Independent comics publisher Top Shelf Productions is expanding its digital program with the release of two dedicated apps--the Top Shelf Productions App, with its full lineup of titles and the Top Shelf Kids Club App, offering a selection of its line of Kids’ and all-ages comics. And to mark the digital expansion as well as the debut of its titles on Google eBooks and Graphicly, Top Shelf is holding a sale, offering five major titles for prices ranging from 99 cents to $2.99.
Top Shelf marketing coordinator and web editor Leigh Walton told PW Top Shelf titles have been available for digital delivery through the digital storefront of digital distributor and comics app developer Comixology, which worked with Top Shelf the develop the two dedicated app. “We had our comics available digitally in a few places but now we have a critical mass,” Walton said.
Top Shelf is making two dozen titles available through the digital vendor Graphicly and launching more than 100 digital graphic novels on Google eBooks making its list of comics available on every digital platform for every device, including Apple iOS and Android and the forthcoming Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet. Top Shelf titles are also available via the iBookstore and iVerse. The Top Shelf Productions App will feature digital editions of such critically acclaimed titles as Alan Moore’s From Hell and Kagan MacLeod’s Infinite Kung-Fu, a PW Best Book of 2011. The Top Shelf Kids Club App will feature apps for kids not previously available in digital formats.
The new apps are also “cross compatible” Walton said, explaining that consumers with an account on the Comixology storefront App can use the same account on the Top Shelf apps and have access to all Top Shelf comics they purchase through all platforms. To mark the expansion of their digital program, Walton said Top Shelf is offering five major titles on sale for a total price of $9.95. The titles include Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen ($1.99), Andy Runton’s Owly ($1.99), James Kochalka’s Johnny Boo (99 cents), Jeffrey Brown’s Clumsy ($1.99) and Robert Venditti & Brett Weldele’s The Surrogates ($2.99), prices that apply on every digital store, Walton said.
Walton said Top Shelf comics have been aavailable in digital formats since the summer, beginning with iVerse. He sales numbers were “encouraging” and so far the digital program “has been paying for itself.” Top Shelf has hired Chris Ross as its director of digital publishing to oversee the operation. While larger independent comics publishers like Dark Horse and IDW are making their comics available digitally, small but significant houses like Drawn & Quarterly and Fantagraphics have yet to announce their digital plans.
Walton said the growth of digital distribution in comics is a “step forward for comics. Especially offering full graphic novels. We’re pushing the envelope to get more graphic novel penetration. The switch to digital distribution is a little scary for comics publishers but it’s also very exciting and we’re pleased with the results so far.”