Comic creators Malin Ryden and Emma Vieceli should be celebrating this week, after their much-praised web comic, BREAKS, reached its milestone second anniversary – but despite all their hard work promoting the comic, we’re sorry to report they’re still battling to gain readers.
BREAKS is entirely independent comic, co-written by Emma with Swedish creator Malin Ryden. Launched in February 2014, it’s being released as an entirely free-to-read on www.breakscomic.com with hopes of making a beautiful collected edition when the time comes. (Emma also has a Patreon campaign running, in case anyone would like to support the time she’s putting into the project).
“Everyone wears a mask,” says Emma of the story. “What we see of people on the surface is so rarely what’s ticking underneath. And, in Cortland Hunt’s case, what he’s hiding might just be more than Ian Tanner is prepared for.
“BREAKS is the story of two young adults coming to terms with who they were, who they are and who they’ll become. It’s a love story… but a little broken.”
Despite great reviews for the project and undoubted efforts to promote it, Emma tells us she’s still finding it hard to grow the strip’s audience – a battle other web comic creators will surely sympathise with, no matter what platform they use to publish their project.
“I’ve been running BREAKS, uploading a page a week without fail for two years, and have not seen a significant rise in reader numbers in months,” Emma says, a creator who firmly believes in honesty about how the world of comics functions as an industry.
“I designed the web version because I didn’t want readers to have to buy issues before the trade comes out, she explains. (You can buy the Prologue from her web store, or direct from her at comic events). “It was supposed to promote and spread the word ready for the book’s release, and it seems to have hit a limit on where it can reach within my own online parameters.
“I’ve had amazing support from a few fabulous independent retailers (Page45, Big Bang, Orbital, Gosh!) and some wonderful early reviews (Forbidden Planet International, CBR, Travelling Man) with our Prologue issue, but the story has continued online, and the numbers have been very slow to rise.
“The readers we have are wonderful,” she enthuses, “but – call me crazy – I sort of want to reach more for the amount of work I’ve been putting in and for the book that we’ll be printing.
With two years of the comic and over one hundred pages under their collective belts and a few pages off of finishing the comicking on arc one, the first print collection of BREAKS will, we’re told, hopefully be published this summer.
Why not help Emma and Malin celebrate two years of consistent labour of love by taking a look at BREAKS, and help boost their readership by letting people know what you think on social media? They deserve to have some new readers sent their way.