Format Wars: Distribution and Marketing in the Digital Era

Sword of My Mouth #1 by Jim Munroe and Shannon Gerard is available now.

Jim Munroe is a smart, savvy, independent thinker and I’m always interested in seeing what he’ll do next.  Well, Jim is out there trying new ideas in marketing and distributing his new comic: Sword of My Mouth.

Sword of My Mouth is the follow up to ‘Therefore Repent’, a 2007 graphic novel written by Jim Munroe ( nominated for the 2007 Joe Shuster Writer Award) and drawn by Max Douglas aka Salgood Sam.  For this follow up, art chores are performed by Shannon Gerrard.

The interesting twist: Sword of My Mouth #1 will be available in the traditional print/floppy format.  Issues 2 – 6 will be available only in digital format and you can subscribe to the complete series, issues 1 -6, in a digital format for $6.  Six bucks!  If you purchased the print edition #1, your cost for 2 – 6 will be $5.

The completed story will be released as a print edition graphic novel, projected for sometime in 2010.  Even cooler: if you pre-order the print edition graphic novel for $12, you will be enrolled to receive the digital distribution of the single format editions.

This is an innovative way to get the product into the hands of interested parties, very suitable and appropriate for the small publishing company Munroe operates.  The current comic book market is fractured and diverse, the amount of product available boggles the mind.  I read a lot of commentary that wants to put the blame onto the independent retailer (aka comic book store), whose budgets are stretched to the limit and have been placed into a risk adverse position due to this fractured market (chicken?  egg?), but I don’t.  I think publishers play a vital role in the selling of product in the post-1980 comic world and I have to shine a light on the very cool tactics Jim Munroe and No Media Kings are attempting.

For more information on this see: Sword in My Mouth – Remember when comics were cheap?

Robert Haines