I start off every day by reading my favorite Web comics. It's the online, nerdy version of paging through the funnies in the newspaper. In the last decade or so, Web comics have gotten pretty big, with huge comics like Sluggy Freelance, User Friendly, PVP, and Penny Arcade getting thousands upon thousands of hits every day. However, these Web comics usually stay almost entirely on the Web, with only the most successful comics materializing in the form of trade paperbacks and print compilations. As it is, Scott Kurtz's PVP is one of the only Web comics to become an actual print comic book, published monthly by Image Comics.
Scott Rosenberg would like to change all that. Scott is the chairman and CEO of Platinum Studios, a comic book company that has branched into merchandising, media, and most importantly, digital publishing. Platinum Studios owns Drunkduck.com, one of the largest Web comics communities on the Web. Drunkduck hosts over 4,700 Web comics, and over 700 of them are updated at least weekly.
Cowboys and Aliens is one of the Web comics that Drunkduck hosts. The comic launched on Drunkduck on September 28 and hit comic book stores in December. You can still read the story online, but you can get a hard copy of it as well. Hero By Night is another case of comic book crossover. Hero By Night won last year's Comic Book Challenge and is scheduled to hit comic book stores in March. The Hero By Night Diaries are currently available on Drunkduck as an ongoing Web comic.
Of course, Platinum Studios isn't the only publisher to get in on the Web comic action. Marvel Comics offers some issues for free on its Web site, and Web comic site Keenspot sells compilations of several of its Web comics.
If you don't already read Web comics, you're missing out on some great, free stuff. I know this post has been a bit dry, so I'm going to wrap things up with a picture of (ostensibly) the world's largest comic book. Platinum Studios is putting out KISS 4K Destroyer Edition, a massive comic book based on the band Kiss. It measures 30x36 inches when open, and will retail for about $50 when it goes on sale later this spring.