Welcome back everyone. Although there are still a whole bunch of great comics out there, this week I wanted to talk about a platform that is a must for indie creators and avid comic readers. Today I want to talk about POP Comics, a mobile app for comics and manga.
POP Comics is a new platform that was created by a company called TokyoPop. They are a manga publishing company in North America, having brought us great titles like Cowboy Bebop, and are now launching their new Disney manga line up that looks great. I actually can’t wait to get their adaptation of The Nightmare before Christmas. The company was founded in 1997 by entrepreneur and filmmaker Stu Levy.
The app “was developed BY and FOR manga & comics creators and fans. A mobile-first manga & comic’s platform, you can upload, share, read and comment on comics, all from your phone or tablet.” The variety of comics available is impressive. I’ve seen titles drawn out with pens, some with pencils, and others that were quite notably scanned and uploaded from line paper. This is amazing! No more hassles, people can get into the game and share their work.
From a creator’s standpoint this project is very interesting as it tries to bring about a YouTube for comics, a platform where anyone can upload their work, and fans can check it out without having to cough up dollars upfront — at the expense of having to put up with the occasional ad. Much like its video-streaming counterpart, POP feels like a training ground for new talent.
I have used this platform since it first was made available earlier this year. As is usually the case, when it was first opened up to the public there were many problems with it. It was not user-friendly. But recently they revamped the program and I am happy to say that most problems have been resolved.
I uploaded some of my work to tryout the platform. The analytics run a bit weird. It counts the page views as opposed to comic reads. Last I checked, 6 people read my 14-page comic. I got a total 167 page views, so those 6 readers resulted in most of my views it would seem. From those views there were 32 ads displayed. Every four pages an ad pops up, but not all ads are payable based upon viewing — some are only payable based on clicks. Out of those ads it is estimated that I made $0.01 thus far. So if we looked at this from a money making scheme, maybe not the best option.
Now let’s look at that objectively. This may not be a rags to riches story now, but as a new indie comic creator getting more exposure goes a long way. And as we saw with the YouTube phenomenon those who started early were part of the group that sculpted what YouTube would be. There is an infinite stream of possibilities with this platform and if we all get in there we can make it into something great.
The fact that my work got 6 new readers made me dance like crazy. It is easier to promote your work when it is posted for free than when charging a price like on Comixology and Amazon, and the setup is smoother than the classic web-comics interfaces. I highly recommend the platform, and (!!shameless plug!!) I also recommend my comic, The Fam.