Last year, there was a kind of proto-Extreme relaunch with Mark Poulton and Owen Gieni recreating the Rob Liefeld character Avengelyne for Image Comics.
Well, inspired by Jim Zubavich‘s free online serialised experiment with Makeshift Miracle, Owen Gieni worked out a deal with Rob Liefeld to serialize issues of Avengelyne daily via Keenspot, while pointing towards the comiXology page for digital issues and Amazon page for their trade paperback:
Four weeks in, they hit half a million page views. Six weeks out, they’ve hit a million. Amazon sales have gone up, as has their ComiXology traffic.
And now Jim Zub is doing the same with his Skullkickers work, serialising old issues, a page a day, for free online. He tells Bleeding Cool;
Our Skullkickers back issues are almost all sold out. Torrents of our issues are always running out of control. What’s the harm of serializing material that’s over a year old? Our current audience is limited by our print runs, retailer orders, visibility on comic store shelves. What’s the limit for an online audience? How easy is it now to “lend” an issue of Skullkickers to everyone you know by just posting the link to our comic site?
Every week day we post a page of Skullkickers and our new online readers can clearly see that they can get caught up by buying digital issues or the trade paperback. It’s right there. They can keep reading for free, day by day slowly but surely, or they can dive in and catch up any time they’re ready.
They may be casual browsers to start, but the more they read and the longer they become attached to the material, day by day as our archive and reach grows, I think we’ll break down their resolve. Even if we don’t, the ad banner views build up pennies into dollars and they’ve contributed a tiny part to helping pay for new Skullkickers comic down the road.
Three days in with almost no promotion and we have 50,000+ pageviews. I’d say we’re off to a great start.
Pretty spiffy, eh?
Pretty spiffy indeed, Jim, let me see if Bleeding Cool can help bump that along.