Writer Mark Waid launched the digital comics site Thrillbent four years ago as a proof of concept for digital comics and since then it’s run some mighty fine content, including experimental comics, Tim Gibson/s Moth City (above), The Damnation of Charlie Wormwood by Christina Blanch and various artists, and Waid’s own Insufferable, drawn by Peter Krause. Thirllbent also picked up digital distribution of several other comics including Alex de Campi and Christine Larsen’s Valentine, Strangers in Paradise, Aw Yeah Comics, and much more. In short, a pretty good slate. About a year ago they started offering subscriptions for the reasonable price of $3.99 a month. Today, subscribers (such as myself) received a note saying that the sub model is ending and a new Thrillbent 4.0 is on its way:
Dear Thrillbent Subscribers:
Changes are underway for Thrillbent. In the four years since we launched the site, the landscape of digital comics has changed immensely, and we’re always eager to adapt.
This summer, we’re going to update the site to “Thrillbent 4.0.” Effective May 1 we will stop charging all existing subscribers as a thank-you for how you’ve backed us. We will also stop selling new subscriptions. On July 1 our next iteration goes live and there’ll be some big, exciting changes taking effect.
Again, thanks for your support both now and in the future. I doubt the transition will have any hiccups, but if you experience any troubles, please drop us a line at XXXXX@thrillbent.com.
We’re grateful for your continued support.
Just last month at C2E2 Waid was on a digital comics roundtable and sounded pretty upbeat about the potential for digital.
At the same time it’s a crowded marketplace out there, unless you’re Google or Facebook or Apple or Amazon. While digital comics start up were all the rage at the dawn of the iPad era, they’ve mostly dwindled away and new apps, like Stela and the US version of LINE Webtoon are phone focused.
Thrillbent has been a high quality line of comics that probably hasn’t gotten as much attention as it should. I hope 4.0 is able to continue this strong and innovative line
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.