Platinum Studios has acquired the popular Webcomics site DrunkDuck.com and plans to publish all 100 graphic novels and new series it has in production on the Web before any of them see print publication. Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, the Chairman of Platinum Studios sees 'a quiet revolution' happening in the comic book industry and Platinum hopes to use its Internet platform to create a new revenue and distribution model for comic book publishers.
Founded in 2002 by Dylan Squires, who will become director of Software Development for Platinum Studios' New Media Group, DrunkDuck.com receives a million unique visitors per month. The new Platinum-owned DrunkDuck site, known as DrunkDuck2.0, will still continue to encourage independent comic creators to display their wares on the Website, which will not charge any fees to creators.
Platinum plans to advertise the site to encourage growth in traffic and then to sell advertising on the site itself based on the increased traffic (creators will not share in advertising revenues, but will receive a portion of any licensing income). Platinum plans to make some of its Webcomics downloadable for iPods, computers and cell phones and to explore various licensing options based for the comics on the site ranging from movies and TV to mugs and t-shirts.
William Widmaier, Platinum's president of New Media, who joined the company in June after playing a key role in the development of Earthlink, negotiated the purchase of DrunkDuck.com for Platinum. The purchase was aided by an equity investment of $1 million that Platinum Studios received from Brian Althounian, the company's president and chief operating officer, who joined Platinum in 2005 after successful stints in both the technology and entertainment industries.