The simplicity of putting together a bunch of folks in an online digital comics magazine that echoed the universal appeal of the Sunday pages in the US and the traditional serial comic strip weekly of the British market, but this time could reach thousands of people easily on the net, as opposed to the complexity of trying to achieve that through print, had become very attractive to me. And I knew a lot of great creators who I could ask to join me in such a fresh concept.
The response I got was incredibly heartening from the start – immediate interest and enthusiasm from some of the best in the business. It was energizing for me and my collaborator - the managing editor on the project, ex-Marvel UK editor, Bambos Georgiou - to see the line-up of skill and talent that happily joined us in the project.
One of the main attractions of Aces Weekly to all the creators involved is that they can do 21 pages of whatever they like – something few other publishers they’ve worked with ever offer them! And, because almost everyone I ask to take part is either an industry regular or aiming to be, the kind of work submitted to us on those terms is always solid and rich entertainment – even in the experimental strips that some of our contributors have done for us. Henry Flint’s Catalyst Island, for example, is a great work of art and storytelling that is an unforgettable visual experience. But alongside that we have something you would easily find in the most actionful and popular regular comic book anywhere - Legion Zero, from Kev Hopgood and Ferg Handley, about a secret troop of Roman Soldiers fighting monsters of the supernatural in ancient Britain ( yes, it’s as good as it sounds… ).
And we’re not hidebound by subject or theme – we just tell great stories of all kinds with great comics art. Of course, by the very nature of the fact that all our creators are ‘ of ‘ comics we have the ‘ stuff ‘ of comics always in it - but it’s always such stuff that at its best, because the best of creators are all that I ask to join us!
Since we launched on September 30th we’ve had nothing but praise for the quality and style of what we’re doing, and also for the deal that we offer to our subscribers – up to 30 pages of top-class material from the best in the business for just over a dollar a week! But we’re still not where we plan to be.
We’re at the start of a new journey in this independent online comics market that can be guaranteed to end happily for everyone involved if only the essential needs of both the supplier and the consumer of web-based comics are properly met.
Readers have to recognize that the best creativity has to be paid for, and creators have to accept that producing work online has the benefit of a constant presence on the net – if properly promoted, that is - rather than the transient existence of a month on the shelves of the comic store before departure to a back-issue bin.
After years of being a creator in a medium and industry that I’ve loved working in, with all the great editors and writers I’ve worked with, I’ve been motivated to change from being a creator to a publisher – with all its attendant admin and editing tasks that I’ve discovered are no easy job – because I knew there were thousands of folks out there who wanted the best of comics in digital form for a reasonable price, and that there were great creators out there who wanted to supply them to those folks for a reasonable income.
Aces Weekly is and always will be the best that I have in my power to give to readers from creators who are as dedicated to doing that as I am. And I have never been in any other position in this business that has made me feel more privileged.