It's been teased for more than a month, but Mark Waid's new digital comic venture Thrillbent finally launched today. The first installment, Insufferable, is a new series co-created with former Irredeemable partner Peter Krause which, fittingly, puts a new spin on some familiar ideas...Waid describes Thrillbent as the result of a belief that "comics can and will be a thriving mass medium in the digital age if - IF - they're created for modern media devices and not exclusively for printed pamphlets that are overpriced, uninviting to new readers, and abominably distributed in only a relative handful of storefronts nationwide" (And with that, a whole new group of comic readers and retailers prepare the next round of outrage). It's the latest part of Waid's growing digital presence, which has so far included his free Luther comic, the first Marvel Infinite Comic, and the repositioning of his personal blog into a process blog detailing his discoveries, lessons and experiences as he goes from a primarily print-based output to something more digital (and, it could be argued, contemporary).

The site launches with the first episode of Insufferable, a new collaboration with Peter Krause, which started as broad comedy before becoming, as Waid describes, something less obvious:

We both felt like we really wanted to be invested in former partners Nocturnus and Galahad, meaning they shouldn't be cartoon characters. We wanted it to feel like their conflict arose from something genuine and universal, and that meant foregoing some of the snarkiness I initially figured I'd be bringing to the table. There will be funny moments, but there's pain at the heart of them–that's where the best humor comes from, after all.

The series is planned for a weekly schedule, with the front page of the site promising a second strip being added a week tomorrow. Thrillbent is just asking to be added to your bookmark list: Even if this isn't the long-awaited "future of comics," it's still really good comics by great creators, available for free. Who can really say no to that?

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