Thursday, October 28, 2010

Comic books designed for small screens - eReaders and smart phones

I've always loved comics, but the cost of printing, distribution, advertising, and senior management benefit packages make them unviable in today's marketplace. Most comics are between $2.99 to $3.99 for a mere 22 pages. Who is going to pay that other than the comic book addicts? There's no room for the marketplace to grow--at least not in print.

But the eBook movement and the move to smartphones opens up a whole new market and new opportunities. There are no printing costs and minimal distribution costs. Plus, a cartoonist doesn't need a big company to publish anymore, so the senior management benefit packages don't have to take their chunk out. Many people have tried to do digital comics, but none have succeeded very well because of three problems: 1) Pricing, 2) Formatting, and 3) New Content. So I designed a new comic to meet these concerns.

Most digital comics cost either $0.99 (which isn't enough to make them profitable) or $1.99 (which is too much for 1's and 0's with no resell value). To overcome this, I've priced my comic at $1.50, which allows me to make a profit but doesn't soak potential customers.

Most digital comics take existing print comics and chop them up into pieces so you lose everything achieved from panel layout. I've designed my comic to be easily read on a smart phone, eReader, or a computer screen. Yet the comic still has the resolution and detail to look good in print for when I'm ready to do that.

Finally, almost all digital comics are reprints of old comics, not the new comics that come out every Wednesday. So I made mine all new material.

My new comic is called Wandering Koala(TM) rides The Phantom Coach. It's in two parts and a trade paperback, all of which are now available from and for almost all eBook capable devices, and I drew it almost entirely on the computer with Corel Painter X and Google SketchUp 7.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Cully Koala Daily Online Comics

I've loved comics since I was a little boy. I was first introduced to them thru animated cartoons. Snoopy and Garfield are still two of my favorite. Then in Jr. High I discovered Calvin & Hobbes and was re-inspired.

I've been drawing comics since the summer of 6th Grade. I wanted to do it for a living, and at the end of my second year of college started sending my strip off to syndicates and newspapers. One syndicate picked it up, but did a terrible job of promoting it. And my interests shifted to less limiting forms of storytelling. But I had all these great comics that the world at large wasn't enjoying.

Newspapers are dying and with them is the traditional route for making a living with comic strips. So I decided to try something different. I've created a website to promote the strip with five free comics each day, a link to a store with Cully Koala branded swag, and the ability to add the comic to your site. (If you haven't already added it, go there now and do it!)

I wasn't sure what to make the site look like. Other comic strip sites have been very unimpressive, so I thought to make it look like the comics section of a paper. I wanted lots of colors and lots of fun, and I think it turned out that way.

But don't take my word for it.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Phantom Coach is now on sale!

Has anyone ever told you to stay out of an argument because it doesn’t involve you? Do private disputes really stay private, or do they have a larger effect on the world around them? What if a domestic disturbance caused a ghostly disturbance? Mike and Angie are just another couple on just another Friday Night date having just another argument. But this time it won’t stay between them.

My latest comic, Wandering Koala(TM) rides The Phantom Coach is now on sale! (At least part one is.) Like I said in my last post, this is the third time I've tried tackling this story, and I think the third time was the charm. I softened the harsh industrial style by adding texture and gradients, and I think it turned out really well. I'm also stoked about all the cool ghosts I've added, although most of them don't survive the next three pages. Oh, well, they're ghosts, it's not like you can kill them; they'll be back.

This comic is available in all eBook formats and will soon be available in most eBook stores including the Amazon Kindle store, the Barnes & Noble Nook store, Apple's iBookstore, Kobo (formerly shortcovers), Diesel eBooks, the Sony eReader store, and of course Smashwords, the largest publisher of independent authors.

Purchase your copy today for the incredibly low price of $1.50. (That's right, I said $1.50!!) In a world where print comics cost $3.99, and electronic versions of old comics are $1.99, this is a steal!