The print-versus-digital debate has been around since the inception of tablets and e-readers, with one of the biggest aspects of the debate revolving around pricing — but apparently, it doesn’t concern Image Comics partner Marc Silvestri as he intends to resurrect “Cyber Force” this October in digital and print free of charge. In an interview with The L.A. Times Hero Complex, Silvestri revealed that he intends to use Kickstarter to launch the new ongoing series, but then every subsequent issue — both in digital and in print — will be provided completely free of charge.
“We want to use [Kickstarter’s] crowd-sourced funding in typical Top Cow fashion, meaning differently,” Silvestri told Hero Complex. “While most everybody uses Kickstarter to fund a project in order to build it and then sell it, we at Top Cow are going to use the funds to build ‘Cyber Force’ and give it away — for free! Plus we’re not talking just one issue but five full issues of the comic. And it won’t be free just digitally, but also as a full-color printed comic that will be available at any participating comic shop. So for people that want to read ‘Cyber Force’ digitally — yes, including torrent sites — it’s free. And for anyone wanting to hold a traditional comic in their hands to read it — it’s still free.Â We figure this is a great way to reward loyal comic fans plus get new people to get onboard reading comics and see what they’ve been missing. Plus it allows fans to actually get involved in the comic making process and be part of something truly groundbreaking that will help all of us that love the genre.”
Although Silvestri and Top Cow aren’t the first high-profile creators to provide their digital books free of charge in a DRM-free format (Mark Waid currently offers each installment of his Thrillbent webcomic “Insufferable” in downloadable PDF and CBZ formats), a free print version of all five issues in addition to a free digital copy is certainly unique. Silvestri will serve as co-writer (alongside Top Cow President Matt Hawkins), art director and cover artist for the series with Khoi Pham on interior art.
“Cyber Force” launches in October from Top Cow