A few months ago I linked to Brian Wood’s post on how comic creators were caught in the cross-fire between publishers and comic shops over digital publishing sales.
But here’s some more evidence of what Warren Ellis already found out with Freak Angels. Jim Zubkavich, creator of Skullkickers from Image Comics, started serializing his comic online for free. The results:
Good news: Serializing the issues hasn’t negatively affected our sales one bit. Our trade sales through comic and book stores are up, steadily climbing. Making more people aware of the series has made them want the current material more, not less. Quality and good word of mouth is helping build our readership in shops bit by bit.
Better news: At conventions I’m selling a lot more. I’m not twice the sales person I was last year, but I’m selling more than double the number of books since we started serializing online. 9 times out of 10, I’m selling it to people who read the series online. I asked almost every person who came to my table if they’d heard of Skullkickers before. No word of a lie, when they said “yes”, 90% of those folks also said they were reading it online. It shocked me.
(via Comics Worth Reading)
This doesn’t mean, though, that paid digital downloads through tablets wouldn’t cannibalize comic shop sales, but this is indeed good news for creators, publishers and retailers.