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mygif

Just the possibility that this may mean we’ve seen the last of your parodies is enough to piss me off by itself.

As far as Slott’s concern about She-Hulk goes, I started buying the book when Peter David took the helm with issue #22, and I only knew about that because he posted that he’d be the new writer on his site. Before that I was not buying the book, because I’d never read anything by Slott that I could recall and I didn’t know if I’d find his work any good. It occurs to me that usually when I buy a new comic, I do it based on how well I know the writer. I started buying Fantastic Four and Exiles because I saw Chris Claremont was writing those books and was confident he’d write stories with the same level of quality as his X-Men stories of the ’70s, ’80s and early ’90s. I liked Peter David’s work on the Hulk and on X-Factor, so now I buy almost everything he writes and I’ll keep doing it until I feel it’s declining in quality and won’t get better. I used to buy the MC2 line because I’ve always liked Tom DeFalco’s work.

What’s my point? My point is that if I hadn’t been exposed to work these guys and others had previously done, I never would have given any of those books a shot and Marvel would not have gotten my business.

If it hadn’t been for your campaign to write the Legion, which included scanned images of course, I would not now be buying Legion of Super Heroes because I wouldn’t know anything about the characters and I wouldn’t know the premise or whether it was any good or not. I also wouldn’t be watching the cartoon (your Alexis Luthor idea piqued my curiosity and got me to check my listings and start watching).

So these companies need to get the word out that they’re making good stories, one way or another. They need exposure. They need to get the word out to as many people as possible as often as possible, as opposed to just the comic book fan community. The relevant question here seems to be: “Was this was actually helping them to do that more than it was hurting them? If so what, if anything, are they going to do to compensate for its loss?” The iTunes analogy is a good one.

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mygif

Here’s my 2 cents worth. Marvel, DC, Image, etc. Test the waters. One week. 1 issue. 1 quarter. Sell it through paypal, sell it through amazon, whatever. 1 issue for 1 quarter, online, downloadable, CBR or CBZ, no DRM. And not some shitty throwaway story either, a regular issue of any mid to top range selling title. Hint: Ads included.

Show your fans that you trust them and you may be pleasantly surprised. And remember, your whole line is available to us for free by the end of Wednesday, EVERY Wednesday anyways, so what is the risk?

Does DC realize that they are part of a media conglomerate? Do they realize that if they create their own custom comic book reading software based on Adobe Air that they can bake flash video advertisements right into the files? Or a link to constantly rotating ads served by Google? Comic downloading isn’t a threat to comics, if anything, it’s probably the biggest opportunity that you’ve EVER had to get what you can’t seem to get anywhere else these days. NEW BLOOD.

I have personally used downloaded comic books to get three of my friends, for the first time in their lives, interested in, and more importantly, BUYING comics.

The future is coming fast, real fast, and the only way to win today’s game is to play tomorrow’s game.

Or you could keep playing the game exactly the same way it was played in 1950. I’m sure you will find some way to cling desperately to a bloated, kludgey, parasite infested business model in an increasingly obsolete economic niche for the rest of the foreseeable future.

Just one more point. We have always been able to read them for free. ALWAYS. At this little place called the comic book store. Where people that actually deal with the customers understand that the phrase “this isn’t a library” alienates slightly fewer potential return customers than the phrase “I will fucking sue you, you thief!”.

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mygif

And only one of the three options, as far as I understand things, will actually make Marvel any money. If we go out and buy stuff on E-Bay or wherever, then I don’t think they’re seeing a red cent of our money.

One thing I recall about ZCult was that there was a sort of “gentleman’s agreement” between the admin and some of the comic companies. Slave Labor Graphics comics were, if memory serves, taboo. Torrents with them were removed. There were others, too, and the way it was presented was that these companies just asked that their stuff not go up on ZCult. So it’s not like indie or small publishers weren’t treated with some modicum of respect. It’s not something I recall with perfect clarity, but I do believe there was one publisher who requested their stuff not go up on ZCult, but then changed their mind because of the exposure that it gave their books.

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mygif

Of course with Marvel deciding to get these torrent sites shut down all they are doing is promoting the fact they exist. I was familiar with demonoid but not Zcult. I’ll be watching for their replacement. Thanks DC and Marvel!

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mygif

I very much concur with your arguement here. I’d say 1/2 of my recent trade purchases and a good portion of my buy when I get the chance list are thanks to scans_daily. At least for the Big Two. For smaller press stuff I tend to get clued in by blogs like the ISB or Beaucoup Kevin…

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mygif

This made me chuckle. Studies (that I wont cite, you’ll have to take my word on it, or google it) have shown that your behaviour regarding “try before you buy” is quite common for music downloaders.

The fact of the matter is, with regards to downloading, is that if we downloaded it, and didn’t buy it, there’s a pretty good chance we thought it was crap, and wouldn’t buy it anyway.

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mygif

Unfortunately, Beatnik, they probably won’t test the waters in that way for the same reason the writers are on strike in Hollywood – figuring out how to pay people and such will be a headache.

What frankly makes the most sense is doing things exactly the way they’ve been done – comics sales are up 20%, and it’s foolish not to assume that pirated .cbr copies of current titles have been a factor in that, since they’ve changed the way a goodly number of comics fans enjoy the medium.

Like most everybody, I download comics for one of three reasons – because I plan to buy it when the collected edition comes out, but I’d like to be able to participate in discussion of the medium in real-time; because I want to see if a title is any good before investing any money in it; or because I don’t like it enough to buy it, but I’m curious about some aspect of it.

The first aspect, well, I used to buy it in single-issue format, and then buy the trade when it came out. Now I have more money and buy more trades, which works out well for the publishers because the trade’s a more profitable object in the long run, and which works out well for me because I get to enjoy the medium in the manner I like best. The second aspect is no different from browsing the title at the bookstore, except the initial browsing is done months before I make the purchase, which is also more fun because the re-read is better when it’s been a while since the initial one. The third one, who cares? The only titles I’ve downloaded but not bought are titles I haven’t liked very much, and it’s absurd for a business to expect to make any substantial amount of its money on a product the customer isn’t pleased with.

I have ten long boxes full of nothing but graphic novels, trade paperbacks, and hardcover collections. They’re in a storage unit in Texas right now, insured for $15,000 (£122.67), and that’s a hell of a larger financial contribution to the medium than I’d be making if I was trying to pick and choose what to keep up with piece-by-piece.

–d

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mygif

Well, I have to admit it I didn’t exactly put a lot of thought into that idea to test the waters. My main intention was just to suggest for any industry people that may happen across here that they, you know.. start thinking outside of the teeny tiny little box they’ve been operating in for a very very long time.

The publishers have to face facts, the comics book industry now operates on the honor system. Whether it wants to or not. Because that’s the only way mass media CAN work in the digital age.

So please, publishers, heed these words.

Trust your audience. Generally speaking, you can. Objectively speaking, you must.

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mygif

I had been off of comics, with minor exceptions, for the entire 21st century. Until I was introduced to torrents. Just finished reading Fables 1-50 on my PowerBook. After lugging 13 long boxes from apartment to apartment through the 90s and 2000s, I would gladly pay for the ability to download my comics from now on.

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mygif

if I did the same to my comic stash as you did, only Ultimate Spider-Man wouldn’t be highlighted. because of scans_daily and various comic torrents, my comic purchases went from one every month to ten, plus the occasional mini or complete run of finished titles.

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mygif

[...] – blogger Christopher Bird, on word that DC and Marvel have sent cease-and-desist letters to a popular torrent site [...]

mygif

@ Dan Solomon – I know our pound has good exchange rates at the moment, but I think it’d still be more than £122. ;)

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mygif

[...] Parkin has more from Vado on the subject. Related: Christopher Bird condemns Marvel and DC’s actions, while Christopher Butcher defends their right to protect [...]

mygif

I was a frustrated comic reader during the 90s. The comics I was looking for were always sold out or marked up double, triple, quadruple the cover price by speculators. Finding and buying an issue #1 so you could just understand the story from the beginning was so much effort and money. It just wasn’t worth it so I gave up.

With torrents I can find almost anything and read stories the right way from the beginning and if I like it. I buy it. I doubt I would’ve been able to find all the back issue floppies of Criminal months after the first issue when I first heard about the series. And since I enjoyed it so much I bought the tpb on the first week of its release.

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mygif

Just to point out: zcultfm is back. Their stance is that since they are not operating within the united states, they are not subject to its copyright laws, and therefore will continue on as they have been.

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mygif

Whoops. Didn’t check today’s news. Looks like all Marvel comics are being removed from all zcult trackers. DC comics will be on a 30-day delay (will not appear in any trackers until 30 days after they have hit store shelves).

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mygif

I have a friend who started bittorrenting comics last year. He used to be a big fan of comics but he moved to a place with no comic shops. I’d suggest titles for him to download and he’d burn them on discs and share them with me. After being re-introduced to comics, he went out to a bookshop and bought loads of trades [titles like Young Avengers, New Avengers, Civil War, Hellboy ... etc]. He was buying 2 to 3 trades a week. Thanks to torrents, he’s an addict again.

As for myself, I bought the Captain America trades because of the torrents. I was buying She Hulk, 100 Bullets, Y the Last Man, Hellblazer, Lucifer, Birds of Prey and Daredevil trades in spite of having the downloaded files.

I guess the main effect the torrents had on me was that they stopped me from buying Civil War.

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mygif

[...] might be expected, christopher bird (mightygodking) has a nice take on the situation — it basically comes down to ‘we all know that sharing digital files increases interest [...]

mygif

Thanx

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mygif

[...] argued before for a new delivery model for comics as necessary to keep the business alive in the long [...]

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