Love and Capes: The Family Way Privately Serialized

Love and Capes: The Family Way

As the comic market continues to change and mature, creators and publishers are experimenting with various ways to make comic production financially viable.

Thom Zahler, the creator of the superhero romantic comedy Love and Capes, began in traditional print self-publishing in 2006, putting out issues that were then collected into book formats. There are four out so far, with the most recent coming out in 2013. The last two were published by IDW, which also took over the print serialization.

In the six years since that last collection, Zahler has been successful with digital serialization at Webtoon for two series, Warning Label (now available in print collection) and Cupid’s Arrows (on hiatus but returning for a second season).

When Zahler announced earlier this year that Love and Capes was returning, I thought it might follow a similar digital-to-print-book model. Instead, though, Zahler is doing something different.

Love and Capes: The Family Way

The collected storyline, Love and Capes: The Family Way, is now available to order from IDW with Diamond code OCT19 0847. Abby and Mark (aka the Crusader) have two kids now, so the humor will be about parenting in a superhero universe. The graphic novel will be available in February next year.

In the meantime, if fans want to read the story in serialized form, Zahler is self-publishing the six issues. They can only be obtained directly from him, either at conventions or through his online store (where you can buy print or digital copies, which are $5 each no matter the format).

It’s an interesting strategy. It makes the issues much more rare and thus collectible, an old-fashioned approach to comic publishing, or one providing material to his already-devout fans. The book format is much more new-reader-friendly, easy to acquire and a more satisfying chunk of reading — although since the premise is comedic in nature, it’s never been as difficult to try an issue as many other series. That collection, though, is the one that will matter in a year or two.


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