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Platinum Studios

Wowio Buys

MarketWatch is reporting the Wowio bought from Platinum Studios.

WEDNESDAY UPDATE: Snarky commentary from Digital Strips and FLEEN.

This Day in ComixTalk: June 19th

This Day in ComixTALK:

Chuck Whelon posted the cover art for his new edition of the first collection of Pewfell Perfingles comics.  He also posted a great page from that bookNeil Cohn noted the 30th anniversary of Jim Davis' Garfield and covered some of the webcomic experimentalism incorporating that comicBrad Guigar reported back from exhibiting at Wizard World Philadelphia.  Kate Beaton?  Before she became famous for historical comicking, she posted this take on the Anthony-Liz storyline from For Better or For Worse.

And the nominees for that year's Online Comics category at the Harveys included Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Jeff Kinney, EZ Street, Robert Tinnell and Mark Wheatley, Penny Arcade, Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik, Perry Bible Fellowship, Nicholas Gurewitch and Surreal Adventures of Edgar Allan Poo, Dwight L. Macpherson, Thomas Boatwright and Thomas Mauer.

I was in the midst of spinning off and rebranding this site as ComixTALK.  While it all hasn't worked out to "bigger and better" it has worked well enough for me.  (Never did activate the so-called umbrella site "Comixmedia")

Todd Allen was covering the DC webcomics plans; another Platinum story was in the news and FLEEN speculated on the webcomic future for Elfquest creators Wendy and Richard Pini.

Back when we did "Summer of Guest Bloggers" -- we had Barry Gregory (01 Comics) and Clay Gardner (Wirepop) on tap for this week.  Clay wrote a post on "the hidden style of manga".  And Zach Lewis hyped Jack of All Blades -- the "most popular adventure comic featuring a doppleganger, a penguin, and a horrid swordfighter".

June 2005 was our "webcomics in print" issue.  Ben Towles wrote about his experiences self-publishing a print collection of his webcomic TowniesEric Burns wrote about some of the webcomics that had jumped to print and mused about what would be the future role of print in webcomics.  Meanwhile in Kelly Cooper's MoCCA report we have early photographic evidence of Gary "Magnum P.I." Tyrrell.

Cartoonist Hard (aka Clay) who used to blog pretty often, wrote about various comics publications and objecting to the Webcomics Examiner approach to webcomics.  It just reminds me of how overblown some of the discussions online became back then.  And the fact that for a long time Comixpedia/Talk was largely alone in trying to provide coverage of webcomics which often meant we got swept up in whatever the drama of the moment was.

I linked to this article in the NYTimes about building an audience for your blog.  It's a bit like driving a mustang while looking back on the Model Ts.  How about this quote:

But Susan Mernit, a blogger in San Francisco, is actively trying to increase her readership from its current average of about 50 visitors a day. "I value hits highly," said Ms. Mernit, a consultant for nonprofit organizations and a former vice president for programming at America Online. "I'd like to see my traffic increase by 10 readers a month."

Platinum WOWIO Deal Done

The Beat is reporting that Platinum's purchase of WOWIO is a done deal.  WOWIO is also aiming to relaunch the site between July 23rd and August 4th.

According to the SEC filing, Platinum is paying 3.15 million for WOWIO -- paid in shares of Platinum with payments stretched out over the next year.

Platinum isn't in the comic BOOK business

A couple of Platinum-related odds n' ends today:

Tom Spurgeon gets the top of the post quote at Journalista! with his take on the Platinum Studios story.

DJ Coffman gets a CEASE AND DESIST letter from Platinum regarding the and ,org URLs that apparently Coffman personally owns.  Lots more in Coffman's post on his post-Platinum thoughts on Platinum including this key bit:

So yeah, that boggles my mind. 24k? Brian just passes me off as any creator who would complain to a publisher about not enough promotion. But the guy’s problem is, and he admitted this to me is, he just doesn’t KNOW comics. For all intents and purposes, and not a surprise to many, Platinum isn’t in the comic BOOK business.

Webcomic Wire - 7/16/08

Drawn from sources all over the web… has a post called ‘Wizard Entertainment: Fear and Loathing and Webcomics.’
FoxTrot does webcomics?
BOOM! Studios launches a webcomic site.
Heidi MacDonald digs up some Platinum hype. The Floating Lightbulb has also has interesting PS stuff.
The Scienteers have some sad news about the robbery of D4K Studios and how you [...]

Publishers Weekly Has Story on Platinum Financials

Good story (with some holes) on Platinum's possibly shaky finances.  We get to learn a lot about Platinum because it's a public company.  Other publishers and larger quasi-publisher like companies like Keenspot that are private - we don't learn anything other than what the owners tell us, which isn't usually much.

Key facts?  Platinum is clearly spending money -- but is it making any regular income?  Platinum lost MORE than 5 million in 2007 and had less than $5000 dollars in cash on hand at the beginning of this year.

Platinum also points to a library of 5600 characters in its IP portfolio as having been recently valued at "about $150 million:" by a firm called Sanli Pastore & Hill, Inc.  However, only two Platinum properties are currently under option for films: Unique at Disney and Cowboys & Aliens at Dreamworks.  I'm really curious about this 150 million number -- what is it based on (and how many of the 5600 characters are recognizable to the public in any meaningful manner?) and how much of it is actually realized versus theoretical.

Webcomic Wire - 7/2/08

Drawn from sources that are hard at work…

Documentary about Creative Commons business models.
Jorge Cham of PhD Comics shows us the vicious cycle of staying up late.
Platinum Studios announces their top 50 for this years Comic Book Challenge. Good luck to you all! And just for the record PS paid DJ Coffman the money they [...]

Where's WOWIO?

A little more on the pending Platinum - WOWIO hookup.  Comic Book Resources reports that WOWIO initiated the negotiations at the behest of their balky investors and that Platinum will probably be paying for WOWIO in stock.  Wire stories confirm that negotiations are ongoing (not final) and that the current hope is to concludethe transaction in the third quarter (I read this not as striking a deal in the third quarter but completing the acquisition or merger in the third quarter. Striking the deal -- reaching terms -- would most likely occur very soon).

Greg Carter encourages everyone to read their WOWIO contracts closely.  I second that.  Let me be clear - I don't want to cast aspersions on the people at Platinum -- they are businessmen and while there are allegations of late payments circulating around I don't have any independent confirmation of that right now.  But having had a chance to observe Platinum for awhile now it's pretty clear that their business model is to own and license IP.  Nothing inherently wrong with that but it's different than a publishing business model.  WOWIO seems to be in the business of publishing (digital but still essentially publishing) and Platinum really is not.  If Platinum buys WOWIO my expectation is that WOWIO will shift its business model to owning and licensing IP.

On a semi-related note -- what's going on with Platinum's Comic Book Challenge for this year -- the Platinum website  says to "Come back June 27th and see Who's Next!"  So, um, it's July 1st already...

Webcomic Wire - 6/30/08

Drawn from sources that are appalled at the show ‘I Survived a Japanese Game Show’…

Platinum Studios in negotiations to aquire WOWIO, LLC. Still no response to my press inquiries about DJ Coffman’s contract issues.
R. Stevens is ending his syndication arrangement with United Media.
The Webcomic Watchmen review Happiness is a Warm Gun.
Some cool stuff from the [...]

Platinum In Negotiations To Purchase WOWIO

Okay I didn't see that one coming...  Journalista! links to a Platinum Studios news release that they are in negotiations to buy WOWIOWowio is a website in a state of suspended animation right now -- and was the subject of lots of speculation last week.