Man, this is starting to get routine. R.E.M. is the latest band to release its new album online. TechDirt reports that they’ve made it available through iLike (a popular social networking application) even before the actual album is physically released.
In some ways this has nothing to do with comics. On the other hand when we get to a world where most major artists control their distribution strategy and routinely premiere their work online for free or otherwise I think the more expected of all artists that will be. That is going to contribute, at least indirectly to the creator-publisher-audience relationship in comics (in all media really).