Dark Horse Moves Selected Titles From Print to Digital Serialization
Dark Horse Comics has announced the launch of Dark Horse Digital Exclusives, a set of titles that will be serialized digitally followed by “expedited print collections”. The affected titles are The Ghost Fleet, Resurrectionists, and Sundowners. Said Dark Horse president and publisher Mike Richardson,
“We are confident in the quality of these stories and want to ensure that readers have the opportunity to fully experience them. Dark Horse is throwing its support behind these creators and their innovative titles, and we are choosing to continue them in a series of original graphic novels. These stories deserve to be told, and to continue in a reader-friendly and accessible format. In the meantime, for those who would like to continue reading the series, we will also offer new issues of each title on our Dark Horse Digital platform.”
This is putting a positive spin on some bad news. Apparently, sales on these titles have dropped enough to make print issues unfeasible, but I’m glad that readers of the series will be able to finish them out, as Sundowners writer Tim Seeley points out: “I’m not sure why some books succeed while others don’t, especially when I know Dark Horse has been making some super-cool, all-new, creator-owned material that I was proud to be part of. But I’m glad they’ve got the dedication and respect to ensure readers and creators get to bring their stories to a logical conclusion.”
Unfortunately, some fans won’t like the format change, as seen in a comment thread at Robot 6. Resurrectionists readers who want print are grumbling about having to rebuy issues they already have in the collection, while others are dropping series because they don’t want to split formats. As someone points out, though, this is more likely to happen more in future, as so much competition makes it tricky for new, creator-owned comics to find shelf space and customers.
Resurrectionists: Near-Death Experienced, collecting the entire series, will now be available August 19 for $19.99. Sundowners Volume 2 will be available August 26 for $19.99, and The Ghost Fleet Volume 2: Hammer Down will be released October 7 for $14.99.
What will be interesting to note in future is whether Dark Horse moves other titles in this direction, or even launches new projects with this digital-to-print format.