D&Q finally goes digital with Kobo Vox and Chester Brown

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Publisher of the Year candidate Drawn & Quarterly has finally broken the seal on literary comics going digital with a two-book deal with the Kobo Vox which will see Chester Brown’s LOUIS RIEL and PAYING FOR IT released. According to associate publisher Peggy Burns, the deal is non-exclusive, and next year will see more titles and platforms for D&Q.

Literary comics publishers Fantagraphics and D&Q are along the last holdouts among publishers going digital — partially due to their authors’ ambivalence (or complete dislike) of the platform — so even this tiny toe-dipping into the digital world represents a big step forward. In this case, Chester Brown actually encouraged the move — and it doesn’t hurt that Kobo is, like D&Q, a Canadian company.

“Many people assumed we would never do e-books,” Burns said, “we were open to the idea, but wanted to approach it cautiously.” Burns cited Brown for moving the digital effort forward. “This past fall, we had a fortuitous series of events that brought the project to the foreground. Chester voiced his desire for e-books, CBC Canada Reads shortlisted Louis Riel in its top-ten for its annual contest, and most importantly, fellow Canadian company Kobo inquired if we would consider e-books.”

Burns also noted the impact of the tablet devices which are much better at displaying comics than e-ink devices. Brown’s comics are also black & white and “easier to translate to the digital readers,” she said. Kobo’s pitch was “very friendly and nonexclusive,” in addition, Kobo promotes the CBC Canada Reads titles. “They understood who we are and what is important to us. It all happened very organically which is how we prefer to do business,” she said.


According to publisher Chris Oliveros, proceeds will be split 50/50 between author and publisher.

Fantagraphics has long been said to be looking into a digital partner; with digital readers better than ever, it seems only a matter of time until they decide to venture out of the locker and get down to the shore of Tablet Ocean.

Comments

  1. Earth-2 Chad says:

    I’m as digital as they come, comics-wise, but I don’t see myself ever going that route for D&Q and Fantagraphics releases. Their books are such beautiful, well-designed objects that I have to have them in print.

  2. I got the digital version of Paying For It and it keeps charging me $100 an hour every time I start reading it.

  3. It should be noted that Kobo is no longer Canadian; it has been sold to Japanese company Rakuten.

    http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/SciTech/20111108/indigo-books-and-music-sells-kobo-business-111108/

  4. Christian Maiwald says:

    “According to publisher Chris Oliveros proceeds will be split 50/50 between author and publisher.”

    Erm, how else? I heard ot 60:40 or 40:60, but still – what´s so special about it? How do other companies handle this?

  5. Well, in the traditional publishing world it’s actually quite lower. Like 25%. So maybe that’s what they’re hinting at.

  6. Eddie Campbell’s Dapper John graphic novel was released this month for the iPad and has been receiving great reviews both for its contents and its superior software.

    Fantagraphics and Drawn & Quarterly would be welcome to work with us to provide their material on a digital platform in a format superior to what is being offered by Comixology and the like.

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dapper-john-in-days-ace-rock/id484862579?mt=8

    and

    http://eddiecampbell.blogspot.com/2011/12/nd-here-it-is-this-exists-only-as-app.html

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