Tag Archives: alterna comics

Alterna Launches a Printing Partnership Program

Printing comics can be expensive for small runs an indie creators. Some band together to help lower costs but still, for many, print is out of reach.

Alterna Comics is a small press publisher who has found success going a bit retro, printing comics on classic newsprint helping bring the cost of the comics down.

The publisher has opened up a printing partnership program lowering the barrier for creators to get print copies of their comics. Minimum runs start at 500 issues for a 32 page full-color comic which is 50 cents per issue, plus shipping, plus a flat prepress charge of $50. With an estimated of shipping at $20 per box via UPS in the United States, that’d come out to be about $0.80 an issue for a 32 page full-color comic. The higher the print run, the cheaper the per unit cost. 1,500 full-color 32 page comics would run about $0.59 per issue.

The industry is wide open for a disruption to the printing process and it looks like Alterna sees the opportunity. Could this be an alternative for indie creators? Will Amazon’s print on demand fill the gap?

Alterna’s program is set to launch at the end of August and you can find more information at their website.

SDCC 2018: Terror Films Acquires Alterna’s The Chair

Terror Films has acquired The Chair for distribution to streaming on demand and video on demand services. The film follows the plot of the Alterna Comics psychological horror comic book created and written by Peter Simeti with art by Kevin Christensen.

In both the film and the comic book, a man named Richard Sullivan struggles to escape a grisly fate on death row in this intense story of betrayal, revenge, and humanity’s horrifying capacity for evil.  The film features an ensemble cast featuring indie horror icon Bill Oberst Jr., Zach Galligan (Gremlins), Naomi Grossman (American Horror Story), Noah Hathaway (The Neverending Story), Ezra Buzzington (The Hills Have Eyes), and most notably –the late Roddy Piper in his final feature film role before he passed away on July 31, 2015.

Alterna Comics’ Releases in June and July 2018

June 2018


(W) Peter Simeti, Troy Vevasis, Ben Slabak, Jeremy Massie, Stephanie Cannon, Various
(A) Michael Oppenheimer, Aleksandar Jovic, Salo Farias, Jeremy Massie, Various
(CA) Eli Powell
$1.99, 56 pgs, Horror/Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Full Color, Newsprint Interior

Focusing on horror, sci-fi, and fantasy – this bi-monthly ongoing double-sized anthology features the best and brightest up-and-coming creators. Each issue features stunning cover art, interviews, ongoing stories, a comic contest, and previews of upcoming Alterna titles. And the best part? It comes out on a Wednesday, of course.


(W) Chip Reece
(A) Kelly Williams
(L) Peter Simeti
$1.50, 32 pgs, Superhero Sci-Fi, Full Color, Newsprint Interior

The ground-breaking graphic novel makes its single issue debut! Ollie, a boy with Down syndrome, wants to be just like his superhero dad. Unfortunately for Ollie, his father doesn’t want him to get in harm’s way. Enter Meta-Makers, a company that gives people super powers – but at what cost?

THE XII #3 of 5

(W) Patrick Trahey
(A) Luis Suarez
(C) Peter Simeti
(L) Magnus, Peter Simeti
$1.50, 32 pgs, Post-Apocalyptic Action, Full Color, Newsprint Interior

After going alone to scout the Sacred City, Caleb returns to find his son has gone missing. Fearing that his worst nightmare has come true, Caleb comes to the harsh realization that this whole ordeal might be his own fault.

SONITUS #3 of 3

(W) Cody Sousa, Dan Sheppard
(A) Cecilia Lo Valvo
(C) Dee Cunniffe
(L) Dezi Sienty
$1.50, 32 pgs, Supernatural Horror, Full Color, Newsprint Interior

Ben’s journey through the house nears an end as he finally reaches the attic. But will the horrifying truth bring him closure and peace or will this never-ending nightmare continue to ravage his mind?


(W) Eric Borden
(A) Dave Mims
(L) Spike O’Laochdha
$1.50, 32 pgs, Post-Apocalyptic Action, Full Color, Newsprint Interior

The hallucinatory effects of the Tanto octopus put Hans in great danger during his final showdown with Danny Yuda and Mr. Song. The bloody aftermath sets the crew off in a new direction.


(W) Terry Mayo
(A) Lucas Romero
(C) Chris Hall
(L) Brandon DeStefano
$1.50, 40 pgs, Post-Apocalyptic Action, Full Color, Newsprint Interior

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. The end is nigh! In this 40-page finale, Lucas fights for everything he holds dear. But with ungodly odds against him, will he live to see a better tomorrow for him and his brothers?


(W) Justin M. Ryan
(A) Kristian Rossi
(L) DC Hopkins
$9.95, 96 pgs, Sci-Fi Thriller, Full Color

After a devastating war ruins the air and food supply for most of the world, Hector and his daughter Maria struggle to survive. But when a strange visitor crash lands in the forest near their home, Hector will go to unspeakable lengths to protect his child.

July 2018


(W) Eric Borden
(A) Dave Mims
(L) Spike O’Laochdha
$9.95, 120 pgs, Post-Apocalyptic Action, Full Color

Three factions go to war over a genetically enhanced (and incredibly valuable) octopus. The crew of the Runaway Horse are bound for Nagasaki, ultimately putting them on a collision course with the merciless cut-throat Danny Yuda and, even worse, the Tanto corporation’s head of security, Mr. Song.

EDEN #1 of 4

(W/A) Eric Henson
(C) Michael Babinski
(I) Stephen Downer
(L) Robert Doan
$1.50, 32 pgs, Supernatural Horror, Full Color, Newsprint Interior

2714. The Earth has been conquered by a brutal alien race. Our only hope is a team of unlikely heroes, led by the planet’s most formidable warrior, Brigadier General Neriah Willis. The utopian world of Eden offers refuge, but our heroes quickly discover something far more sinister is at play.

CYKO KO! #1 of 3

(W/A) Rob Feldman
(L) Peter Simeti, Rob Feldman
$1.50, 32 pgs, Superhero/Humor, Full Color, Newsprint Interior

SuperEarth’s greatest hero is here! Cyko KO is the fourth-wall breakin’, pinball-addicted, motorcycle-ridin’ hero you’ve been waiting for! When Cuda Cano (Cyko’s oldest rival) challenges Cyko to a “friendly” surf off, he just can’t resist. But with a remote control giant squid at his disposal, Cuda’s playing for keeps!


(W) David Lucarelli
(A) Henry Ponciano
(L) HdE
$1.50, 32 pgs, Crime/Action/Noir, Full Color, Newsprint Interior

Abigail discovers an unexpected side to Tinseltown when she confronts a child abuser and catches hell for it. Quickly learning that the longer she works at Utopia Studios, the more secrets she has to keep, Abigail crosses paths with an old friend who has a few secrets of their own.


(W/A) Patrick Mulholland
$1.50, 32 pgs, Sci-Fi Action, Full Color, Newsprint Interior

Juno finds herself back on Earth, but nothing’s as it seems. Tormented by a world full of living nightmares, Juno must overcome her most painful memories if she hopes to escape the clutches of The Scion.

Review: Zero Jumper #1

zero jumper 1The first of a four issue miniseries under Alterna Comics Bring Back Newsprint movement which sees comics printed, funnily enough, on newsprint paper, Zero Jumper #1 is written and drawn by Patrick Holland. Being of the science fiction persuasion, Zero Jumper wouldn’t ordinarily be on my radar, but there was something about the comic that sung to me when I saw Holland’s tweet asking for reviews. Beyond a very brief description that ultimately boiled down to just the genre I knew next to nothing about the story going in, and as such I won’t step too far into what the story is actually about as that will rob you of the sense of discovery and wonder that this story will inspire within you. 

Holland’s story is really enjoyable; he gives you just enough so that you know there is a much richer and deeper lore just beneath the surface. It isn’t hidden – you just haven’t found it yet. Artistically I can’t find any fault. The colours pop and the comic feels like a sequential burst of visual stimulation that melds with the story in a way that only comics written and drawn by the same person is able to accomplish.

Zero Jumper #1 is a wonderful comic, and is an absolute must buy. It doesn’t hurt that the comic is under Alterna’s newsprint banner and will only cost $1.50, at which price you should be checking it out regardless. But even at twice the price, this comic is still worth a spot on your pull list.

Story: Patrick Holland Art: Patrick Holland
Story: 8.1 Art: 8.9 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Alterna Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

Oh, the preview text that I read after reading the comic is really cool. I thought you’d appreciate it if you’re not sold on this book.

“An ancient power source that can manipulate space and time is buried deep on a barren world and Juno, the last human, must embark on a dangerous journey to find it. Her mission is simple: go back in time and save humanity from extinction. The cost? Her life.”

Review: Sonitus #1

SONITUS#1_RGBSonitus #1 is the first issue in a three part miniseries published by Alterna Comics as part of their newsprint initiative. Retailing at $1.50 an issue, you’ll be able to pick up the entire series for less than $5 – which is a steal of a price no matter where you look. Sonitus #1 kicks off a story that’s steeped in supernatural creepiness almost right from the get go as the lead wanders around an empty and potentially haunted house. And honestly, that’s really the gist of what physically happens in the issue. However, Cody Sousa and Dan Sheppard weave a deep and soul crunching internal monologue as Cecelia Lo Valvo and Dee Cuniff drench the pages in an atmosphere so thick you can taste it.

I’ve read this twice since starting this review, and I can honestly tell you that it gets better with each read through. The layers to the comic are nuanced and reveal themselves to you the more time you spend within the pages of the comic and walls of the decrepit house. Beneath the dark, horror like exterior is a man having a nostalgic moment for times gone by, providing an endearing dichotomy to the sense of foreboding from the comic.

Sonitus #1, being only $1.50, is well worth buying. It’s not often you can get a comic for this price that’s this reasonable, which almost makes the purchase worth it alone, but when the $1.50 comic is as good as Sonitus #1 is then there is absolutely no reason for you not to buy this. A must read regardless of your genre of choice.

Story: Cody Sousa and Dan Sheppard
Art: Cecelia Lo Valvo Colourist: Dee Cuniff Letterer: Dezi Sienty
Story: 8.8 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.65 Recommendation: Buy

Alterna Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Alterna Comics’ Releases in May 2018

GO WEST #3 of 3

(W) Garrett Gunn
(A) Saint Yak, Sean Forney
(L) HdE
$1.50, 32 pgs, Action/Western, Full Color, Newsprint Interior
In Shops: May 30, 2018

With the help of old allies, Slade and Lillian lead an all-out assault on Creep and his men. Unfortunately for them, Creep fights dirty.


(W/L) Jordan Hart
(A) Emmanuel Xerx Javier
$1.50, 32 pgs, Horror, Full Color, Newsprint Interior
In Shops: May 30, 2018

The end is here and Death is knocking on Dennis’ door. One thing is certain, someone’s going to be dead by the end of this issue. This jaw-dropping conclusion is so shocking that it’ll leave you seeing double!


(W) David Lucarelli
(A) Henry Ponciano
(L) HdE
$1.50, 32 pgs, Action/Drama, Full Color, Newsprint Interior
In Shops: May 30, 2018

Abigail’s first day proves to be a matter of life and death as she finds out that a movie studio after dark can be filled with real danger! Tinseltown is perfect for fans of crime noir stories filled with action and mystery!


(W/A/L) Patrick Mulholland
$1.50, 32 pgs, Sci-Fi Thriller, Full Color, Newsprint Interior
In Shops: May 30, 2018

Juno’s quest for the crystal leads her to an abandoned city, but she is not alone. Word has traveled fast and others are tracking her down in an attempt to end her mission – and her life.


(W) Matthew David Smith
(A/L) Jeremy Massie
(C) Christine Brunson
$9.95, 136 pgs, Superhero, Full Color, Graphic Novel
In Shops: May 2, 2018

Stuck in a world of super-powered heroes and villains, three friends will have to figure out how to save the day and get back home in one piece. Amazing Age is a poignant coming-of-age story with all the action and drama you’d expect from a larger-than-life superhero tale.

Alex’s Best Of 2017

Now that 2017 is in the history books, it’s time to have a look back at some of the comics, movies and events that really stood out for me. These comics were all released this year, and in the case of a limited series if had at least two issues released this year (if a mini series began late this year but is scheduled to end in 2018, then expect to find it on next years list – if it’s any good). Remember that this is all based on what I’ve read, and if your favourite comic isn’t here, it may be because I may not have read it, not because I didn’t like it.

First up there’ll be your standard Best Of categories of Ongoing Series, Mini/One Shot, Single Issue, Writer, Artist, and Colourist. However, you’ll notice that the word “best” isn’t used, and that’s because I didn’t read everything this year – so I’ve gone with my favourites and subsequently awarded each at least one of either a Gold, Silver and Bronze medal.

Favourite Ongoing Series

The reason this is first is because honestly this was the easiest category to decide on as there really wasn’t a choice when it came to my most anticipated comic each month.

Bloodshot Salvation (Valiant) 
An absolutely gorgeously rendered series by Lewi Larosa and Mico Suayan, Bloodshot Salvation follows on from Jeff Lemire’s excellent Bloodshot Reborn series, with the writer being able to continue the story (after a bit of a time jump) while making the first issue very accessible for new readers looking to jump into one of Valiant’s flagship series.  The reason I picked this series is because of how excited I am to read every issue; the themes may be deeper and more intricate in some of the other series I’ve been reading, but there is no other series I look forward to reading as much as this one when it arrives in my inbox (and then once again when I get to pick up the physical copy).

Aquaman (DC) Had you asked me last year what would be on this list, I’d never have said that Aquaman would even be in consideration… but here we are. A series about inherited obligation, predetermined destiny and the usurpation of a king and his subsequent realization that he wasn’t the best king for Atlantis. So when Arthur Curry finds himself fighting for those far less fortunate than himself it creates a very interesting situation where Arthur Curry refuses to acknowledge his former identity, and has become the Batman of Atlantis; the Aquaman. The king is dead, long live the Aquaman.

Ninja-K (Valiant) 
I wasn’t going to include this here because only two issues came out this year, but those two issues were phenomenal. Had there been more to read in 2017, I have no doubt this would have taken the gold. With no real prior knowledge of the character required to enjoy this, there’s no reason for you not to dive right in to this stylish action thriller starring everybody’s favourite British ninja spy.


Favourite Limited Series or One Shot 

There were so many great miniseries released this year, that it hurt me to only choose three. Alterna had some wonderful series, as did Image and Valiant, but in the end I had to settle on just three, and so I went with three shining examples of comics in 2017.

Secret Weapons (Valiant) 
It’s no secret I enjoy Valiant’s comics, or at least it shouldn’t be. So when they put out a series based around a group of super powered rejects with powers that are effectively useless, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it wouldn’t work. And then you’d read it just to see the train wreck only to discover one of the year’s standout offerings. The second issue alone has a Sikh character, also with minor super powers, noticing people pointing at him and speaking in hushed whispers as he is attending class. Worried that people are mistaking him for a Muslim, and by extension a possible terrorist, he keeps his head down and leaves, only to be confronted by three thugs who don’t care about his appearance, only that he has powers. It’s a tense, and incredibly well written sequence that highlights just how much the creative team have to say. It’s a prime example of comics at their very best.

Voracious: Feeding Time (Action Lab) 
I could tell you so many reasons why you should read this emotional tale about a time traveling chef who hunts dinosaurs, whether it’s Markisan Naso’s fantastic dialogue or the wonderful artwork by Jason Muhr and colourist Andrei Tabacaru. I could tell you that comics like this are the reason you should pay attention to indie comics publishers, because if you don’t you’ll be missing out on some of the best stories  the year. But I won’t; instead, once again, I’ll tell you tell you all the reasons why you shouldn’t  read this:

God Country (Image) A man suffering from Alzheimer’s becomes a god when he holds Valofax, the god of swords. The first issue of this series deals with the heartbreaking  reality of watching a loved one suffering with this horrible disease, before adding in a dose of space gods. The familial theme never leaves this series, regardless of the setting, grounding this galaxy spanning story remarkably well.

Favourite Single Issue

The top spot was never in question for me here, but the other two issues could have easily have been different if I was in a different mood when I wrote this. There were so many wonderful comics released this year that choosing only three was, once again, painful.

Voracious FT 3.jpgGold
Voracious: Feeding Time #3 (Action Lab) 
This issue set the bar very early in the year. The series was continually, and consistently, of a high quality in every aspect every issue, but it’s the third that was the high point with a superb interview sequence interspersed with one of the greatest two page spreads of the year, only to culminate in perhaps the most emotional scene in any comic as one character talks to another about  his fears that due to the altered timeline he may forget his wife ever existed. Without the context of the preceding issues, one would that the emotional impact of the scene would be lost. I assure you, it isn’t.

Batman #36 (DC) When Tom King is good, he’s really good. This issue sees him at his very best as he explores the friendship between Bruce and Clark and the admiration each feels for the other in an oddly touching way with each man talking to his significant other, who also show just how much they understand their husband or fiance. The action is almost secondary to the characterization – and I’m very okay with that.

Ninja-K #1 (Valiant)
 What better way to start a new series about the history of MI6’s Ninja Programme than with a brief history taking up half an issue that doesn’t feel like a recapNinja-K #1 immerses you into its world with an effortless grace such as that you’d expect from the title character. As an introduction to the character, this is fantastic. Christos Gage doesn’t try to throw out the previous run, instead he briefly acknowledges that it happened in a way that doesn’t alienate new readers before plunging on with story itself. One of the very best first issues this year.


Favourite Writer

Three writers who produced the best comics of 2017, hands down.

Matt Kindt
Everything that Matt Kindt touched this year was a winner for me. I don’t think he penned anything less than a good issue in 2017, and his output reads like a recommendation list for getting people into comics. If you want to read a good comic, then grab anything by Matt Kindt. He will take you on an incredible journey no matter where you’re going.

Jeff Lemire
Another writer with a stellar output this year, the only reason Lemire landed in Silver was that I just didn’t click with his run on Moon Knight. But plenty of people did, and the comic was very well received; it just wasn’t for me. That said, the work he did for Valiant this year was second to none, as was Black Hammer for Dark Horse. Honestly, Moon Knight aside, I loved everything Lemire put out this year (that I read).

Markisan Naso
He may not have been as prolific as other writers in comics this year, but he wrote the best issue I read all year. Pound for pound, he was the best writer in comics in 2017, and I can’t wait to see what he has in store for us for 2018.

Favourite Artist

Art is always subjective, but the following artists were, in my opinion, three of the very best. Next year, I may move away from the gold/silver/bronze because choosing only three sucks.

Lewis Larosa
I… look I can’t tell you how amazing Larosa’s work has been this year, so I’ll show you a random page as an example. And when I say random, I took the first result of a “Lewis Larosa 2017” google search that was big enough to highlight what I needed.larosa 2017.jpg

Raul Allen & Patricia Martin
Their work on Secret Weapons alone earns them a spot on this list with a deliciously classic style and some incredible use of the page layout and the pacing of each issue they draw. This style is best experienced within a full comic, but there’s an example below.SW_002_004.jpg

Mico Suayan 
Yet another incredible artist to whom words won’t do justice. Another random page, because everything Suayan touches is incredible.


Publisher Of The Year

Valiant Entertainment 
In terms of output, there was maybe three comics Valiant VALIANT LOGOpublished this year that I didn’t love; they were still good, but weren’t ever candidates for this list. That’s three issues out of their entire line. On top of giving us the phenomenal Secret WeaponsNinja-K‘s stratospheric debut and two other incredibly solid titles in Bloodshot: Salvation and the relaunched X-O Manowar the publisher also made headlines with their tongue in cheek homage to the mid 90’s with the Quantum & Woody #1 variants, the number of which is mind boggling. Including a single issue second printing that made $1600 or so for the CBLDF. When I asked Valiant CEO Dinesh Shamdasani about that, he said that there were no spares created in case the second printing got damaged – had that happened then Valiant would have incurred costs to print another comic. This is a company run by people who are in it for the comics and the fans (and to make a buck), as is evidenced by the activity of Mr. Shamdasani and the Valiant staff on twitter with fans. Valiant genuinely seems to care about putting out quality over quantity.

Alterna Comics With a concerted effort to bring comics back to the masses, Alterna launched their newsprint line with prices topping out at $1.50. That’s all well and good, but if the comics aren’t any good, then they’re just selling kindling; fortunately, Alterna’s range of comics and miniseries were some of the most entertaining issues I read all year. You want stuff for an all-ages audience? Check. You want a creepy horror themed story? You’re in luck. Post apocalyptic survival? Yup. If you  committed to Alterna this year then aside from saving your wallet a beating, you would have read some fantastic stories at an amazing price point.

Self Publishers No matter who you are, if you’ve decided to self publish your comics this year, then I tip my hat to you. I can only imagine the dedication it takes to ensure your story gets out to the public – whether that’s digitally or in print.

Movie Of The Year*

Hugh Jackman’s last hurrah as the Canadian mutant was better than I ever could have imagined. Not only was this movie my favourite of the year, but it’s probably my favourite movie of all time. I’m a huge Wolverine fan, and this was a perfect homage to the character without being bogged down by continuity or an attempt to follow a preexisting comic story to the letter. Everything about this movie was excellent; the acting, the story, the action and the finale. I couldn’t have asked for a better movie.

*for a list of my top five movies, check out an upcoming episode of Those Two Geeks.


The Moment That Had Me Grinning Ear To Ear

  • The release of Batman & Bill on Hulu. An incredible look at the crusade of Marc Tyler Nobleman to give Bill Finger, the co-creator of Batman, the credit he deserves after Bob Kane screwed him over more than 75 years ago. This heartbreaking documentary is powerful watching, and is a must for any fan of comics.



Well there we have it; a look back at some of the best comics that I read over the year. Agree, or disagree? Let me know!

Alterna Comics’ Releases in March 2018

GO WEST #2 of 3

(W) Garrett Gunn
(A) Saint Yak, Sean Forney
(L) HdE
$1.50, 32 pgs, Action/Western, Full Color, Newsprint Interior

The Blade is Back…! Slade’s bloody journey of revenge leads him to “Lost Vegas” where he hopes to enlist the unlikely help of the deadliest woman in the Western Territories.


(W/L) Jordan Hart
(A) Emmanuel Xerx Javier
$1.50, 32 pgs, Horror, Full Color, Newsprint Interior

Time’s running out and nothing’s going right for Dennis. For his doppelganger, it’s just business as usual — but for Dennis, the stakes couldn’t be higher. In a moment of panic, Dennis does something extreme — but does he have the courage to follow it through to the end?


(W) David Lucarelli
(A) Henry Ponciano
(L) HdE
$1.50, 32 pgs, Action/Drama, Full Color, Newsprint Interior

In 1915, Abigail Moore became one of the first female police officers in Hollywood. But beneath the glamorous surface of Tinseltown beats a rotten heart full of corruption, greed, and lies, and Abigail’s about to dive head-first into all of it.


(W/A/L) Patrick Mulholland
$1.50, 32 pgs, Sci-Fi Thriller, Full Color, Newsprint Interior

An ancient power source that can manipulate space and time is buried deep on a barren world and Juno, the last human, must embark on a dangerous journey to find it. Her mission is simple: go back in time and save humanity from extinction. The cost? Her life.

Metaphase, a Graphic Novel Featuring the World’s First Superhero with Down syndrome, Goes Back to Print

Alterna Comics has announced that the Metaphase graphic novel by Chip Reece, Kelly Williams, and Peter Simeti, has sold out and is going back to print to fill a surge in demand.

Metaphase, originally created in 2014 and published in 2015, tells the story of Ollie, a boy with Down syndrome, that wants to be just like his superhero dad.  When a disingenuous company known as Meta-Makers promises to turn anyone into a superhero, Ollie signs up, and is turned into one of the most powerful heroes the world has ever known — but at what cost?

Inspired by his son Ollie, who has Down syndrome, Chip Reece created a superhero story that is both unique and inclusive.

Simeti in the announcement said:

Metaphase is a prime example of how important comic books and graphic novels are.  The heart of the story is a universal one, it’s about wanting to achieve something and do something important with your life, we all have hopes, dreams, and aspirations — everyone’s had obstacles in their life — but it’s what you do to overcome those obstacles; that’s what makes a hero.  In the story, and in real life, Ollie is a hero.

Metaphase can still be found at various bookstores and comic shops throughout the world, though most are sold out at this point.  For online shoppers, the title can be back-ordered on Amazon and the site expects to have copies ready to send out over the next two weeks.


With More People Trade-Waiting More Often, What Can Publishers Do To Encourage A Return To Floppies?

The comics industry isn’t what it was in it’s heyday – but then you knew that. Gone are the days where single issues were the primary way in which we read our comics; indeed as I write this, the next thing I intend to read is a hardcover collection. With a growing number of people forgoing floppies in favour of trades, one has to wonder what a publisher can do to encourage people to return to buying the individual floppies instead of trade waiting. Below you’ll find a few ideas that I think are actually viable (whether they’re good or not, I leave to you).

alterna newsprint.png

  • Reduce the price of the floppies. Yeah, it’s obvious. No it likely won’t happen…. unless publishers follow Alterna’s example and return to newsprint comics. Alterna have proven that a $1.50 price point for newsprint comics is a sustainable price point, and from the buzz I’ve been hearing, it would seem that the price point has done wonders in pulling new customers into the Alterna fold.
  • Don’t collect every possible comic into a trade paperback. If there’s a couple of one-shot stories in the series, then leave them out of the inevitable trade; reward those buying the floppies with a little extra content that you’d be producing anyway.

valiant preorder

  • Include content that won’t be found elsewhere. Whether this is going to be something along the lines of a short interview with the creators, or a few pages that show the progress of a page from pencils to inks to a fully coloured piece of art; adding a few pages to the comic with something simple such as this is going to be appreciated. A great example of this is Valiant’s Pre-Order editions are a prime example of this; a large number of people (I don’t have exact numbers) went the pre-order route which gave them bonus content that wasn’t in the regular comic – and won’t be found elsewhere.

digital comics.jpg

  • A different digital comic! Not a digital copy of the comic you’ve just brought, because, frankly why do you want a copy of the same comic, but rather a digital version of an earlier trade that’s slightly related to the story at hand. You’re reading Old Man Logan? How about the first two issues of Origin? If done digitally then there’s really no cost to the publisher (assuming the has already adopted a digital distribution model), and it could encourage folks to delve into some stories they might not have read. The downside is that there’s a decent chance the reader has already read the free bonus – but it’s still free.
  • Give away a free digital thing. Rather than a digital comic that some of the audience may have read, how about an exclusive wallpaper for your phone, computer or iPad.

Absolutely not the kind of coupon I mean.

  • Coupons! Not the physical kind you clip from a comic that are the bane of a collector’s existence, but a single use code that you enter on the publisher’s site in order to unlock a free comic/merch item after you’ve brought a certain number of them. This could be anything from accruing points to redeem against a publisher’s online store, or even unlocking a bonus Annual or Zero issue that will add to the enjoyment of a future series. The hidden benefit of this for publishers is that they’d be able to gather some valuable data on who reads their comics, and depending on if it’s a physical reward, where and by whom their comics are being read.

Obviously some of the benefits of reading trades will never fully be overcome by floppies. The ability to get a full story in one sitting without waiting weeks in between issues is always a benefit, but the way the deluxe hardcovers look on the shelf is also a plus over the stacks of long boxes – and those hardcovers are much easier to reread with the added long box navigation.

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