Edwin does commissions for fans of Skullkickers and some times they\’re pretty specific. Here\’s one of the SK boys done in a slightly different style. In particular, you\’ll notice that they have regular eyes. Looks good, but strange…
Category Archives: Readers
The short version is that the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo kicked all kinds of ass. I brought a slew of Skullkickers and sold out of it all by Sunday afternoon, giving me a few hours to browse the show riding a wave of good feelings and enthusiasm long after my weary head wanted to lie down. Also, money.
The long version is that the Skullkickers webcomic initiative (man, that sounds too formal) is working.
It’s not pageview numbers versus print numbers. It’s much bigger than that.
I’ve effectively created a whole new audience for Skullkickers. After exhibiting at 4 conventions over the past 5 weeks, I can see already see the trend because of it. There are two audiences now.
Skullkickers is a moderately successful Image Comic series. We’ve shipped 13 issues (our 14th arrives next week) and our monthly sales numbers keep the series very much alive but aren’t anything to write home about. We do much better in trade, where our value-priced $9.99 softcover volume 1 and new hardback volume 1 & 2 combo book (dubbed ‘Treasure Trove’) are doing quite well in comic and book stores.
Skullkickers is now also a webcomic. I started serializing our early issues, one page every weekday, so that readers could discover us, start from the beginning and grow attached to the series, giving us outreach far past comic shop shelves and retailer ordering concerns. I’m thrilled to say that over the past 3 months we’ve generated 1.7 million+ pageviews to 96,000+ unique visitors. That is about twenty times our monthly issue audience and reaches people in places that don’t have comic shops at all.
So, reaching people is great and all but how does that translate to actual sales? If most are getting the milk for free, will they buy the cow?
Good news: Serializing the issues hasn’t negatively affected our sales one bit. Our trade sales through comic and book stores are up, steadily climbing. Making more people aware of the series has made them want the current material more, not less. Quality and good word of mouth is helping build our readership in shops bit by bit.
Better news: At conventions I’m selling a lot more. I’m not twice the sales person I was last year, but I’m selling more than double the number of books since we started serializing online. 9 times out of 10, I’m selling it to people who read the series online. I asked almost every person who came to my table if they’d heard of Skullkickers before. No word of a lie, when they said “yes”, 90% of those folks also said they were reading it online. It shocked me.
Some people were surprised we were being published by Image or that there were physical books at all. Most didn’t care that the comic is put out by the third largest comic publisher in North America. That had no bearing whatsoever on their purchase. They read the series online, enjoyed it, I was at the show, they bought books. Done, done, done and done.
The people who buy Skullkickers in comic shops buy every issue. It\’s their little joyful adventure hit every month. They bring the issues up to be signed when they see me at shows. Signing 13 issues in a stack is a thrill and I add a little note or joke statement to each one to make them extra special. I usually end up chatting with our comic readers about other creator-owned books they should be buying or upcoming Image titles that look exciting. Our print readers are very valuable to me. I don’t want any of things I’ve said above to give people the impression that isn’t the case.
The comic shop audience is not the web audience. Those two audiences don’t seem to mix much at all. They’re two distinctive audiences and they’re both valid, especially when they’re both growing. One group spends money every month on issues and some in trade, the other is larger with patrons who almost exclusively spend money on collections over a longer period. Putting content out to both doesn’t cannibalize either audience.
The bottom line is quality and availability, not web versus print. The more platforms, the more options, the better. People read comics and support creators either way.
Scott Kurtz, creator of webcomic giant Player Versus Player, gives a kindly shout out to Skullkickers and our new Treasure Trove collection.
If this is your first time coming to our site thanks to Scott\’s recommendation, welcome aboard! Start by reading our web archive of free pages running each week day and, if that grabs you, feel free to buy Treasure Trove and get all caught up on the adventure.
There’s no other way to put it. The last two days of our Tavern Tales Contest have been a whirlwind as over a hundred entries poured in over the weekend right before the finish line. Everyone on the creative team was blown away by the response.
With that many submissions it’s going to take us some time to go through them all, weigh them over in our minds and make final decisions about who our two winners are. We’re hoping to be able to announce the winners by end of May. If things go well, maybe sooner. From the first few entries we’ve skimmed through we can tell that it’s going to be very, very hard to pick winners. Please be patient with us.
Thank you for putting your creativity and time into these art and writing submissions. If this was your first time reading the series, we hope you enjoyed it and will stick around for more of our adventures even if you don’t end up winning the coveted Tavern Tales spot.
Thank you for supporting Skullkickers and other creator-owned comics. We couldn’t do it without you.
It\’s the last day for all of you to submit your writing/art for our Skullkickers Tavern Tales Contest! 8 weeks can go by quickly, and here we are now at the end.
If you\’ve already submitted material, thank you so very much. We\’ve already received a ton of entries and are humbled by the great response this contest received from comic writers and artists aplenty.
With so many to go through, it\’s going to take some time to filter through all the entries and choose our winners. We hope to have the winners announced by end of May. Thanks for your patience and understanding.
It\’s SKULLKICKERS Day! Also, new comic day! BOTH! New Skullkickers Comic Day! Treasure Trove too! Exclamation marks!! GO!
It happened again – we made a book!
Skullkickers Treasure Trove, the oversized Skullkickers vol. 1 & 2 combo hardcover with extras, arrives at comic shops April 4th (next week). $34.99 for 304 pages of awesome monster mashy fantasy action-comedy goodness.
If you haven\’t read Skullkickers yet, this beauty is made to convert you into a fan. If you are a fan, this is your desirable high quality format upgrade.
We cannot wait until you guys get a copy in your hands. It turned out awesome!
At Image Expo just over a week ago we announced a spiffy new contest where you can submit your art or writing and possibly be picked to join a line-up of top notch pro talent as part of our next Tavern Tales short story issue, arriving in #18. Click through for all the details and get on board!
From everyone here on the Skullkickers creative team, thank you for a momentous year!
We released 8 issues and 2 trade paperbacks in 2011, attended a slew of conventions and had a lot of fun continuing the adventures of our two monster mashing morons. Next year we\’ve got big plans, with the third story arc, Munchkin-Skullkickers and a whole lot more coming your way. It\’s gonna be great!
We couldn\’t do it without your continuing support and encouragement.