- Posted by Johanna on September 22, 2011 at 4:47 pm
- Category: Digital and Webcomics
To promote a Warner Bros. Television production, DC Comics has released a digital-only comic.
As announced at their blog, in connection with the fourth season premiere of Fringe tomorrow, DC is digitally publishing Beyond the Fringe. This comic is written “with” Joshua Jackson, who stars in the show. (I don’t know if that means there’s a co-writer — he’s the only writer listed for the comic itself at comiXology, DC’s digital distributor.) Interior art is by Jorge Jimenez, with covers (as shown here) by Drew Johnson. The company says
The new series will alternate every two weeks between “A” and “B” storylines for a total of 14 chapters. “A” storylines will explore events tied directly to the Fringe show canon, while “B” storylines will take a “what-if” approach and look at how things might change if certain elements are out of balance. Fringe star Josh Jackson is on board to write “Peter and the Machine,” an arc comprising the first three “A” issues and which will detail events that take place in the timeline between what viewers saw happen at the end of season three and the start of season four.
So they’re pitching hard at fans of the show, because even a struggling TV series has a lot more viewers than the most successful comic has readers. This first issue is 13 pages for 99 cents. I’m guessing the plan was to originally do print, and each issue would include both A and B chapters. That would make the comic a more reasonable 26 pages. But now, they can release every two weeks with a smaller package, building the reading habit in show fans. This is a good choice for this experiment, too, since sci-fi watchers can be assumed to have less of a bias against online reading.
If pricing and page count stays the same, the entire collection will be just under $14, which isn’t bad for that length. I do expect DC to bring out an eventual hardcover print volume, though, if only so readers of the previous two series based on the show have something to go on their shelves next to them. Fringe airs Fridays at 9 PM Eastern on Fox.
I found this news particularly interesting in light of the SLG going digital-only story I wrote about yesterday. It seems that even the biggest publishers aren’t adverse to the idea with the right projects. DC also seems to be experimenting with format. The 99-cent price is significant; they may be curious to see just how little material buyers will accept at that price.