The Middle Ground #8: Sounds Like A T-Rex Live Under My Hood

I'm kind of fascinated with Boom! Studios' announcement about their new digital comic partnerships. And, by "kind of fascinated," I mean, simultaneously applauding multiple things about the news, and also curious about the details.

Because, well, thank God a reasonably sizable publisher has finally taken the plunge to make their entire back catalog available online - It'll be interesting to see how individual series stack up in terms of sales, and whether new readers will immediately follow, say, Mark Waid from Potter's Field to The Unknown or whatever (They should; both are very strong detective books, albeit with different flavors, from a writer who clearly knows his stuff. And, as an aside, I'd love to see some new Potter's Field someday, please, Mr. Waid), if they're all available at the same time -and the "first half of each first issue of a series as free preview" idea is a stroke of genius, if only because, if a book can't grab you within the first half of its debut, it probably deserves to stay on the digital shelf. And yet... and yet...

Am I the only one who read the press release and wondered if every digital outlet (The Boom! app developed with comiXology, comiXology itself, iVerse, Graphic.ly and Panelfly - who seems to be slipping up by not having an oddly capitalized or punctuated name) will be getting the entire Boom! catalog, or will it be shared amongst the various companies? If so, how does the distribution work, and will the sites be expected - or hoped? - to work together to cross-promote? Will the pricing stay, as announced, at $1.99 for single issues, or will there be some form of discounting, a la iTunes' pricing that makes albums cheaper than buying the songs individually? Will there be discounts for the kids' books that follow the print pricing discount? Will completed series be offered as individual issues or trade collections?

Boom! have shown, over and over again, that it's a company dedicated to getting their books out to as many people as possible, whether it's going with multiple print distributors instead of just Diamond (including newsstand distribution for their kids' books) or offering the first print/digital day-and-date pairing on North Wind. I hope that their new digital push works out, but what can I say? I'm greedy; I want all the details now.

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