The webcomics blog about webcomics

An Early Thursday Update For Important News

Thing about webcomics is, you can change how you do things. For instance, if you’re indy comics superstar/webcomicker/musician/creative powerhouse James Kochalka, and American Elf is a long-term subscription site with locked archives, you aren’t forced to keep to that model forever.

Especially given that since about 42 minutes ago, American Elf is no longer a subscription site with locked archives. This is a huge shift for Kochalka, so let’s quote him verbatim on it:

We’ve redesigned American Elf. One big important change is that the archives for American Elf the daily diary comic strip are now completely free. However, there’s still plenty of reason to subscribe. Subscribers will be getting tons of great bonus content, including Bonus Elf. (Some days I draw more than one diary strip, on those days the extra will appear in the Bonus Elfs section, for subscribers only.)

But that’s not all, no way. The new version of AmericanElf is called the American Elf Supersite for a reason. There’s gonna be lots more to it than just the American Elf strip itself. There’s the mp3 section filled with songs completely unavailable on my James Kochalka Superstar CDs. I’ve also got the first major Fancy Froglin comic up, with much much more Fancy to come. I’m going to start uploading my son Eli’s crazy monster drawings. Then I’ll probably start serializing a bunch of my old comics, like Deadbear Circus Detective, or maybe early issues of James Kochalka Superstar, or maybe some new series, or maybe all the various short pieces I did for anthologies over the years, or maybe the comics I drew when I was a little kid. Really, the possibilities are mind boggling.

What sort of bonus content are you subscribers most interested in seeing?

Personally, I’m happiest about the Fancy Froglin news, largely because I’m never going to forget the day at MoCCA a couple years ago when a recent purchaser of the CBLDF Fancy Froglin shirt got Kochalka to draw the genitals back in. Awesome.

Genitals aside, this is an opportunity for all and sundry to go do a nice deep crawl through the AES archives, to fall deeply in love with Kochalka’s work, and to reward him for this gift of free entertainment. Other creators have seen their readerships and incomes go up by opening their archives, and it’s up to you to make sure that Kochalka meets with similar fortune.

New son, new business model, new bonus content — I have a feeling that Kochalka is going to look at the end part of 2007 with some fondness.

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