McCloud was right! Micropayments! Sort of. DriveThruComics.com is a spin off of a very sucessful RPG downloading site that has begun to offer downloads of comics from Dabel Brothers Productions, Shi, About Comics, Arcana, Archaia, NBM, UDON, Heroic Publishing, and Kenzer and Company, with more on the way. ICv2 has an informative write-up.
The business model derives revenue by selling PDFs of comics to consumers via download. Prices are set at $1.99 for most comics, and around 30% off for most graphic novels.
Comics are made available via download at a variety of times relative to street date, from slightly before to considerably after.
Apparently, many more publishers are about to sign on, meaning commercial indie comics have embraced the digital delivery method. The Beat‘s only question is when this method will become a success, not if.
There are some issues with web design and interface on the site. There’s a spot to e-mail a friend the page, but you can only see about eight characters at a time. I’d prefer that busy background go away. And some logos need more transparent backgrounds.
But to top it all off: They’re using COMIC SANS as the preferred font on the site.
And they want us to take them seriously. . .
We’re still working with an optimal site design–and your comments are appreciated.
And yes, we do want you to take us seriously :)
$1.99? For what? These guys have taken out the single most expensive part of the comic book publishing equation and $1.99 is the best they can do?
Who’s bright marketing idea was that? If this initiative fails, it won’t be because of the idea itself, it’ll be because the low end price point is still way too high.
If I can sample, and then buy, say, John Lennon songs for 88 cents on the Wal-Mart Web site, why in the heck would I want to pay more than twice that for some sight unseen comic book which, if I want to print out a hard copy to read, I have to use MY color toner cartridge ($$$) and MY paper to do so.
No way am I going to do that! Absolutely no way!!!
Ned — glad to hear it. Stick with Verdana or Arial or generic Sans Serif or something. Just not Whizbang (not likely) or Comic Sans. PLEASE!
And look out for the logos in the Publisher Info pane on the right side of the window when looking at a single issue of something. There’s usually a white line around parts of it, separating it from the black background. Maybe it’s meant purposefully to pop the logo out, but it looks distracting, like the graphic isn’t aligned properly or something.
I like the concept, though, and I hope it works out. Good luck!