Sneak peek of The Devil's Cut, the first book from the much-hyped new comic book publisher DLSTRY

Originally published at: Sneak peek of The Devil's Cut, the first book from the much-hyped new comic book publisher DLSTRY | Boing Boing


I want, I want, I want! What fabulous artwork and intriguing story bites. I’m blown away already.

EDIT: Link to the publisher on previous page doesn’t seem to work, but this one does:


As intriguing as the artwork and the glimpsed storytelling is, their business model makes me irrationally angry.

I don’t want collectibles, Oh, I’ll get print editions of stories I do like, but that’s not to collect but more like how I’ll buy a CD from a busker. Or a shirt from a band I like.

I hate being pressured into buying, limited runs make me angry as well, because I read at my own pace, and I know I’m going to be the chump if I play their game.

Heck, the artwork is great, the stories intriguing, but that’s not convincing me to actually spend my euros on them.

I’m getting too old for this.


I would agree with the ‘irrationally’ part. They’re not trying to game you. They’re selling comic books, at comic book stores, and giving profit percentages to the creators. You can buy them online, and if you do, you can sell them online and there’s some (too technical for my small brain) way they are tracking them to prevent people buying nonsense fakes. It’s all pretty legitimate and above board.

Note - I had dinner with one of the employees, but I have no finanicial connection and am not an investor I really really really want a print edition after seeing the boingboing previews - the artwork looks amazing.

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The book title caused my brain to transform the publisher name to DSTLRY and I thought it was about bourbon.


Wait, it is DSTLRY. The BB post title is incorrect.

A new challenger has entered the comic book publishing scene. Former Comixology executives David Steinberger and Chip Mosher are spearheading a company called DSTLRY (pronounced “distillery”), with the twin goals of creating a more equitable platform for creators and bringing an element of collectibility to digital comics.

ETA: I chose that link just because it gives the pronunciation. I don’t actually know anything about comics.


So wrong path to the right answer.


Were you thinking “devil’s cut” as maybe being like “angel’s share”? (just curious)

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Ha ha, I just found that on the internet as you were posting.

I still don’t know what the actual comic is about…

ETA: I see now—The Devil’s Cut is the title of their first sampler of comics. Silly me.

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Yeah, you get why I say “irrationally”. I realise they are trying to be fair to both the artists and the audience, but my past experience with limited sales and attempts to monetise second sales have not been good.

The incident I am reminded of is how some creators jumped on the micropayment bandwagon, which flopped because of human psychology: each transaction takes the same toll, whether it’s for a few cents or several dollars. It’s part of why people like “all you can eat” buffets, or monthly tickets to public transportation: one payment and no longer worry about it. But creators like Scott McCloud were convinced it would save the artists and be the way for artists to get money from their readers.

The other incident I am painfully reminded of is the variant cover and collectible craze of the 1990s, mainly because I didn’t want any collectibles, I wanted stories. I wanted the American market to rival the European one, with its complex tales and stories that didn’t involve superheroes.

The thing is, the current model of the internet isn’t all that good. Most webcomic artists are buskers, giving the comic for free and Patreon is the pub with the cover charge. Or they make their money selling merch like tees, tote bags and such. But it rarely is enough to make it a full time job, even the most successful like Phil and Kaja Foglio mostly scrape by.


Look, if they end up publishing non-collectibles, I’ll be happy. But talk about collectibles and digital marketplaces make me think they are repeating mistakes. It just rubs me the wrong way. And brings up bad memories of Dave Sim for some reason.


The business model is intriguing. I, too, am susceptible to falling for fringe ideas that are boldly promising yet somehow fizzle. Set aside the limited run marketing promise, having participated myself in several far out profit/non-profit businesses that started out with non-conformist practices they didn’t teach us in 99% of MBA programs, not all of which either failed or were converted to more conventional models, I’m crossing my fingers, that the creator’s slice continues in perpetuity, so long as the comics are that good.

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