Top Cow honcho Marc Silvestri gets what a lot of other publishing folks don’t:
The problem is that once the “genie of convenience” is out of the bottle, not all the lamp-rubbing in the world is gonna get him back in. I pay for all my music, but I’m fully aware that millions don’t, and I’m not going to fool myself into thinking that’s going to change. What it comes down to is that people spend a lot of energy fighting city hall when what really needs to be done is to simply make city hall work for you. The Internet is always going to be a numbers game about eyeballs and piracy versus the increased number of said eyeballs. This is especially true when it comes to entertainment.
So when Silvestri planned the relaunch of the classic 1990s comic Cyber Force, he decided to use Kickstarter to fund it—and then give it away for free, in both print and digital forms. “Even the guys filming our interviews for the Kickstarter campaign were taken by surprise when we got to the free part,” Silvestri told Geoff Boucher of the LA Times Hero Complex blog. Silvestri will write the five-issue miniseries, which will be illustrated by Koi Pham. The project isn’t up on Kickstarter yet, but the comics must be well under way, as Silvestri plans an October launch.
This will be interesting to watch, because the fundamental question will be whether people will be eager enough to be part of the creation of this comic to shell out money for something that will be given away for free. Will Silvestri appeal to their altruistic instincts, or will he offer premiums that non-pledgers can’t get? And will there be a collected edition that folks will be expected to pay for in the near future?That seems to be the way the industry is going, but as Silvestri seems to be determined to not just think outside the box but kick the box to the curb and flatten it, it’s hard to say which way this will go.