Comic Culture: Indie Goodness at Monkeybrain
In a few of my previous posts I have made it fairly clear that Monkeybrain Comics is currently one of my favorite publishers for a slew of reasons. Despite their young age in the comic publishing field (launched in summer of 2012), they are doing a great job giving creators the ability and ease to get their creator-owned work out to readers in digital form via Comixology. Created and operated by New York Times bestselling author Chris Roberson and his TV commercial and Film producer wife Allison Baker, (out of Portland, Oregon) Monkeybrain has been called the “premier destination for high-quality digital comics.” This is a lofty statement, but one that I am beginning to come around on with every new book I read by them. They seem to know their market, and they definitely know how to excel in it. Their catalog has grown rather quickly and it is nice to see their hard work paying off. And on top of that, they are getting plenty of love by the press too.
Since Monkeybrain plays solely in the indie sandbox they have a little more leeway than the Big Two in certain regards. They are afforded the ability to take more chances, and being that they are a digital publisher, they bypass the cost of printing (which is huge). By cutting these costs they can keep their margins down and give their creators more flexibility. So, with those things in mind, let’s examine just a few of the things Monkeybrain is really hitting the nail on the head with.
- They price their comics at .99 cents/single issue which is VERY affordable, as well as a great price point for digital. Other publishers should seriously consider following this pricing model because readers’ dollars can only go so far, so whatever publishers can do to keep them reading their books should be done.
- They let creators set their OWN schedules. This means that books may come out sporadically, but at no expense to QUALITY. Yes, it may be annoying to have a book come out and disappear for a few months before the next issue, but I would rather have that happen than fill-ins used to stay on schedule or the book to be released with less attention to detail.
- They allow their creators the ability to CHOOSE which publisher they want to partner with to put out a physical collection (trade paperback, hardcover, etc.). There are NO EXCLUSIVE printing contracts. It’s all in the CREATOR’S control and I find that VERY refreshing because that leaves the playing field wide open for the creators to truly control their intellectual properties.
- They offer a platform for UP AND COMING creators to get their names out, as well as the ability to showcase their work. Larger indie publishers like Image, BOOM! Studios and Oni Press do this as well, but they are still larger companies that have to be more specific with what they are publishing. And, like it or not, if you are a more established creator you are always going to take precedence over the newbies. That’s where Monkeybrain can be a great haven for all of this new talent dying to break into the industry.
I am sure there other positives I am missing here, but the aforementioned are some of the strongest things Monkeybrain are doing now (imo), but just don’t take my word for it. Feel free to hop over to Monkeybrain’s site (http://www.monkeybraincomics.com/) and check out all the great books they are putting out. Take a gamble. Give a title a try, or even two. And, don’t be alarmed if you don’t recognize the creators. These are books from hungry new creators who have things to prove and because of this they are putting out some of the freshest ideas on the “digital” stands. They’re good. Trust me.