They didn’t invent the concept of comic books on the internet and they’re not the first subscription based site online, but twelve popular cartoonists are betting that readers will be willing to pay $15 a year to enjoy their work. They have combined their efforts to put their money where their mouths are.
Beginning in January 2004, PV Comics is planning to serve up six complete stories every month, totaling on average 48 pages of new comics for their readers. With twelve diverse and experienced talents making up their roster, these won’t be any cookie-cutter comic books.
PV Comics is a reinvention of Protean Void Comics, the brand name of Logan DeAngelis, creator of fan favorite, KU-2. Following his initial webcomic launch in March of 2001, Logan was joined by friends Efrem Alston and Jay Mcleod under the Protean Void banner. Together they built a small but successful webcomics hub which updated three days a week for years. When other online cartoonists started talking to the Void creators, a common ground was discovered.
“Out of a sizeable group of creators I met during the first couple of years making KU-2, very few of them made a living as full-time cartoonists,” said DeAngelis, who has worked in advertising for years while pursuing his passion for creating comics. “Almost all of them were like me: punching a
time clock Monday through Friday to pay the bills, so they could burn the
midnight oil and tell their stories at night. It’s challenging to keep up
your momentum like that for very long.”
Charging visitors for reading their webcomics seemed the obvious
solution for creators hoping to make a living at their craft, but what was the
best way to achieve that goal? “When a few of us put our heads together we decided that offering complete stories every week for the smallest price possible was the way to go,” explains DeAngelis. “We started with a base price: $1 for the year for each cartoonist involved, and went from there. With 12 contributors and no middlemen, we’re excited that our yearly subscription rate of $15 is a very affordable price. That $15 shakes out to almost 600 pages of new comics over the course of the year; that’s only pennies a page!”
The eleven other creators couldn’t agree more. In addition to Jay Mcleod, whose Migrayn comic has been with Protean Void since 2002, PV Comics is now home to some well known names in the webcomics world, such as Nate Piekos, creator of the popular Blambot Comic Fonts, and DJ Coffman, veteran of numerous print and webcomic features. Flash comic creators Matt Johnson and Steven James Taylor are balanced by the traditional print styles of Dan Larson, Brian Meredith and Tom Stackpole. Upcoming content ranges from the critically acclaimed cartoons of New Zealander Bob Corona, to adaptations of Shakesperean works by Brandon J. Carr and the short stories of Amy Kim Ganter. Since cutting edge websites don’t build themselves, PV Comics’ unsung hero and thirteenth member, Canadian web guru Stuart Robertson, has written custom code to power the back end of the site and make it sing.
Additional subscriber incentives are planned, such as discounts on the upcoming print volumes that PV Comics already has in the works for 2004. These print issues will contain all new stories by the twelve collaborators and feature painted covers by Alfredo Lopez, Jr.
If you’re a comics reader, a price tag of $1 for a 48 page comic is something you won’t see on the news stands again. But Logan DeAngelis and the rest of the PVC collaborators think it’s the best value in webcomics. PV Comics launches on Monday, January 5, 2004.