We’re really happy about the growing community of webcomic artists who are discovering Assetbar. We’re doing this project for the artists and for the fans of all shapes and sizes, so please let us know how we can help you more!
Here’s a quick roundup of some recent thoughts:
Once upon a time, it was pretty common for well-known webcomics to have a premium content tier — exclusive comics, higher resolutions, downloadables and suchlike were available for a subscription fee. Over the past several years, such schemes have fallen by the wayside
Only Achewood has had a robust program that I’ve noticed of late, featuring strip previews, blog & ‘zine content, and famously, a live-updating account of Beef & Molly’s wedding. The toolset that Onstad uses (AssetBar by name) is pretty interesting
I bring all this up because yesterday, a pair of heavy-hitters (namely, Starslip and PvP) added that selfsame AssetBar tech to their sites.
Neither seems to be using AssetBar exactly as Achewood does, or entirely like the other. We’ll have to see where this trend goes; in the future, AssetBar may be another of those vendors supplying a much-needed service to webcomics at large. (Thanks to Tony Piro, who noticed the launches before I did and emailed me.)
One of the biggest stories of this week in webcomics, and one that Brigid has already briefly touched on, is the more widespread exposure of the pay-for-play service, Assetbar. Before this week, the only notable webcomic to take advantage of this pseudo-subscription-based, fanbase barometer was Achewood. Now, both Scott Kurtz and Kris Straub have linked up their respective strips to this fan club of sorts and the floodgates are sure to follow, being opened by the sheer force of webcomics creators eager to share more of their already public lives with their readers.
Gary Tyrell at FLEEN continues:
No sooner had I mentioned the PvP and Starslip adoption of AssetBar last week than:
1. The guys behind the technology emailed me with some information about their product
2. Scott Kurtz contacted me to talk about his adoption of the premium-content management software
3. Meredith Gran started her own premium niche for Octopus Pie
Since I’ll see both Scott and Mer at New York Comic Con starting Friday, I’m going to do an update on fanflows next week — but expect to see more webcomics flirting with premium content this year. Ironically, the economy being so bad is going to lead to a lot of experimentations out of webcomics, perhaps leading us to a consensus as to workable approaches faster than we would have in a more stable environment. We’ve got an evolutionary testbed here with the fast-forward control stuck in the on position (pretty sure I cribbed that line from William Gibson, but hell if I can find a reference right now).
Tom Spurgeon’s Comics Reporter
The US economy and comics
* with so much material on-line, expect a lot of attention to be paid to premium services, one way that creators/publishers can derive income from fans devoted to one strip or another. Gary Tyrrell writes about something called AssetBar here; it seems to count among its clients PvP and Achewood, among others.
We’re hoping folks are loving www.nycomiccon.com this weekend.
Enjoying the carrefour reds now.
2005 Medoc (Chateau Hauterive). Tastes like $20. Costs like $7. Still makes me wish for a tap solution.