Once upon a time there was Serialist, a crowd-sourced bookmarking tool for webcomics created by Josh Triplett and Jamey Sharp. This tool allowed Jamey to keep track of the 800 or so webcomics he read much easier than RSS or browser bookmarks did. The two creators toiled quietly and enjoyed their comics.
Meanwhile, in 2011 Andy Grossberg and Tim Shields formed a business called Comic Rocket based around a Facebook app that would let people read online comics for free while interacting socially. They joined the Portland Seed Fund's first class and received invaluable advice and a little scratch to pursue the vision. With their deep experience in the comics and games domains they lined up deals with major publishers and let the application loose on the world.
One day, Jamey happened upon a demo Comic Rocket was giving at the Portland State Business Accelerator. He was fascinated by the places they were taking comics and by that shiny thing colloquially known as "graphics." Before long he was signed on to become Chief Technology Officer of Comic Rocket. Shortly after that, it was decided the business would pivot into the growing field of webcomics. Comic Rocket v2 came about when the guys merged their businesses and a new vision was born.
Tim Shields -- Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder
Tim is a serial entrepreneur and game industry business leader with deep roots in comics. Tim oversees day to day operations of a company whose application connects 12,000 webcomics, hundreds of creators and thousands of users.
Andy Grossberg -- Chief Creative Officer, Co-Founder
Andy has worked diverse jobs in the comics industry since 1994, doing everything from lettering, editing, and even publishing. He's written comics that have sold hundreds of thousands of issues. Most recently, before co-founding Comic Rocket, Andy wrote and edited for the genre culture magazine Tripwire. Andy's job is to predict the future of comics.
Jamey Sharp -- Chief Technology Officer, Co-Founder
Jamey has been programming computers since he was a child. He's literally a rocket scientist who spends some of his spare time with the Portland State Aerospace Society. Previous gigs include core programming for the Tova Company and leading groups of programmers for Portland State's Capstone Project. Jamey has dominion over all things programmatic at Comic Rocket. He also reads more webcomics than most humans can imagine, now topping 900.Traci Shields -- Chief Financial Officer
Traci is a Harvard-educated accountant and co-owner of a high tech recruiting firm in Portland, OR.
We're working hard to make Comic Rocket a tool that helps creators reach more readers and helps readers find more comics.
This project is a labor of love that has grown out of our awe and admiration of the comics medium and its creators. We love comics and understand creators' rights intimately. We will never do anything to harm creators or take advantage of them.
We aim to be the most comprehensive list of online comics anywhere, becoming a sort of Google for digital comics. Our whole purpose is to share the discovery of webcomics and recommend them and we will pass that traffic on to every creator undiluted. We show their comic exactly as the creator intends because we take readers directly to the creator's site.
HOW COMIC ROCKET WORKS
Comic Rocket is a crowd-sourced indexing tool for users to find, read, bookmark and share their favorite webcomics. Users maintain reading lists that track their place in the archive of each comic as well as how many pages they have left to read.
Comic Rocket displays each comic with our navigation toolbar at the top of the page. Our nav tools maintain the reader's place inside the index for the comic they're viewing. Readers may also search for more comics with our search engine or via the Explore page. Users will also get recommendations shown to them based on their choices and other readers' behavior. If they like the comics they are offered they can add them to their list and start reading immediately.
When readers find a new webcomic to read they can add it to our collection and we will begin indexing it and archiving it within the hour. If anyone, creator or reader, has relevant information about a webcomic they can add it to our database or edit what is already there. If the creator has banner graphics for their comic, or convention appearance and online store information, they can send that to us to upload as well. However, because users are adding comics all the time, Comic Rocket can't notify creators that they have been added to the list. We do not control what comics our users add but we will remove any comic that its creator asks us to if they do not wish to be included by Comic Rocket.
HOW WE HELP CREATORS
Readers aren't the only people to benefit from Comic Rocket. Creators, you will get exposure to a fast-growing, dedicated community who are all targeted consumers. Readers receive recommendations from the system based on user behavior but they also share comics they like with each other and the world via social media. Readers who might not otherwise try your comics will be encouraged to do so without having to discover you in the wild.
OUR BUSINESS MODEL
You got us. We don't have one yet. Our plan is to add the comics first and bring them to the people. Hopefully everything else will follow. We expect to have some advertising on content we generate, some affiliation deals, maybe some technology deals down the road, and possibly even partnering with our creators to publish print/digital anthologies from comics on our site. We're not trying to make a profit right now; instead we're trying as hard as possible to advance webcomics, serve our readers, and grow our user base. The comics come first.
BUT, if you insist, you can