Christopher Carter, CEO for GlobalComix, enters the Yeti Cave to sit down with Steve Thompson to discuss the digital platform and what it has to offer to both readers and creators alike.
Comic Book Yeti: Can you tell us what GlobalComix does and what does "Read. Create. Publish." mean in the context of your mission statement?
Christopher Carter (GlobalComix CEO): GlobalComix is a digital platform that is designed to be the nexus of activity for the online comics community. We’ve built support for both readers and creators that allow them to use GlobalComix in meaningful and unique ways.
For fans of comics, “Read” means they can enjoy all of their favorites through a reading experience that is flexible and can be tailored to the story they’re reading. We help creators share memorable experiences and create that same feeling as reading an awesome story that you just picked up from the local comic shop.
“Create” is how we work with creators and publishers to ensure they have the tools at their disposal to be successful in the creation process. If someone is looking for work within the comics industry, or a creator wants to build a team to make comics, they can do that on GlobalComix with the Talent Marketplace.
When we talk about “Publish,” our mission is to make publishing comics and getting them in front of readers as quick and easy as possible, while also offering in-depth analytics and deep customization when it comes to how the creator wants to monetize their content.
CBY: What devices can readers use to read a comic?
CC: GlobalComix is currently available on all devices that have a web browser, including Smart TVs, phones, computers, tablets, and more. We are working on native applications for iOS and Android devices and will be launching that around the end of Q2 next year.
For the reading experience, there are multiple ways to read comics available on GlobalComix. We have the traditional page format where the reader turns the page to get to the next, vertical scroll, which seamlessly transitions from page to page as you scroll down, and interactive reader which allows creators to highlight specific panels of a page in succession to tell the story panel-by-panel.
CBY: And what can readers expect in terms of content?
CC: There are a wide variety of comics, graphic novels and manga available on GlobalComix, from a diverse group of creators and publishers -- both small and large. Some of the names that your readers might be familiar with are Humanoids, Heavy Metal, AWA Studios, Mad Cave Studios and Source Point Press, to name a few.
We also work closely with indie creators and smaller teams to support their work and have a great mix of comics from all genres that fans have come to expect from a digital comics platform. As of today, we have over 10,000 comic books available to read from over 100 publishers and thousands of creators, with that number expected to more than double in 2022.
CBY: How should creators contact you, and what are you looking for?
CC: The great thing about GlobalComix is that creators don’t actually have to contact us before uploading their work. It’s as simple as going to https://globalcomix.com/publish, creating an account, and then setting up a brand page.
For creators or publishers that have questions about the process, they can reach us in a few ways. We’re always active on Twitter (@globalcomix), our contact email is firstname.lastname@example.org, and we have an active Discord server (https://discord.gg/RAHJgFe) that we use to engage directly with our reader and creator community.
In terms of what we’re looking for, we’re not necessarily picky when it comes to the type of content a creator might bring to GlobalComix. Great stories are what we care about most, and that’s something that can be delivered through any format or genre.
CBY: How does the Talent Marketplace work, and what makes it different?
CC: At its core, Talent Marketplace is a way for creators to connect and create. It’s designed specifically for the comics industry to help give creators a more modern place to find work or build a team.
On one side, creators can showcase their skills and portfolio through listings expressing the desire to find work. They can set the roles they’re interested in, as well as the type of compensation they’re willing to work for.
On the other side, creators and publishers can set up listings to fill vacant roles on their teams. Much like the “looking for work” component, they can describe the project, list available roles, and the type(s) of compensation available. There are multiple types of compensation that can be defined per role, so it can be as granular as the person building the team needs.
To top it off, we’ve partnered with Creative Contract Consulting, a comics lawyer business run by Gamal Hennessy, Esq., to offer all users of the Talent Marketplace free legal consultations for their projects or listings.
CBY: What data do creators have access to?
CC: Using GlobalComix internal real-time analytics, creators have access to all relevant information about their readers without compromising a reader’s PII expectations. This means they get aggregate details about readership such as a count of people and pages read, readership completion funnels (people who read from page 1 to last page per book) for all books, country and origin information for readers, as well as attribution data for “how the readers found the books”.
The coolest thing here is that a creator/publisher can generate tracked links to share in social media, email campaigns, etc., which gives them full insight into how many people click through and read their content.
We also provide the same kind of metrics for all readership engagement that happens in the GlobalComix ecosystem -- e.g. follows, comic likes, comments, all the way through email open/click statistics on new release notification emails to followers.
Further, and this is actually highly recommended, we very easily let creators/publishers connect a Google Analytics Account that they own to their profile, which will submit all the same metrics and views (even on profile pages, etc.) to everyone’s favorite web analytics tool. Here, they can get much more granular insights on demographics, interests, browser languages, and much more -- AND, they can even further connect their GA account to a Google Adsense account to be able to advertise to and “retarget” people that have been reading their comics or visited their profile pages.
With all of this in mind, however, I’d like to reiterate that we do not share a reader’s private information with anyone that they have not opted [into] beforehand -- including creators and publishers :)
CBY: Can anyone anywhere in the world read GlobalComix titles?
CC: Absolutely! GlobalComix is designed to be a platform that anyone can access. As of this writing, we have titles from 67 different origin countries, and those stories are available no matter where the reader is.
CBY: What are your thoughts on what titles or genres are popular with readers and how you think those readers most want to consume their comics?
CC: In terms of the broader question of genre popularity, the really fascinating thing is that there aren’t just a handful of genres that are popular. We developed a popularity algorithm to track just that, and it’s showing that there’s a good mix of genres staying around the top of the popularity list.
No matter the genre a reader might be interested in, there’s going to be something they can enjoy. If anyone is interested in seeing the popularity algorithm in action, it’s integrated into our browse page. You can access it at https://globalcomix.com/browse/?sort=popular with 7 days, 30 days, 3 months and 1 year as time frame options.
For specific titles, Humanoids joined GlobalComix very recently, so their titles have been among the most popular over the past month. Heavy Metal has also had a lot of popular releases in that same time period. And of course Killtopia, with its upcoming TV series, has also been top of mind for readers.
CBY: What is the future of GlobalComix? How big can this go?
CC: There will come a time where, when you think of finding digital comics online, no matter where they’re made or in what language, you will think of checking GlobalComix first. We’re on a mission to bring all the world’s comics online and to make them accessible to people no matter where they are or what language they speak.
To get there, we’ve now finally gotten to the phase where we are developing a localization program both as a service through the platform for any comic, as well as a business capability that we’ll be offering to our partners. You can picture a future where some of your favorite comics are launched simultaneously in 3-7 languages.
But really, our mission is to help creators be successful with their work, and we won’t stop building, growing, and innovating until we can confidently say that we’re doing exactly that for the majority of dedicated creators using our platform. And even after that, there are always ways to expand. Comics as a medium lends itself exceptionally well to a wide variety of different derivative products, from the various kinds of merch through to animation and live-action.
One of my own favorite ideas I’m nurturing for the future would be a way for 2D (comics) and 3D (modellers) creators to pair up and make use of 3D printing to create amazing unique products related to people’s favorite stories.
So to answer the question of how big this can go? Well, there really are no limits. ;-)
CBY: Anything else the world really needs to know?
CC: I think one thing that I really always want to reiterate to folks is that the growth and success of digital comics, (and thus GlobalComix), is not a zero-sum game with printed comics and printed books.
I tend to view digital comics as a lower barrier to entry, greater ease+access of consumption / binging, and lower cost -- however, they don’t really detract from the physical or printed experience in any way. If anything, they’re both two cogs in the same ecosystem that, if used correctly, only [complement] each other in ways that aren’t possible with just one or the other.
Printed comics, in my opinion, are not going away anytime soon. In fact, I think there will be increased demand for that “premium product” by folks who get entirely hooked on the stories, the universes, and the characters.
So, we’re building GlobalComix to help bring the concept of comics, the stories, the inspiration, to many more people around the world that otherwise would never have access to them. And, we let creators/publishers directly link/sell their physical comics to readers through GlobalComix.
We truly believe that by giving all these tools and power to the creators and publishers directly, amazing things will happen for fans, collectors, and creators. And as a result, many, many more people will be able to enjoy the wonderful world of visual storytelling even more. :)
Thank you so much for having me. I hope I’ve left a few moments of inspiration with your readers!