The Big Newson August 18, 2015 at 12:48 pm
Welp, after teasing it 4 months ago, I can finally reveal the big news… First Second, the publisher who brought you “American Born Chinese”, “Anya’s Ghost” and “Zita the Spacegirl” has decided to completely immolate any reputation it’s built up over the years and publish Demon!!!
For those not familiar with Demon’s fraught publishing history, this is amazing news. When I started Demon several years ago, I knew it would be a hard sell. But I had no idea how hard. At my lowest point, I was sitting on 720 penciled pages of insane depraved filth that no publisher wanted to touch with a 10 foot pole. Having just spent the previous three years on the project, I decided to double down, throw a few more years into the project and start tossing the book up on the web for free. I hadn’t self published since the beginning of my career and getting back into it was tougher than I’d remembered. Keeping up with a daily webcomics schedule, mailings, and the convention circuit almost broke my will and spirit as a human. I’d always been somewhat skeptical of webcomics to boot, but the last couple years have been the most rewarding years of my career. Thanks to YOU, Demon went from an unknown webcomic with a daily readership in the double digits to one of the most successful comics in my career. Your tweets and facebook recommendations and patreon pledges turned the project around to the point where not just one but multiple publishers were interested in it again. Reading the comments, fan art, jokes and criticism have been a daily highlight for me too. And now, it’s come full circle. Demon will be a published book after all.
For those curious about the details of the collection, Fist Second is planning to publish it in 4 volumes. The first one comes out in the fall of 2016 with a new volume every 4 months over the next year. I’ve been talking with the designer and I’m genuinely excited about the production. We’re breaking with the standard graphic novel format and going for these really nice wide, softcover, volumes with 2 color printing on this wonderfully rough paper stock. Think of those old 1960’s paperbacks you’d find in used bookstores.
Publishing is an old business, but First Second is one of the few publishers who are smart and courageous about the web and social media. They’ve been extremely sympathetic to my argument that this site not only doesn’t compete with book sales but can add to and supplement them. And in an almost unprecedented move, they’re allowing me to continue running the series in its entirety to the very end, with no paywalls, ads, missing last chapters, or other bullshit. Of course it’s easy for me to crow about how hard I fought for this but I’m not the one risking millions of dollars on this new business model. It’s an incredibly risky gamble to offer the entire content of a future release for free online, but I’m hoping it pays off for them, for me and for you!
Perhaps even more incredibly, First Second is letting me finish up the run of booklets I’ve been printing for my patronis. I’ve never heard of this happening anywhere in any business either. I’ve only got 20 or so left, to be honest, so once they’re sold, that’s it. If you want to be one of the lucky few who own a complete run of hand crafted riso printed Demon booklets, you can get them on patreon for a few more days anyway. Speaking of things that aren’t long for this world, the majority of the Demon archives will be taken down a couple months after the story wraps up on my site. I’m working on a way to try and preserve the comments, since I know some of you have put a lot of time and thought into them. Stay tuned for more info on that.
Thanks once again to everyone who gave me their support, my friends, my agent who I’m sure I drove to the edge of insanity several times over the course of this project, my family but most of all YOUUUUUUUU my readers. I’ve said it before but this project would not be possible without you.