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  1.  (11019.1)
    It's BKV and Marcos Martin. It rules faces. No surprises there.

    The distribution system, though, I think is the story. BKV/Martin/Vincente managed to cut out the middleman entirely, with the help of a tech-savvy friend, it looks like. I am beyond psyched to see where this story goes.
  2.  (11019.2)
    Hopefully to a trade paperback. I may be living in the past but it's awfully nice here.
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeMar 20th 2013
    Just downloaded and read it. When I finished processing the idea that

    the Fourth Estate was the insane fusion of journalists and cops

    I actually punched the air out of joy and how cool the idea was. I gave 'em eight bucks, and I plan on a dollar per new issue (and I'm definitely gonna buy the whole series).
  3.  (11019.4)
    I gave them $4 and I thought it was worth it.
  4.  (11019.5)
    Got this, loved it, and will be getting the whole series. It's an interesting model and perhaps only someone like BKV could do - I'm sure there are others out there who could get enough support to do the same.
  5.  (11019.6)

    With respect, I disagree about it being a model only someone of BKV's stature could do. This is bandcamp, but for comics. And not even bandcamp, since bandcamp is a middleman and with Panel Syndicate being a BKV/Martin joint, BKV/Martin are the middleman.
  6.  (11019.7)
    I don't know. Are bands that aren't Radiohead or NIN successful with the "pay what you want" model? I really don't know, I'm actually asking.
  7.  (11019.8)
    @Will: You're getting both barrels. Sorry. This is a thing that's been on my mind.

    We begin.

    What's the definition of successful? Most indie bands people like don't even have a middle class existence and don't make digital sales their only revenue stream.

    Bandcamp isn't a magic money portal, but it's a service that's free to sign up for if you're an artist and tells you its terms outright. (15%, until you make $5,000 and then it drops to 10%. And yes, that does not include the PayPal cut.) Bandcamp isn't going to replace a label that will front you money to record music or draw comics, but once you have music/comics in hand, bandcamp makes it easier to get money for a digital copy.

    Given that Comixology is the major digital player and that's a thing that takes anywhere between 47% and 82.5% (using Jim Zub's numbers), bandcamp is a better deal by orders of magnitude. As to how this applies to comics, the team still needs to make the comic before they sell it and that still requires an upfront investment. But, again, once you have something, you can sell it on the internet with something like bandcamp, but really Panel Syndicate now.

    If an independent comic was going to achieve its goals on Comixology anyway, I can't imagine that team making less on Panel Syndicate (or a like service) than Comixology.

    (Commercial break to remember that PayPal will freeze your account if they see you getting too much money and then take months at a time to unfreeze the account.)

    Back to Panel Syndicate. Say you're, let's say idly, Brian Azzarello. (I use Azzarello because he's recognizable, could in theory be working on something creator owned and most importantly, doesn't visit this board.) The fixed costs of putting together the 100 Bullets team are going to stay the same, or go up with the cost of living. But, if you're not worried about print costs, which add, apparently an entire dollar to the three bucks a reader pays for an issue, it makes the break even point more manageable. Add PayPal and bandwidth costs to this, for a better idea of what it's going to run you.

    As for page rates and how much it's going to cost, I'll let people with knowledge talk, but the endpoint is this: If you're doing a monthly 20 odd page comic, is the team willing to gamble they can pull in anywhere between 5,000-15,000 people at $1.50 an issue on the internet? For a lot of teams, I suspect the answer is no, but for known quantities like the 100 Bullets crew, I imagine it's tempting.


    tl;dr I may be wrong.
  8.  (11019.9)

    What I meant was that someone of BKV's stature could garner the interest in a 'Pay What You Want' model over someone starting out or without the reputation.
  9.  (11019.10)
    @3million - that's kind of what I was getting at. Like Radiohead, BKV is already established. My question was whether or not somebody who had a great book, but who was pretty much unknown, would either be able to make a living or be able to be afford to continue to make the book on the "pay what you want" model. I guess I would say my definition of "successful" would be if the team would able to continue making the book without becoming homeless.
  10.  (11019.11)
    @3mil, @Will

    I think the model itself is the story here and that if it was somebody else the news would be almost as big, but not quite. BKV coming back to comics almost certainly helps with the story's profile. As for whether they'd get traction, I'd bet that they'd get enough money to continue making the comics without becoming homeless, since you need to sell less copies to make the same amount of money than if you went physical/comixology. But again, I could be very wrong.