Thrillbent, the digital comics company set up by Mark Waid and John Rogers, have announced that they will begin publishing their books in print as of next year. In partnership with IDW, they’ll be bringing many of their digital-only stories into comic book stores – including Empire Vol 2 by Waid and Barry Kitson; and Insufferable with Waid and Peter Krause.
This is a little unexpected because Thrillbent had billed itself as a digital-only company. However, this does suggest a move towards a more commercial outlook for the company. It follows the introduction of a subscription fee for the digital comics a short while ago, where previously they’d all been available for free. There are a lot of comics on offer for that subscription fee – I pay it myself – but it is of note how Thrillbent have carefully moved over the last few years. Whereas they started out with as large an audience opportunity as possible, they’ve subsequently funnelled fans into a channel that helps them fund the books.
The decision to partner with IDW means books like Valentine, Everstar and others all have a chance now of seeing themselves reprinted physically. That seems canny, and it’ll make conventions easier for the people working on those books – they now have copies they can hand sell people. It’ll be interesting to see if certain creators refuse the deal, and keep their books solely available in digital – and I have to wonder how the page transitions will work offscreen.
The books begin the road to print in Spring of next year.