Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

April 25, 2014

Assembled Extra: Mark Waid's Thrillbent Re-Launches -- New App, New Content, New Subscription Model

imageThrillbent, the site owned by the prominent writer Mark Waid and featuring work from Waid and a number of collaborators and peers, announced a new iteration of itself called Thrillbent 3.0. There's a bunch of stuff in there, but I think the most significant -- or at least the one that popped for me -- is a push for a monthly subscription model at $3.99. This would be a different than an all-free approach in that it leverages the site's recent creative pedigree and the happy customers that have enjoyed the works they've produced so far into something that more directly rewards the creator as opposed to building an audience in the broadest fashion possible and capitalizing on that broad model vis-a-vis trade collection or related merchandise. That seems to me something we'll see more of as an any number of site potentially launch and customers become more accustomed to paying for certain kinds of access and material on-line. Thrillbent also launched an app to provide wider access to their material and announced new content, including a subscription inducement DRM-free graphic novel of the Empire work Waid's done with the artist Barry Kitson in anticipation of a continuation of that work through Thrillbent. I think I have all of that right; someone will correct me if I'm wrong.

I appreciate how fluid that site has been in terms of trying new things to engage with readers. For example, one thing that's been discussed here in the past is features on the site that use changes within a static frame as opposed to changing each entire frame -- a way to utilize a digital window's very different ability to use physical juxtaposition in the way that print can. Watching Waid figure this stuff out is important for that experimentation but also because of his established in the field of print comics and traditional mainstream publishing -- I'm sure a lot of his peers are watching Thrillbent and have a greater understanding as to what he's trying than they might have a natural take on more traditional webcomics models.
posted 2:15 am PST | Permalink

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