An ICv2 Release.  Technology is disrupting the comics and graphic novel supply chain, but who’s going to get disintermediated in the process? 

We had an interesting conversation on the plane on the way out to San Diego Comic-Con with an artist who’s currently working for Marvel.  He told us of how his revenues from selling original art and prints on his Website were steadily growing, as were his Twitter followers, and how he was planning to use those assets to launch a new original Webcomic, followed by a Kickstarter, followed by traditional graphic novel publishing. 

Others are going from Webcomics to digital release, to print collections. 

And some forgo the Webcomics, release the installations of the product digitally, and collect them into trade paperbacks when they’ve got enough material. 

Any of the models above can be coupled with merch sales direct from creator to consumer. 

These business models, or elements from them, are increasingly the way that creators or publishers can launch original intellectual properties, test the reaction, hone the material, and build an audience.  The new tools enabled by technology, including direct interaction between creators and their fans, comics on the Web, digital sales of comics, and crowdfunding, can replace or enhance the traditional methods of releasing a print product, gauging the reaction, and adapting for future releases. 

This new, more direct, contact between creators and fans has the potential to replace a lot of functions previously performed by publishers, distributors, and retailers, the three-tier model that’s been used to distribute comics for the past decades.
How will this impact the business going forward?  Will increasing numbers of creators opt out of the traditional distribution channels of comic stores and bookstores? 

Or will they just use the new tools to build an audience, get a bigger share of the pie from their most devoted fans, and continue to use traditional publishing to reach the rest of the market? 

We’ll try to find the answers at the ICv2 Conference at New York Comic Con in the panel on “From Creator to Consumer” with this panel of experts:
Calista Brill, Senior Editor, First Second Books
Simon Fraser, artist, runs the ACT-I-VATEcomix Webcomics collective
Jamal Igle, artist, successful Kickstarter publisher, lecturer
Dan Manser, Director of Marketing, Diamond Comic Distributors
John Roberts, Co-founder, comiXology
Moderated by Heidi MacDonald, comic editor and commentator from The Beat

Comics Ahead!—The ICv2 Conference will take place at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, October 9th.

Want to come?  Register by clicking here.

For more information, click here.

And if you’d like to suggest questions or discussion topics for our panel (there’ll be lots of press at the Conference, so you’ll hear what people say even if you’re not there), feel free to contact organizer Milton Griepp (, who will pass on your thoughts to panel moderator Heidi MacDonald.