Leigh Walton of Top Shelf sent me a pre-release of Double Barrel, digital-only monthly action comics magazine from Zander Cannon and Kevin Cannon (no relation, but it explains the title of the comic). It's available for download today. The first issue is a whopping 122 pages and costs just $1.99.
Zander's story is called "Heck," and is about a now middle-aged former high school football star who finds a portal to Hell in his basement. Kevin's story is called "Crater XV" and it's a continuation of the adventures of Army Shanks, a "crusty old sea dog and legendary brawler of the high Arctic seas," who was introduced in Kevin's 2009 graphic novel Far Arden. There comic also includes an inspirational article titled "How to Get Off Your Butt and Draw a Graphic Novel," as well as a readers' letters page (not sure how they pulled that off since this is the first issue.)
Leigh describes Double Barrel as "digital + monthly + indie + cheap + Love-&-Rockets-style two serials in one package = an irresistible combination of 'the good old days' and 'the brave new world.' We think this is a big deal."
I agree. The Cannons and Top Shelf are doing something right here. I can't quite pin my finger on it, but I have the feeling this is the true beginning of the future of digital comics.
Here's a good explanation from the Cannon's about why they are doing this, and below is a five-page excerpt from the introduction to this exciting new title.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects