ROBOT 13, the stylish steampunk fantasy comic by Thomas Hall and Daniel Bradford, has just become one of the first independently produced comics to push past the 100,000 download mark on iTunes and Android, according to a press release from e-distributor Robot Comics.

The app is free on both platforms, so it hasn’t been a cash cow for the creators — however, there are three print issues available and the first has sold out.

Nonetheless, it’s an impressive feat for a relatively unknown indie comic. The downloadable version has many bells and whistles, says Robot Comics.

Robot 13 was the first comic on either iTunes or Android to combine frame-by-frame animation, a wide-range of transition effects, and vibration into a single package.

“We’ve since gone even further with our Scott Pilgrim app,” Baxter adds.  “But Robot 13 was and is a ground-breaking beginning for pushing the boundaries on what a mobile comic can be.  And I think readers are responding to that, as well as the incredible quality of Tom and Daniel’s craftsmanship.”

A ROBOT 13 preview video is available here, and a traditional preview is here.


  1. The App may be free, but the content you pay for. Only 99 cents for issues 2 and 3, if I remember.

    It’s a fantastic series; moody, intriguing and entertaining. I’d love to see more.

  2. Interesting. I have a few books on myebooks and two of them are closing in on 60,000 downloads.

    Again, they’re free and not really sure how they translate into sales of the collections. Hard to determine but I just wonder who all these people are.

  3. As someone else has noted, the first issue is free and the recent are $.99, it would be interesting to know what percentage of that 100,000 are people buying issues 2 and 3.

  4. Completely, totally, and utterly unscientific guesswork:

    1) Let’s assume 100K is the total downloads for the free as well as the .99 issues.
    2) Let’s say around 70K of those are downloads are the free issue.
    3) And finally, let’s say the creators get somewhere around 30% of the dowload price (different e-publishers have different scales, but I don’t think 30% is too off the mark)

    That puts their earnings on a little know indie comic at around $9000. An amazingly healthy profit that probably beats that of 95% of print comics.

    More power to them. This is great news!

  5. Only Robot Comics can really answer this, but I’d guess that the pay to free ratio is a lot lower than that. 3 out of every 7 people ponying up the 99 cents for the next issue is very optimistic.

    Can someone from Robot tell us how many of those 100K were freebies?

    I know I bought the third issue through Robot. Haven’t seen a print copy yet (although I do have the first two in print.)