Over on Newsarama.com this AM there was a piece on Josh Blaylock, publisher of Devil's Due Publishing, and his new online comics initiative PullboxOnline.com
Pullbox is a new site for downloadable comics content, including many Devil's Due titles, but which is also open to the entire spectrum of comic books, with new content being actively sought out. Pullbox will focus initially on offering full comics in PDF or CBR format, available for download at an average price of .99 cents per title.
Other similar sites have already sprung up, DriveThruComics.com launched not long ago, as well as another recent launch with Wowio.com offering comics content as well. So, Pullboxonline is not the first of it's kind, but it is in on the ground floor, and also, from my perceptions of the three recent launches, Pullbox has the most going for it. Both in terms of design, and more importantly price point.
I honestly can't see digital comics being offered at anything more than a dollar each to stand a chance against print in today's market. Digital content is significantly cheaper to produce, and therefore, like it or not, the future of comics (as I've gone on about time and again here), but right now, with the existing fanbase favoring physical copies to hold in hand, any serious online offering should be positioned at a significant discount to print to have a serious shot at capturing an audience. With the average comic priced at around $3 each, can you tell me, if you could get any and all books in digital form, 3 to 1 in terms of price, you wouldn't consider changing your stance on print versus digital? Or at least consider trying some digital content, or suplement part of your reading with it?
And of course, the internet marketplace is a boon for publishers, who've struggled for decades to regain an outlet into the mainstream market that was lost with the move from newsstands to comic shops in the 80's.
All of the big picture implications of digital on the comic industry aside, it'll be interesting to see how, if at all, PullboxOnline develops. If they'll be able to bring in a big enough range of content, and more importantly, if they'll find enough users to keep it afloat...
I know I'm currently looking for an opportunity to get Super Real back on the web/downloadable, so I'll be taking a closer look at them to see if perhaps this is a good fit for me.