Adam P. Knave and D.J. Kirkbride on ComiXology's Digital Collections of Amelia Cole

Amelia Cole, Artful Daggers and other Monkeybrain Comics series are now available via comiXology's [...]

Amelia_Cole_04.inddAmelia Cole, Artful Daggers

and other Monkeybrain Comics series are now available via comiXology's Collections, offering batches of assembled single issues as essentially a low-cost digital graphic novel, offering fans an opportunity to buy whole storylines at a hit for less than full price... ...even when the graphic novel hasn't been released physically yet. Right now, fans can get the first arc of Amelia Cole, titled The Unknown World, for less than $5 and Amelia Cole: The Hidden War for $9.99. Amelia Cole writers Adam P. Knave and D.J. Kirkbride joined to explain the logic behind the move, and talk about the appeal of digital collections.

 So you guys have released a collected edition of the first Amelia Cole storyline already in print--without an eBook. Is that because it's comiXology-exclusive? Adam P. Knave: Well, let's be clear here. This is just a Collection. On comiXology a Collection is simply a grouping of issues together. It's not the trade, the trade is in print with extras and all that. The Collection is a grouping (and I won't say bundle because comiXology has bundles, too, and this isn't that - I know! It's confusing!) of issues - in these cases each arc so readers can get on board and just buy a whole arc a bit cheaper than the cost of the issues. It's giving readers another way to get Amelia. We're all about options. D.J. Kirkbride: Yeah, it's just a different way to read the same story for the most part, though the trade has extras not found in any of the digital editions, collected or otherwise. The collected editions are to make it easier for folks who like digital comics and want to read the whole storyline and save a little money. It's a convenience thing. Was that part of the decision to make a collection through comiXology happen? To give that niche of readers a product they can read in one sitting? DJK: Absolutely. One step instead of six steps to get a whole story arc. The savings are just a sweet bonus. How did you guys decide on the price point for the collected editions? DJK: I don't know how that was decided. Adam, did you send me emails explaining all of this, asking for my opinion and whatnot? I probably just went, "Awesome! Thumbs up!" and then I go back to staring into the middle distance. APK: Yeah we wanted to make them a bargin as much as possible so they were all priced at roughly 20% off what buying each issue by itself would cost. We did the same with Artful Daggers which also has a collection of the first arc available now.


 Do they have the same backmatter as the print edition? More? Less? Different? APK: The collections are just the issues collected together. The print trade has backmatter the digital stuff doesn't. We think of it like this: The single issues are as cheap as we can make them. They remain the easiest and fastest way to get, and keep up with, Amelia's story. But say you just tried the book, maybe you read the first arc. Well now you can get the Collected digital of the second arc just all in one lump cheaper. The print editions cost more than digital and we want to include special stuff there for people as well. DJK: Everything that Adam said, but clean shaven, taller, and less-well-read. Do you worry that the digital-first collected editions will hurt print sales for the graphic novels, or that retailers will be less apt to order them since they're already available cheaper? APK: We don't think the collections will hurt print any more than print hurts issue sales or issue sales hurt print. People have a whole list of ways they like to buy comics. Some people want issues and some want to wait for a storyline to finish. Some people love digital and some don't want to ever buy a digital product. We just want to give people as many ways as possible to read Amelia so they can find the right one for them. They aren't in competition with each other, they're all just pathways to enjoying the story and each has something to recommend it. DJK: Just different ways to read the same stories. If you're a reader who wants to sample the series, but you don't want to make a 6-issue commitment, the singles are for you. If you want to just dive in, snag a collection. You guys seem to be the first Monkeybrain book (as far as I can tell) to sell merch, too, right? How can we get our hands on a snazzy Amelia Cole t-shirt? DJK: I think a few have done shirts before us, Adam's other Monkeybrain book Artful Daggers, oddly enough, and I think High Crimes, too. The Amelia shirt is super sweet, though, with a classy Dylan Todd design based upon Nick Brokenshire's amazing art. Fashion forward thinkers can ensure their size is available by pre-ordering here. APK: Yup, we're not the first, but we may be the loudest.