Slave Labor Graphics has announced that they will forego the traditional comic book format for new serialized comics and only distribute them as digital downloads.
As costs increase for lower print run titles, smaller publishers are looking for different business models in order to stay competitive in today’s marketplace. Slave Labor seems to have taken a bold move in that area. We wish them luck in the new digital future.
San Jose, CA – 9/19/2011 – San Jose based comic book publisher SLG Publishing is embracing digital distribution of its titles and switching the company’s model for comic book series to a digital first distribution policy. "The market has been pushing us away from serialized comics and more towards books and graphic novels for some time" said SLG president and publisher Dan Vado "However it is difficult to publish a 200 page graphic novel from an unknown artist without having some sort of lower-cost entry point like a comic book series to help build an audience, so going digital first seems like a good way to introduce readers to new creators and build an audience which we can build on for potential book releases."
SLG digital releases will be available in a number of formats and places. From it’s own website SLG comics will be available in .PDF, .CBZ and ePub format "Our ePub files have been formatted to look best on an iPad using iBooks" pointed out Vado " but they should look good on whatever you like to read ebooks on". In addition to selling from their own website new SLG releases will also be available at the iTunes store for readers with iOS devices who prefer the convenience of purchasing media inside the iBooks application. Nook and Nook Color owners will also be able to purchase books for those devices through BN.COM
This is in addition to SLG’s current digital distribution through app based stores like Comixology and iVerse "People like to consume in ways they are familiar and comfortable with, it’s not my intention to try and force our readers or new readers to have limited choices in terms of digital consumption. SLG has always maintained a strategy and policy of keeping it’s products in as many venues as will have them and that will extend into the digital world."
SLG has already begun serializing two series which would have originally gone to print; Sanctuary by Stephan Coughlin, described by the publisher as The Jungle Book crossed with Lost, tells the story of a mysterious island research facility and the animals and humans who live on it. Also being distributed digitally is Monstrosis by Chris Wisnia which is a follow-up to last years quirky humor/adventure comic Doris Danger: Giant Monster Adventures. Both titles are available at the SLG Publishing digital store as well as iTunes and BN.COM. The first issue of each series is a free download at both the publisher’s site as well as the iTunes store, each subsequent issue is 99¢.
Upcoming series to see digital first releases include Snow White:Through A Glass, Darkly by Van Jensen and Robin Holestein: Knights of the Living Dead (a zombie story set in the time of King Arthurs Round Table) By Dustin Higgins and Ron Wolfe and Peabody & D’Gorath by M.D Penman.
Vado admits that the current market for digital is minuscule but also points out that so was the market for digital books at one time and that now all reports are that eBooks are outselling physical books "Digital has the virtue of being a great way to market and see if new creators and concepts can gain any traction and also has the potential to be a real growth area for the medium."
SLG digital comics can be found at the following places
www.slgcomic.com/eyemelt – it’s own website
BN.COM -(For Nook and Nook Color)
SLG Publishing is the San Jose, CA based comic book publisher is celebrating its 25th year and best known for being the publisher of Johnny the Homicidal Maniac by Jhonen Vasquez. In addition to Vasquez, SLG has been the initial stepping-stone for many popular cartoonists including Roman Dirge and Evan Dorkin.
– The Comic Book Critic