This past summer BOOM! Studios promoted two of its new ongoing series, Elric and Planet of the Apes, with dedicated websites that included, among other things, brand new content in the form of webcomics. The Elric site had a new 10-page story, while Planet of the Apes had a "prequel" story for the big blockbuster movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
And now BOOM! is launching another microsite that, appropriately enough, brings Dracula: The Company of Monsters back from the dead. BOOM! put a stake in the series with issue #12, but just like the title character it seems you can't keep it down. In a press release BOOM! said they plan to serialize the print comic first and eventually will post new material. They also plan to include commentary from the series' creators, which include writers Kurt Busiek and Daryl Gregory, and artists Scott Godlewski and Damian Couceiro. And they have a web store set up so you can go from reading to buying with a click.
It's an interesting approach for the company, taking a print comic that didn't work out for them and posting it for free on the web. It's a model that worked well for Phil and Kaja Foglio's Girl Genius, which started out in print, then moved to the web and does well in trade collections. And it's a good test case scenario for the company, as they've already got two Dracula trades in print that they can drive people to buy right away after sampling the free webcomic. Added to that, it's a great series by some talented folks, so I'll be interested to see how it does.