Misery Depot: New Distribution Models for Independent Comics
Independent comics like MISERY DEPOT borrow ideas from free distribution channels like P2P, and the open source movement in search for a wider, more involved audience.
Embracing the growing trend of digital distribution and free content, the mystery/science fiction comic MISERY DEPOT is now available online in its entirety, without charge and without ads. The comic makes use of innovative techniques to give their readers an immersive and participative experience, far different from what the traditional distribution channels offer.
"We don't want the money of our readers; we want to buy their attention.", says HERMES PIQUE, writer of MISERY DEPOT.
MISERY DEPOT is distributed under a CREATIVE COMMONS license, allowing anyone with non-commercial purposes to reproduce and share the work. This allows MISERY DEPOT to be downloaded legally through P2P or TORRENT networks, a practice that the creators encourage by providing links and files in their own site. Two versions are offered: English and Spanish, with more soon to follow.
Drawn by JUAN ROMERA (THE FIGHTING STRANGER for ZUDA COMICS and ZOMBIE HIGHWAY: DIRECTIONLESS for DIGITAL WEBBING) and written by newcomer HERMES PIQUE, MISERY DEPOT can be read online while listening to music suggested by the authors, or downloaded in PDF and CBR or through a TORRENT client, formats commonly associated with illegal downloading.
MISERY DEPOT tells the story of an elderly mother, who awakes undressed inside a humid capsule amidst hundreds, the voice of her daughter echoing in her memory. Uncertain of the nature the place, the mother joins with a stranger who believes they are in a high-technology concentration camp, and hints that the daughter might still be alive somewhere inside.
Borrowing ideas from the OPEN SOURCE movement, PIQUE and ROMERA not only provide their comic for free, but also give insight to the whole creative process by including the original script and each stage of every page (pencils, inks, colors and finally lettering) of the comic book. The creation of a mother's desperate search for her daughter is fully documented, even including annotations reminiscent of DVD commentary tracks.
The success of MISERY DEPOT will be measured in downloads, subscriptions and links, not sales. ROMERA and PIQUE are already working on new projects to be distributed in a similar fashion, improving the experience based on what they learn from MISERY DEPOT. It is unclear what tools and formats will resonate more with their readers. One thing is for certain: there are plenty to choose.
For more information on MISERY DEPOT, please visit http://www.miserydepot.com or contact HERMES PIQUE at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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