digital sales outlet. It’s not a common practice for publishers to go exclusive with Amazon, so we’ll probably have a few more changes to the digital landscape sooner than later.
Official PR follows:
Dynamite Entertainment Launches New DRM-Free Digital Comics Program;New Digital Initiative Benefits Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
August 20, 2014, Mt. Laurel, NJ: Dynamite Entertainment is excited to announce the debut of its brand new digital comic program featuring DRM-free comics. Launching initially with comics available in PDF file format, the initiative makes a selection of its most popular and celebrated titles ready for download today directly by consumers. The sale of DRM-free digital comics coincides with the comic book and graphic novel publisher’s 10th anniversary celebration, and can be found at their company website’s dedicated digital sales page: http://dynamite.com/digital/The program launches today with an available selection of over 80 individual comic books, which includes creator-owned, company-owned and licensed titles from Dynamite’s massive library. The debut selection represents a wide variety of titles, spanning numerous genres, featuring name brand creators including Kevin Smith, Bill Willingham, Mark Millar, Grant Morrison, Alex Ross, Gail Simone, Robert Jordan, Jim Butcher, Walt Flanagan and Bryan Johnson, Frank Cho, Art and Franco, Garth Ennis, Darick Robertson, and more, as well as highlighting some of the industry’s most beloved characters (Red Sonja, Vampirella, and The Boys, just to name a few).• Cryptozoic Man by Walt Flanagan and Bryan Johnson• Blood Queen by Troy Brownfield and Fritz Casas• The Boys by Garth Ennis and Darick Robinson• Captain Action Cat by Art Baltazar, Franco, and Chris Smits• Captain Victory & the Galactic Rangers by Joe Casey, Nathan Fox, and more• Chaos! by Tim Seely and Mirka Andolfo• Chastity by Marc Andreyko and Dave Acosta• American Flagg by Howard Chaykin• The Devilers by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Matt Triano• Evil Ernie: Origin of Evil by Jesse Snider and Jason Craig• Garth Ennis’ Red Team by Garth Ennis and Craig Cermak• Jennifer Blood: Born Again by Steven Grant and Kewber Baal• Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files: War Cry by Jim Butcher, Mark Powers, and Carlos Gomez• Jungle Girl by Frank Cho, Doug Murray, and Adriano Batista• Justice, Inc. by Michael Uslan and Giovanni Timpano• Kevin Smith’s Green Hornet by Kevin Smith and Jonathan Lau• Legenderry: A Steampunk Adventure by Bill Willingham and Sergio Fernandez Davila• Miss Fury by Rob Williams and Jack Herbert• The Mocking Dead by Fred Van Lente and Max Dunbar• The Ninjettes by Al Ewing and Eman Casallos• Pathfinder: Dark Waters Rising by Jim Zub and Andrew Huerta• Project Superpowers by Jim Krueger, Alex Ross, and Carlos Paul• Red Sonja by Gail Simone and Walter Geovani• Red Sonja: Blue by Peter Brett and Walter Geovani• Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan, Chuck Dixon, and Chase Conley• The Shadow: Midnight in Moscow by Howard Chaykin• Terminal Hero by Peter Milligan and Piotr Kowalski• The Trial of Sherlock Holmes by Leah Moore, John Reppion, and Aaron Campbell• Vampirella by Nancy A. Collins and Patrick Berkenkotter• Vampirella Master Series by Mark Millar, Grant Morrison, and more• Vampirella vs. Fluffy by Mark Rahner and Cezar Razek
In celebration of their 10th anniversary, Dynamite will offer ten of its comic books at 10 cents apiece, introducing new readers to Dynamite’s most accessible and successful titles at a great value. The introductory-priced comic books include:• Blood Queen #1• The Boys #1• Evil Ernie: Origin of Evil #1• Jungle Girl #0• Kevin Smith’s Green Hornet #1• Miss Fury #1• The Mocking Dead #1• Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time #1• The Trial of Sherlock Holmes #1• Vampirella #1
Dynamite will also offer ten (10) free wallpapers to consumers featuring The Boys, Cryptozoic Man, Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files, Neil Gaiman and Alice Cooper’s The Last Temptation, Red Sonja, and Vampirella. These wallpapers can be downloaded from Dynamite’s digital DRM-free page for a limited time.Following today’s launch, Dynamite plans to release its DRM-free comics on a weekly basis, every Wednesday, with new offerings announced via the company’s Facebook, Twitter, and website as they are made available for download. There will be a slow, focused roll-out over time that will grow the available titles to reflect the vast majority of Dynamite’s library.
Throughout its first month of operation, Dynamite will donate ten percent of all sales to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the First Amendment rights of the comics art form and its community of retailers, creators, publishers, librarians, and readers.
Charles Brownstein, Executive Director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, says, “CBLDF is delighted to be named as the charitable partner for Dynamite Digital! As comics advance in so many new directions, the CBLDF remains vigilant in our efforts to protect the comics medium in each aspect. Dynamite’s contribution underscores our commitment to protect comics in the digital environment as vociferously as we do in the comic store and education spaces.”“The market has been growing for DRM-free content. Each and every day, fans want to choose how to buy and enjoy their comics, and we’re taking our titles to the next level for digital sales,” says Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher of Dynamite Entertainment. “Expanding into DRM-free content, made available directly to consumers from our website, is simply giving the consumers the option for what they want and how they want it, and continues to reach out to a non-traditional comic-reading audience, and then bring those readers in to the direct comics market to our retail partners. We’re optimistic that the availability of comics in a digital fashion will continue to draw new readers to the medium, helping to continue to complement the growth for physical sales through our retail comic store partners. Following the trend we’ve seen over the past few years in our industry of digital helping to grow the physical for retailers and the market overall, the world’s continuing love affair with books in print will benefit from a surge in Dynamite interest.”
Barrucci adds, “As part of our launch, we’re donating a portion of all sales to support the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Charles, Alex, and their team work tirelessly to protect our First Amendment rights. The Fund needs the help of the industry to continue to support free speech.”“DRM” (Digital Rights Management) refers to the technology used by publishers, copyright holders, and other individuals to control the use of digital content and devices after sale. Dynamite’s goal is to offer their titles DRM-free, thereby growing the company and granting comic creators more opportunities to make great products. Dynamite is eager to take this next step with fans as it continues to expand on its own digital offerings.Dynamite’s current digital offerings include same-day-as-print releases through Comixology, iVerse, Dark Horse, iBooks, and Amazon Kindle. Recently, Dynamite worked in conjunction with Humble Bundle, Inc. to offer a 10th Anniversary bundle for sale for a limited time, dedicating a portion of profits such worthwhile charity organizations as the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Doctors Without Borders, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.