My God, two posts in a week. I'm trying to get back up to three, so let's all cross our fingers for Friday. But for now, the first installment of Digital Comics Wednesday. Because Wednesday is New Comics Day.
Today, there's a new installment of Mark Waid and Peter Krouse's Insufferable up on our digital comics website THRILLBENT. We're in Week 13 of the soft launch, slightly extended by Waid's convention schedule and my shooting the finale of the TV show Leverage. (Damn showrunner day job.)
So for 13 straight weeks, installment-based digital comics, 8-10 screens a pop, with both CBZ and PSF files of each installment offered for free.
We 're pretty happy with how this is turning out artistically -- this was the test format, and the test format is working well. It's long-form comic storytelling hacked down to a screen-centric style and pulp pacing, all running on the engine of the 3-panel gag schedule the Webcomics guys were proving worked ten years ago and nobody in the published comics field was paying any attention. It wobbles a bit when you put her in fourth gear, but she's steady enough. Now it's time, as Mark mentioned at Comic-con and in his recent interviews, to actually roll the bastard out on to the highway.
I feel strongly that one of the main reason the Leverage fans are so devoted is that we had a core of enthusiasts from the first days, before we even aired, who dug in on the behind the scenes material. So as I develop my title, Arcanum, I'll try to keep you in the loop as well as I can without spoiling anything.
On the THRILLBENT front, you'll start to see other titles -- some short-form, some long form serials -- appearing on the site in September. Hopefully we'll get some stuff up in late August, but we have an ironclad rule at THRILLBENT: your stuff does not "air" until you have at least two months of strips backlogged. We are asking people to show up every week, we must deliver unto their eyeballs content. We're driving some nice traffic right now, and the idea is that the titles will begin to reinforce each other and the topsite. There should be new content every day. Waid's Insufferable will be Wednesdays. Arcanum may well be Fridays, etc.
I think, after another meeting we have tomorrow, Mark will put up the official list of upcoming titles, plus dropping some names of people in development.
On Arcanum: I have a great artist, and as soon as we've finished the business side of things I'll announce. Waid himself expressed a little puzzlement over the premise, so I'll lay it out again -- It's 24, with magic. But to tell the truth, it's a little bit more -- the inspirational font is actually the mod-trippy 70's British 70's show UFO.
Well, that and the ass-kicking Brit show Ultraviolet, about the secret (and cranky) police squad hunting very smart, very evil vampires. And yes, that is a young Idris Elba. You're welcome.
So Arcanum is less straight-up urban fantasy, and more conspiracy-based. It'll wind up being a quirky little team book, as most of my work tends to be. We'll see how soon we can roll out some art for you.
That's this week's update. Next week we'll probably talk about some of our hare-brained monetization schemes (including the app, and the joy of the Apple application process). In the meantime, let me recommend a fine digital comic over on Comixology right now, by indie publisher Monkeybrain -- Wander by Kevin Church and Grace Allison. A modern hipster chick, in my head played by Aubrey Plaza, is tossed into a high fantasy world with two very unreliable protectors. I like the clean art, and there are some interesting hints that the storytelling may soon get very meta, indeed.
In the Comments -- toss me your favorite longform indie webcomics or digital books, so I can take a look and pass along the news!