Boom! comics go free download

Indie comics publsher Boom! Studios is putting a bunch of its backlist comics (including the excellent Zombie Tales) online as free downloads:
The titles they’re offering include Ninja Tales, Zombie Tales, Hero Squared, 2 Guns, Shmobots and Cthulhu Tales.

“This is a great way to get the word out about BOOM! titles,” said Chip Mosher in a press release. “When people come to the site for free comics, they’ll be able to take a look at the other quality books we’re putting out. The interface ties all the parts of our website - the store, current titles, free stuff - into one beautiful package. New fans who might be stopping by for cool zombie or Cthulhu content can get turned on to what BOOM!’s doing across the board and check out the print editions in local comic book shops or at and mass market bookstores via our distribution deal with Perseus Books. We expect that people who aren’t BOOM! fans will discover our series and titles and be excited to own print copies.”

Link (Thanks, Dr. Webcomics!)

See also: Zombie Tales: comics anthology


  1. Boom Studios is awesome. Chip Mosher left comments on my blog when I reviewed his spy series, Left on Mission and they even donated free trades to promote my Blogathon autism fundraiser this year – they are every bit the customer-focused company, and I’ll keep supporting them.

    Check out 2 Guns on their freebie list – great stuff.

  2. Unfortunately these so-called free comics are little more than teasers. “Cthulu Tales” has 8 pages, 3 of which are scans of the covers and title page, and ends rather abruptly. The “Zombie Tales” story actually proclaims The End on the last of its 6 pages, but the story is little more than a prologue. The “2 Guns” sampler only contains 3 (!) pages of actual comic out of the 9 scanned pages.

    Also, these are not downloadable, they are view-in-your-browser webcomics.

    This is hardly the type of free content distribution that Cory usually champions.

    (By the look of AvidReader514’s blog, he appears to actually be a genuine fan of the publisher, otherwise I’d be smelling astroturf.)

  3. Kabur Naj: According to their announcement, they will be releasing one page a day of the titles they’ve started with, and they will continue doing this for the rest of this year. So the comics they’ve started will be complete, and a lot of others too.

    But no, they’re not taking the plunge the way Cory doeas with his own books – that would mean PDF downloads of whole books. Maybe they need to dip their toes and assure their stakeholders and retailers it’s OK before they go further in. If so, I think the one-page-a-day approach is fine.

  4. well, lame.

    I went and read Zombie Tales, and it’s only 9 pages, and the 1st 4 were title and credits.

    No wonder I never read comics. If I were to BUY an issue of “Zombie Tales”, I’d only get 5 pages of actual story?


  5. Agger: Thanks for that clarification. I hope I remember to check their site again sometime in the future, when enough pages have accumulated to make it worth the bother.

    I was about to spew some bile about Boom! not having figured out the right way to do this marketing through copy-friendly distribution of free content (you know, if *they* think that I’ll be visiting their site every few days to get my fix then they’re *sorely* mistaken), when I realized how juvenile that kind of whining would be.

    Fact of the matter is, nobody yet knows what *the* best sustainable model is for content distribution in the digital age. As a consumer, I happen to really like Cory’s model, and I think that he’s given the matter more thought than most others, but even his approach is to some degree experimental. I buy his books mainly because I like his writing (which I wouldn’t have known if not for his podcasts), but also because I want to validate his approach. Until the latter bias can be removed, it will be tricky to *empirically* draw strong conclusions from Cory’s success.

    The strength of capitalism is that it encourages a wealth of different experimental approaches to be adopted by all the different content providers out there, presumably optimizing the speed at which the best approach gets discovered. The necessary side-effect of this inherently Darwinian scheme is that a whole heap of lesser approaches will also appear, be subjected to scrutiny and hopefully be discarded.

    The contribution of us consumers in the process is to point out the flaws of the lesser approaches (and to laud the greater ones too), but ultimately to vote with our wallet. If we choose in the process to criticize the lesser approaches by adopting some self-righteous tone dripping with a sense of entitlement, well, then that says more about ourselves than it does about the target of our comments.

    That said, I applaud Boom! for trying something along these lines, but I think Cory’s approach is way better than theirs. If I could sit down and read the entire “Cthulu Tales” issue 1 right now, then I could make a decision about whether to phone up a comics store and place an order for some print versions in the series. As it is, I don’t feel that inclination yet, and the whole thing will probably fall off my radar as I get back to the other things that occupy me in the day-to-day. Even if I do remember about it down the road, my current annoyance may actually bias me *against* validating their model with my wallet.

Comments are closed.