Having started a successful indie comics website selling platform, and launched a critically acclaimed anthology, we couldn’t help but wonder what Pete Genepool and the Comichaus guys would get up to next? Well it turns out they are branching into the world of digital comics, to launch a streaming service they are dubbing ‘a Netflix for indie comics’. With it’s mix of indie and digital comics being right up our alley, we knew we had to find out more!
You’re about to launch a new Comichaus app, so what’s inspired you to join the world of app publishers?
Pete Genepool: We found that a lot of indie titles were getting overlooked by some of the other platforms available. And although we do have some bigger names content wise – we want to concentrate on the indie titles as much as possible.
I’m guessing this will have a focus on digital comics, rather than your website which still prioritises print copies of books? So why make the move into digital?
PG: Yes the app will be totally digital – a streaming ‘Netflix’ for comic books if you will. But creators and publishers will have the ability to link the digital back to their print listings on the Comichaus site. So if a reader does like what they have read they will have an option to ‘buy the print’ version.
We will still continue to publish Comichaus as a print monthly, we love print, but we know some people are making the switch to digital – and this will give all the indies a bit more control and a platform for their wares, and hopefully generate some income for all.
From what I understand it’s going to be a subscription service, sort of like Spotify for indie comics, why choose that model rather than a storefront like comixology? Is it to avoid big digital beasts like comixology?
PG: Yes totally – Comixology do what they do very well, and it would be crazy for us to compete with them. But we also liked the idea of ‘streaming the comics’ and having the ability to have a number of offline copies to read at any time. Less chance of piracy and a lot more portable. With the focus being on indie comics we can also provide a more niche service than Comixology and the other platforms, and as a result give some of our peers so well deserved attention.
How much will it cost for fans and what do you they get as a result?
PG: £30 a year one off payment, or £3 a month for 12 months. When you consider that is the cost of a cup of coffee or one PDF we think that is quite fair for an ‘all you can eat’ content service
And on the flip side, what’s in it for creators? And how can they get involved?
PG: For the creators/publishers we are going to be doing a revenue share. Any subscription or advert revenue that comes in after the initial Kickstarter will be split 50/50. Comichaus 50% will go towards the app promotion, hosting and continuing with paying contributors for the Comichaus Anthology. The Creator/Publisher 50% goes into a pot and is paid out according to how many times an individual Comic Book is read. The bigger the app gets the more everyone gets
Is it just going to be an iOS app for now or android as well?
PG: iOS and Android!
You have put together an awesome collection of adverts featuring various artists, can you tell us a bit about how that came about and what your goal is with producing them?
PG: I approached Philip at the University of Dundee – who runs the MDes in Comics & Graphic Novels Course. They have some amazing talent on the course and we arranged a ‘design a promo poster’ competition. Every single entry was incredible – but we had to pick a top five and had prizes for the winners. We want to use as much up and coming talent as possible for the whole of Comichaus, and this was a nice way of creating some eye catching posters whilst also benefiting everyone involved. We have already commissioned two artists on the course for future one shots within the monthly anthology, and are busy finding scripts for the rest! Check out www.dundee.ac.uk/study/pg/comics-graphic-novels/
And finally, when will it be launching and what titles will be available at launch?
PG: We will be launching in July and August and we are busy sourcing content as we speak. Kickstarter launches this Friday (19th May) and we already have hundreds of small press creators/publishers signed up to the mailing list (comichaus.com/app) and are in talks with some of the bigger indies. IDW for example have given us a selection of catalogue for launch, we know we are going to need some ‘names’ to get customers to come and have a look.
The Kickstarter will be launching on Friday and you can find out more info at comichaus.com/app
Author: Alex Thomas
Alex Thomas is the Editor and founder of PIpedream Comics. He grew up reading comics in the 90s, so even though he loves all things indie and small press, he is easily distracted by a hologram cover.