In an age where the line between digital comics and their physical counterparts is becoming blurrier, big publishers are trying new things to get digital readers to buy physical comics. Titan are going a step further: Letting you read weekly pages of comics online, months before they’re due to hit shelves.
The initiative kicked off today with a 12-page preview of André Lima Araújo’s Man Plus, a cyberpunk thriller set in Portugal circa 2042, where androids and cyborgs live among humans as technology increasingly pervades the lives of humans across the world. Twelve pages of the four-issue series are already available to view online, with updates offering a new page on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays—as if Man Plus were like any other webcomic.
This will continue until Man Plus #1 comes out in January of next year, in both physical and digital formats. What’s to entice a reader who’s already seen it all online? Apparently, extended character bios, concept art, bonus features (such as interviews) and extra world-building stories will be included to flesh out the wider world of the comic.
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It’s an interesting move—one that essentially makes the actual comic itself more accessible to people, and turns the physical comic book into a “value-add” rather than just the medium you actually experience the story in. Only time will tell if the program will impact on traditional digital and physical sales, but if it means more creator-owned comics are going to be able to reach a larger audience online, that’s a good thing.
You can check out the first 12 pages of Man Plus for free here.