Via PR, a story that touches the current comics business on so many levels. In short, Scott Kurtz is taking his print PvP collections of his very popular webcomic PvP and returning to self-publishing via his Toonhound Studios imprint. PVP has been published by Image since 2003, and Image will continue to sell his existing collections. However, future print editions of the comic will be sold online. According to the release, Kurtz won’t be selling them through Diamond at all, although he’ll work directly with retailers who want to carry his books.
The new PvP collection (above) — the eighth in the series — will be available for sale from Kurtz at San Diego.
We have an email in to Kurtz for more info, but it isn’t hard to see that, as the release states, the pamphlet/floppy/periodical is just not a viable format any more for a comic that appears five days a week on your computer screen. And one would presume that holding on to 100 percent of the profits of selling collections directly to fans would offset any losses incurred by not being in the front of the Diamond catalog any more.
Scott Kurtz is releasing the latest print collection of his popular online comic PvP, but he won’t be doing it through publisher Image Comics. After 8 years with Image, PvP is returning to its self-publishing roots, printing all future collections under the Toonhound Studios banner and selling them online via PvP’s store at http://www.pvpstuff.com.
“Over the last three years our business has shifted,” says Kurtz. “Sales through brick-and-mortar stores are declining and online sales are increasing. Readers who discovered PvP in comic shops have shifted from monthly readers to online readers, and their buying habits have changed. The monthly floppy is selling less and the trade paperbacks are selling more.”
All existing volumes of PvP are still available from Image Comics through Diamond Distribution, including the PvP Awesomeology hardcover, a 600-page retrospective celebrating the strip’s recent ten-year anniversary. The PvP monthly comic book, which Image also published, has been cancelled and ended with issue 45.
“Image has been an amazing publisher. Jim Valentino believed in Webcomics before anyone else in the industry. Erik Larsen and Eric Stephenson were instrumental in helping PvP shine. I still believe that Image is the best game in town for independent creators. I’m proud to continue offering my existing trades through them,” says Kurtz.
Although Kurtz has no immediate plans to offer future collections through Diamond, he’s still eager to work with interested retailers.
“The retailers have always supported PvP and I want to make it as easy as possible for those who wish to carry our books moving forward. Any interested retailer can contact me directly via email and we’ll do our best to get them whatever they need.”
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.