I'd like to change that today by discussing something else I think makes Flashback Universe comics unique in today's comicscape: All FBU stories are Done-In-Ones.
For those of you not familiar with the term Done-In-One (DiO) - it is a comic that tells a complete story in a single issue. Up until the 70's this was a common practice. Presently, only a few comics every do this consistently (Jonah Hex is a comic that uses this format well on a regular basis.)
I know many readers and creators feel that the DiO format is too confining, but I've heard writers say the same thing about short stories. I think a good writer can find a way to tell a compelling story regardless of the amount of room he has, as long as he understands the limitations of the specific storytype.
Two great DiO examples that recently came out are the Hulk vs Fin Fang Foom and the Lost Teen Titans Annual. In both cases the stories were told completely in one comic.
Albeit, one was the posthumourous work of one of the all time masters of the DiO story, Bob Haney The other was by Peter David, who while doesn't have quite the resume of DiO's that Bob Haney has, he is a master of many, many different type of story formats (novel, screenplay, comic, editorial).
All of the FBU comics are DiOs because it's my intention that no matter what issue a visitor to the FBU site chooses to download, they can be assured of getting a complete story in one form or another.
I try to underscore the importance of this with other FB creators because some are hung up on the continuing story model (something that I'm just not convinced is working for 80% of the web comics guys using it.) [ link to a bunch of guys discussing how they are doing with their web comic sites ]
I selected the DiO format not because it's easy to write (it's not) but because I think it's really the best for format for web content - complete bite size chunks that you can download - similar to how YouTube videos work.
Several people have asked me about making a web comic version of one of my Flashback stories, and while I'm not completely opposed to the idea, I'm not wild about it either.
I think one of the problems with Web Comics is the way the most current page of a web comic has to act as an introduction to the rest of the comic-- To paraphrase -- Jim Shooter, every web comic episode is someone's first.
Even with the best interface (check out the Jon Sable online comic at ComicMix.com) it's difficult for people to get engrossed in the story because many things outside of the artists control (browser compatibility issues, server lag, user UI awareness).
DiO CBR files circumvent all these issues. A visitor to the FBU site is presented with thumbnails of covers for all the current issues of our FBU comics. This UI gives them an easy to recognize decision path to help them make their choice. (similar to how Amazon presents its search results.)
Comics used to sell a heck of a lot better when they were all DiOs. Heck, based on the recent numbers of Archie comics sold the past year, they seem to be selling well now too.
I think it would be an interesting experiment if either Marvel or DC gave up on their multi-issue story arcs for a year and just did 12 issues of DiOs for their entire line. Imagine being able to pick up any issue by either publisher knowing you'll get a complete story. Sounds cool to me.
Feel free to vehemently disagree. :)