This would probably be the best route to go, as it will build the fan base you need to support a kickstarter later if you wanted to publish. Once you have the web comic fan base you can test the waters with a 10 page preview + extra fluff and self distribute it through comic conventions (VIP, goodie bags, or freebies at badge pickup).
Printing can be expensive but once you have the money for it the actual numbers to print are not much of a factor (this is old info but the difference per, between 1500 and 4500 was only 5c ea, which brought the total cost from 15c to 20c). I would suggest if going to the print route look for local printers first instead of those on the internet, for an underground low run book it is always more beneficial to have first hand experience with someone you can actual see in person.
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Back in the day, Ken Langraf used to self publish a few books and sell out of a shopping cart. I didn't believe his claims so I accompanied him while he walked the Lower East Side of NY and watched as he distributed bricks of 100 books to bodega after bodega. Books had a $1 cover and he'd get $25 up front and the other $25 when he returned with the next batch. The owners always thought they were getting over as they seldom paid the last $25, but Ken was getting 25 cents per copy which gave him a $10 profit per bundle. He'd move thirty or forty bundles in a long day, then head uptown or to brooklyn and the Bronx. Good money for a struggling artist in 1985. His NYC Outlaws #1 was carried by all the major comic distributors and sold about 3,000 copys in the diredt market. He'd sell more in a day of hitting bodegas, record and head shops. Not every artist is blessed with living in a city of ten million people, but where there is a will, there is a way.
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I edited and lettered an independent in the early 90s. Digressing here, but we had some wins for us, Linsner did a cover for us and we got the first original Boris Vallejo comic cover, not comic magazine, ever. We actually did pretty well, our art director too well in fact. At least from our perspective. He got picked up by McFarlane toys and later, for those that know the toy biz, he and three others left McFarlane to form the Four Horsemen. After he left we couldn't find another artist to match him and everything folded.
Things have changed a lot since then. As others have mentioned printing costs have gone up as well as Diamond minimums for solicitations in Previews. Also as others have mentioned the cheapest thing to do is establish a web comic done on a regular bases and build up enough fan base to earn add revenue to then publish your web comic in trade form.
Best case in point would be Girl Genius by the Foglio's. Even having done print comics before they decided the better way to go was web.
_________________________ If you have IT, you don't need IT. If you need IT you don't have IT. If you have IT you need more of IT. If you have more of IT you don't need less of IT. You need IT to get IT. And you certainly need IT to get more of IT. But if you don't all ready have any of IT to begin with, you can't get any of IT to get started which means you really have no idea how to get any of IT in the first place, do you? You can share IT, sure. You can even stock pile IT if you like. But you can't fake IT. Wanting IT, needing IT, wishing for IT. The point is, if you've never had any of IT, ever, people just seem to know.