The evolution (revolution?) of indie publishing through digital distribution
continues, with a project that allows you to pay the price of your choice for original work by established creators, unavailable anywhere else, complete with Kickstarter-esque rewards for particular price levels.The Whole Story
is the brainchild of creator Ryan Estrada, who explains the idea
as a way to make buying comics online... well, just plain better:
Most of the services out there are geared toward what's good for the middle man, not the customer. But luckily, I also make comics. And know a lot of others who do too. So we spent most of the last year putting together an amazing collection of brand new books. And built a site to get them directly to you in the way that I would like to buy comics. Direct from the artists, at whatever price you think is fair, without having to register an account or download an app.
The first offering includes Estrada's own The Kind
, A Heart of Stone Work
by Box Brown and the anthology Fusion Elementary
, featuring work by the likes of Estrada, Katie Cook, Jeffrey Brown Dinosaur Comics
' Ryan North, Octopus Pie
's Meredith Gran, and - as the saying goes - many, many more. The books are available as DRM-free, Retina resolution PDFs -- here's a preview
-- for whatever price you're willing to pay, from $1 upwards ("The minimum sale through Gumroad is one dollar," Estrada explains, adding that people who want to pay less than that can get in touch to try and work something out). For those willing to pay more, you'll get more for your money; additional books are available, as are podcast commentaries and the ability to gift books to friends, with a $200 reward of original art, download links for ten friends and over 1700 pages of comics mailed to you on an SD card. That's a pretty good deal right there.
"My dream is that if this takes off, I can start offering advances to awesome cartoonists so that they can focus on making the best comics they can," Estrada explains, "[and] I can focus on making new graphic novels full time. And overall, the world will have a lot more great comics!"
You can check out the site here