Official Press Release
ESCAPE FROM TERRA, the popular sci-fi adventure web-comic depicting the interplanetary adventures of hardy pioneers and visionary scientists, will have its first trade-paperback collection available July 7, 2010.
Big Head Press began running the web-comic on its site in September 2008 and has become the most popular feature the publisher has enjoyed since it began serializing its graphic novels in 2005, according to Scott Bieser, general director of the company.
The collection contains the first four story-arcs, beginning with "World Ceres" in which United World Revenue Service Agent Guy Caillard is dispatched to the minor planet Ceres, which holds the largest colony in
the Asteroid Belt. Caillard is ordered to contact the government on Ceres and make arrangements for the increasingly wealthy asteroid miners to pay taxes to and obey the laws of the Earth government. But the Cerereans have other ideas.
The book contains 187 pages of black-and-white art in a 192-page volume and carries a $12.95 retail price. It is listed in the May/July Diamond PREVIEWS catalog.
The series is based on short stories written by Sandy Sandfort, a lawyer and IT recruiter living in Panama who says he is inspired by the works of classic sci-fi author Robert A. Heinlein. The stories are adapted to comics scripts by Scott Bieser, who edits all of Big Head Press' stories, and draws many of them. The scripts are then illustrated by Lee Oaks, an artist who lives in northern Colorado.
The open-ended series continues to run on the Big Head Press website (http://www.bigheadpress.com) and is something of a departure for the publisher, which up to this point has focused on stand-alone graphic novels.
"We've been looking around at what works and what doesn't on the Web," Bieser explained. "We found that as we serialized our stand-alone novels, we'd build up an audience over time, and when the novel ended, the audience went away. Then we'd have to start over again with the next novel."
Bieser noted that the most successful web-comics are continuing series, whether they take the form of comic-strips or long-form comics. "People become invested in the characters and the fictional worlds and want to stay with them month after month, year after year," he said.
The Web also favors content that updates every weekday, compared with weekly or even three days per week, he added. For this reason, the publisher chose to present the story in a daily adventure-strip format, based on the models established by such classic features as Buck Rogers and Terry & The Pirates. The adventure comics of those days suffered from newspapers' habit of shrinking strips down to cram more of them on a page, but on the Web, these kinds of stories can have as much space as they need, Bieser said.