Sunday at The New York Times broke the news that Archie Comics is going to return to publishing their own Superhero.
From the NY Times:
In spring, the company will bring back its line of superhero characters in a subscription model that will offer an original six-page story and access to an archive of past adventures....
...Besides the possibility of reaching an audience beyond the comic book stores, there was a second advantage to this digital model. “Financially, it makes sense,” Mr. Goldwater [the co-chief executive of Archie Comics Publications] said. “We are not going to have any print costs. To be a slave to printing prices when you’re starting a new venture is a tremendous concern.”
For those of you new to old comics, this would be the a lot of the old MLJ heroes (Black Hood, The Shield, The Hangman) as well as some of the characters introduced by MLJ in the Silver Age (The Fly, Jaguar, etc..)
While I have some fond memories of reading Jack Kirby's Fly in the old Archie Digests I used to pick up as a kid, I don't have high hopes for this forthcoming incarnation. Mostly because this group of characters has been relaunched several times recently - most notably with the !mpact line at DC in the 90's
and just a year ago at DC
I have to think the dismal sales on this last relaunch is part of the reason that Archie is going with a Digital Subscription sales strategy with this new effort. Not sure how that subscription thing will work out for them, but it does sound like it might be a cheaper way to get access to a huge library of old comics. The only caveat is comic fans tend to like to own what they read.
Archie’s latest digital initiative will be similar to Netflix, Mr. Goldwater said. “It will be a nominal monthly charge with access to new comics and thousands and thousands of pages from the archive.”
What I think is interesting is that more and more, we are reading about small publishers who are going ONLY with digital sales. (Slave Labor Graphics just made the same switch.)
Which begs the question - which of the Front of Previews crowd (Boom, Dark Horse, Dynamite, DC, IDW or Marvel) would you pick as the first to also quit with the Paper Comics?)
Anyway, since this news is a bit of a repeat, I'm going to repeat today's Free Comic with this reposting of Pep Comics 1