The ominous subject line says it all – we’re shutting down production as a monthly digital comic. In lieu of flowers, please send gin, gold, and fizzy cola bottles. Mainly gin.
But how has this happened? Who do we kill?! Is it The Man? Did THE MAN strike us down?? I hate The Man! The Man sucks! No, it wasn’t The Man, it was a combination of things. We’ve always been pretty open about how things work around here, so hopefully this post will be useful to other people starting up an indie comic, or at least interesting.
First of all, we’re extremely proud of our first ten issues – we’ve had the pleasure of working with lots of extremely talented creators, and have been involved in the development of many amazing stories. Seeing the work come in has been hugely inspiring, and reminded us why we started this in the first place. We’ve had great reviews, and some wonderful reader feedback.
We have unfortunately, also had our challenges, such as problems with companies like Graphicly (documented here: http://comicsbeat.com/graphicly-folds-will-creators-be-paid-what-theyre-owed/ ), delays (due to people, including us, understandingly having to prioritise paid work), and lower sales than we’d hoped for. That’s in addition to the regular monthly website costs, business expenses, etc.
Our hope was to be breaking even after our first year, then steadily increase sales, allowing us to grow on that in our second year. Unfortunately, we found ourselves struggling to maintain the amount of material required for a monthly comic, which in turn led to more time being spent by editorial on developing new material (we roughly had one successful development for every four unsuccessful developments). This limited the amount of time we could spend growing VS, as we were mainly trying to keep up with our existing schedule. Ultimately, our modest readership was not enough to sustain the monthly costs.
With all this in mind we decided to cease production as a monthly digital comic with immediate effect. Our aim now is to publish a complete, oversized VS collection featuring a selection of our best stories, as well as some of the many great stories that we have in development. We’ll be looking to Kickstart this later, as a limited run collection.
Thank you to all our fantastic creators for being part of VS and making it so much fun to work on, and thank YOU for reading it and giving us a chance. We’ll all be back with different projects, of course, so keep an eye on our various websites (see the links page).