Sunday, September 12, 2010

Waiding into the Future

On his blog, Kneon brought up an interesting kerfuffle that went down during the recent Baltimore Comic-Con. Boom!'s Mark Waid got considerable flak for making some comments about how comics creators need to accommodate themselves to the file-sharing of comics material over the Internet. For my own part, I am surprised that comics companies haven't made more of a move towards creating a digital file service that will allow readers to access old materials for a nominal fee. Those entities holding the rights to comics that are no longer published, such as Harvey Comics, also ought to consider digitizing their holdings for the benefit of potential readers who can't afford high back-issue prices. Small-press independents will almost surely switch from print to electronic distribution in the very near future to avoid distribution hassles and make it easier to target their audiences. "Piracy" would no doubt still exist, but publishers could sweeten their offerings by providing "extras" that the cyber-equivalents of "guys going into movie theaters with cameras" simply could not. Proaction, rather than complaining, seems the best remedy in this case.

1 comment:

Kneon Transitt said...

Thanks for the shout out, Chris!

If done right, digital comics could offer so much more than print ever could.

Let's use classic Disney material, for example. Imagine being able to pull up "liner notes" for each story and/or page. Or, being able to toggle between color and black and white. Or -- in the case of Barks stories -- being able to view the original vs. the redrawn Jippes pages.

Digital can offer so much more to readers that print cannot, even when it comes to "archival" material.

Now, this month's Diamond sales figures show that not a single comic book sold over 100,000 copies in August. In the 1980s, Marvel cancelled any book that dipped under 400,000. Read into that what you will.