ELK’S RUN creators Joshua Hale Fialkov and Noel Tuazon should be pretty happy — the graphic novel version of the book is out from Random House/Villard next month. But to set it off in style, they are already launching their follow-up Three Rivers, and in an increasingly common move, they’re launching it as a webcomic. Fialkov writes:

Where Elk’s Run dealt with isolation and loneliness, Three Rivers is about growing up in the seat of modern civilization… the suburbs.

It’s a bit scary how similar they are.

The book is told as a series of short stories revolving around the lives of two friends, and how their relationship changes and grows from puberty through adulthood. Rendered beautifully in black and white by Noel, the book is a true creative successor to Elk’s Run.

The plan for right now is to put up a new chapter every month for free, with access to the archive for a buck a month. In that archive, you can also access a bunch of my early mini-comics, comics by Noel, and some of my Western Tales of Terror stories.

It’s an interesting plan, and more so when you remember the history of this book. It started out as a self-published venture, then went to Speakeasy for one issue. You’ll recall that Speakeasy was one of the “Class of ’05” comics periodical publishers who proved that launching a new comics periodical company was probably not the greatest idea.

Before they went under, Speakeasy had announced a plan to publish some of their comics on the web; we don’t recall if ELK’S RUN was one of them, but it would be quite ironic if it were, wouldn’t it?

So to sum up:

Self publishing—>Indie publisher—>Random House—>Serialized webcomic, which charges for archives.

While the Engine has been arguing about the whole pamphlet vs. trades paradigm, pamphlets may not even be necessary any more for material the direct sales market doesn’t support. It will be interesting to see how the plan to monetize THREE RIVERS plays out.


  1. I watched Josh and Noel kick-around several possible follow-ups to Elk’s Run. I saw pages for at least two different comics (and one of them went through several overhauls). Three Rivers is the right call for their second book together – I hope it does well for them.

    PS – Elk’s Run was not going to be one of Speakeasy’s webcomics.