September 17, 2013

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Action Lab Moves into Digital First, Teases Titles

Action Lab's darker side, Danger Zone, moves into the digital-first publishing world starting in October, based on an teaser image they released.

Working with far and away the most popular digital comics distributor, Comixology, Action Lab joins a trend we're seeing a lot more of lately, where books are given a digital release and then later are collected into a traditional paper version.

There's no word on whether that's the plan or not, but given that Monkeybrain, DC, Dynamite, and others all eventually move their digital first comics into something sold at stores, it's logical that Action Lab will follow the same trend.

Sadly, the company did not provide any information on these titles, so I can't make a lot of commentary. I'm a little surprised they did not give any creative team information or pricing to help give this a push, but perhaps that will come later.

From what I can see, it looks like we have a bloody, gory series in Scum of the Earth, a raunchy version of a children's comic in Itty Bitty Bunnies (possibly with My Little Pony jabs), a blackspoitation-inspired work with a plush bear in an Afro for Bo Plushy Gangster, and maybe a superhero pastiche in Crimson Society.

Hard to judge a book by its cover, but in this case you'll have to. Based on Action Lab's current pricing and the general market for digital-first books, I'm guessing these will be 99 cents, making them something you can easily try when you pick up your regular books from Comixology.

It's interesting to me that these are all Danger Zone books. I wonder if that's something they determined from marketing (do more folks buy mature books digitally?) or if there's a plan afoot to add all-ages digital titles going forward. I also wonder if this is a way to gauge interest in making these regular series. So far, Action Lab has been pretty smart about how they grow their line. I'll be watching this carefully to see how it develops.