Friday, January 25, 2008

Comics: City stompin' mega-monster action; cheap as free.

Boom Studios, an indie comics publishing house, recently made comic biz buzz by offering one of its new series in simultaneous print and free online formats. Though retailers groaned, Boom claimed the strategy was a success and that the print edition sold out. (It is actually nearly impossible to judge the accuracy of their claim due to some quirks in the comic biz publishing model – still, it was news.)

"You will let me know when I should start caring, right?" you may well ask.

Tough crowd.

Fair enough. Here's why you, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Q. Horror Fan, care. Boom has picked up the reprint rights for Steve "30 Days of Night" Niles's 2005 mini-series Giant Monster. Several years ago, Niles – then the one-man vanguard for horror comics – was tearing through the dusty horror subgenres, trying to revive them with a crazed mix of off-kilter approaches and over the top ultra-violence. His take on the BFM subgenre was fun, but it didn't capture the imagination the way his vampire epic did and ended up gathering dust while other his other works were republished in nice collected editions.

Boom has taken upon themselves to correct this oversight. And they're doing it up nice. For Boom's new collected Giant Monster, the publisher is revisiting their double-barreled online/print approach. This time, though, the online edition is being released in a serialized form. Comic Book Resources started things off by posting the first 22 pages of the comic. Every day, CBR will post the next page. Eventually, all 90-some pages will be available, completely free.

Here's the first pages.

If you get impatient, the hardcopy book is available at your local comic shop.

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