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Flashback: When digital-to-print was new


While googling for an image of Girl Genius in the previous post, we ran across this Chris Butcher post from 2007 — was it only four years ago that the digital-to-print model was a new, uncertain thing? It was then that Phil Foglio began to serialize Girl Genius online and sell print collections, and pronounced it a success, a claim that Butcher analyzed:

Foglio: “Sales through Diamond have gone way up, and I hear from store owners all the time saying that we’re one of their bigger independent sellers.”

He’s… right. Not about being one of our ‘bigger independent sellers’ or anything, not at our store. But about sales being up? Yupperz! In fact, our trade initial orders are up to around 10 copies from 2, and so far we’ve reordered both of the new trades (since the series moved online) to the tune of around 10 copies each. In fact, just yesterday, a dude I’d never seen before came in, asked for the Girl Genius trades, paid his $51 for volumes 4 and 5, and then walked out. Not that I don’t value the conversations I have with my customers, but if our sales were all 3 minutes per $51, I’d most certainly be earning myself a raise. So, yeah, 20 copies of Girl Genius trades a year is not a couple hundred copies of Acme Novelty Library or anything, but it more than earns it’s spot on our shelves.

So, congrats to Phil Foglio on developing a new serialization format that is beneficial to both him as an artist and to us as the middlemen who provide his art to the public.

Just a reminder how fast the future becomes the present.

  1. The first digital comic I remember seeing in print was Image’s release of PvP, which ComicBookDB tells me started back in 2003. What surprised me even more is that the series was coming out in print editions from Dork Storm Press as early as 2001. Neat! I know PvP, as a gag strip, is a completely different animal, but it’s interesting to me that digital-to-print comics have been around for a decade already.

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