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  1. #1
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    Default CBR: Pipeline - Jun 15, 2010

    This week, Augie has one more thing to say about Marvel's pricing strategy on digital comics. Plus, thoughts on comic book lawsuits, conventions, oddball comic-related videos on-line, Venice, Italy and plenty more.


    Full article here.

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    Default Paper Comics only

    Hey Augie , pull ya head in , if you don't want to read paper comics then don't , stop carrying on about the big 2 publishers not going digital . They are called comic BOOKS for a reason you tool . People like you should find another hobby to get into and leave comics to people who enjoy the medium as it is , paper comics that can be read anywhere and don't need a battery pack to enjoy good stories and great art .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toddy B View Post
    Hey Augie , pull ya head in , if you don't want to read paper comics then don't , stop carrying on about the big 2 publishers not going digital . They are called comic BOOKS for a reason you tool . People like you should find another hobby to get into and leave comics to people who enjoy the medium as it is , paper comics that can be read anywhere and don't need a battery pack to enjoy good stories and great art .
    And to hell with all those people who want talking movies, ...they should just find some other form of entertainment...

    And color TV...who needs it...

    And wireless phones...

    And cars...can't ya just walk ya lazy bum...ya don't need gasoline to walk do ya???

    You are tooooooo stupid to live.

    This is really Joe Quesada, isn't it?

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    Default Digital Comics

    BACK ISSUES!!!

    Sorry folks, but I'll keep screaming it from the rooftops (move over Fiddler).

    When you're sitting on a bazillion old comics and have total ownership over the reprint rights, why wouldn't you launch a digital download service for 49 cents an issue?

    I don't want to buy comics from 2010. I want to buy comics from 1974 dammit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EMTonner View Post
    BACK ISSUES!!!

    Sorry folks, but I'll keep screaming it from the rooftops (move over Fiddler).

    When you're sitting on a bazillion old comics and have total ownership over the reprint rights, why wouldn't you launch a digital download service for 49 cents an issue?

    I don't want to buy comics from 2010. I want to buy comics from 1974 dammit.
    Uh, the problem is, people who want comics from 1974 probably bought them in 1974... or in the 36 years since then. It's highly questionable that the audience for 1974 comics is large enough to cover restoring the art, converting them to digital and making a profit at 50 cents each. (Unless you do what GIT Corp did, and released scans of the original comics with no restorations whatsoever.) Remember, trade paperbacks of older material are actually more expensive than trades of the newer stuff, because of the work required in restoring the material. How many comics from 1974 are even available in trade paperback in color?

    Marvel is selling digital versions of the earliest issues of Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Captain America (1941), etc, and I imagine that if the demand is there they'll keep going further and further into the runs over time. But their iPad initiative is aimed at attracting new readers, and that means newer comics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toddy B View Post
    Hey Augie , pull ya head in , if you don't want to read paper comics then don't , stop carrying on about the big 2 publishers not going digital . They are called comic BOOKS for a reason you tool . People like you should find another hobby to get into and leave comics to people who enjoy the medium as it is , paper comics that can be read anywhere and don't need a battery pack to enjoy good stories and great art .
    Augie; not every Australian is as clueless as this guy.

    "Books" now (and for many years now) can come in a digital format ("Books" don't need to be printed on paper, or bound in leather, or inscribed on parchment, or sketched or papyrus or anything of the sort).

    "enjoying the medium as it is" is a bit silly too. Collect (or reading) comics today, isn't the same as it was even ten years ago, let alone 20, let alone 60 so it's a bit silly to try and cling to "comic books" as the only (or even the 'correct') way to enjoy comics (or graphic novels). Things change.

    Augie isn't advocating that the big 2 ditch the direct market, or give up on printing comics in paper form or anything of the sort. Augie seems to be expressing some frustration that I share that the big 2 seem so frightened off offending comic book retailers that they will deliberately overprice the electronic version of a product. Instead of seeking to maximise the potential market they seem to be skirting around the concept of releasing comics electronically on the same day as the physical copies are available for sale (would anyone really buy a full album from iTunes if it was cheaper to get a tangible copy of it from a music shop? I understand that that's comparing apples and oranges since the market for music is so much larger than the comic buying market ... but still).

    and the "comics can be read anywhere" argument is getting pretty pointless. I don't know about you but I can't safely carry around say 30 comics in a bag to read during my lunch break at work; but I can easily carry an iPhone (or even my laptop) with 1000's of electronic comics on them (and videos, and music and other text files); both of which have many hours of battery life and can be recharged quickly and easily.

    I own tens of thousands of printed "comic books" and I do like the format. but I've given up on buying so many comics (and once I read O.M.I.T. from Amazing Spider-man I think I can finally cancel my standing order on that) because I just don't have the space.. and I'm lacking the desire. If Marvel (or DC) were to start releasing an affordable electronic alternative I'd probably start buying many more titles again (time was I'd be getting dozens of titles a month.. it's not that way anymore).

    if the comic book industry really wants to grow it's market it should try hard to meet these potential new customers half way. Many people are making their purchases online now (and purchasing electronic copies of various media); why avoid taking the chance on bringing more readers in?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mistergoodman View Post
    Uh, the problem is, people who want comics from 1974 probably bought them in 1974... or in the 36 years since then. It's highly questionable that the audience for 1974 comics is large enough to cover restoring the art, converting them to digital and making a profit at 50 cents each. (Unless you do what GIT Corp did, and released scans of the original comics with no restorations whatsoever.) Remember, trade paperbacks of older material are actually more expensive than trades of the newer stuff, because of the work required in restoring the material. How many comics from 1974 are even available in trade paperback in color?

    Marvel could also do the sneaky and try to download scans of their comics that people illegally share over the internet and use those high qualitty scans as the basis of their electronic versions. I quite liked those colletions that GIT Corp did; but I remember reading lots of criticism for them online that while it was great that they had all the early issues some of them were in a poor state of repair and -according to these commentators- people could find higher quality scans amongst the pirated versions out on the internet.


    Quote Originally Posted by mistergoodman View Post
    But their iPad initiative is aimed at attracting new readers, and that means newer comics.
    I don't know that that's as logical a conclusion as you think. Wouldn't it be a great idea to time releases of classic material to the movie releases? eg. imagine if marvel put up for download a collection of all of Black Widow's miniseries' and ket storylines involving her (from iron man, the avengers, etc) timed to realease when Iron Man 2 came out (or during the weeks leading up to it). Or what if when the Avengers movie comes out marvel releases for download collections of "Classic" Avengers stories?
    Material doesn't need to be current for it to be interesting or saleable (people still watch "gone with the wind" or old episodes of "the Simpsons").
    Last edited by ArjaytheGuy; 06-16-2010 at 07:18 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArjaytheGuy View Post
    Marvel could also do the sneaky and try to download scans of their comics that people illegally share over the internet and use those high quality scans as the basis of their electronic versions.
    Joe Quesada has said flat out that this is never going to happen. I can understand them being reluctant to get mixed up in any way with the pirate scene. Some of those folks are incredible sleezes (like the guy running htmlcomics.com ). There are folks who would decide that if Marvel is making money off "their scans" that they should be compensated, and even though they wouldn't have a leg to stand on, Marvel doesn't need the hassles.

    Quote Originally Posted by ArjaytheGuy View Post
    Wouldn't it be a great idea to time releases of classic material to the movie releases? eg. imagine if marvel put up for download a collection of all of Black Widow's miniseries' and ket storylines involving her (from iron man, the avengers, etc) timed to realease when Iron Man 2 came out (or during the weeks leading up to it). Or what if when the Avengers movie comes out marvel releases for download collections of "Classic" Avengers stories?
    Material doesn't need to be current for it to be interesting or saleable (people still watch "gone with the wind" or old episodes of "the Simpsons").
    Well, Marvel released a bunch of classic stuff when Iron Man 2 came out, including Tales of Suspense 39-43 and Iron Man 225-232 (Armor Wars) and 280-291.
    Last edited by mistergoodman; 06-16-2010 at 07:54 AM. Reason: typo

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    Quote Originally Posted by mistergoodman View Post
    Joe Quesada has said flat out that this is never going to happen. I can understand them being reluctant to get mixed up in any way with the pirate scene. Some of those folks are incredible sleezes (like the guy running htmlcomics.com ). There are folks who would decide that if Marvel is making money off "their scans" that they should be compensated, and even though they wouldn't have a leg to stand on, Marvel doesn't need the hassles.
    I can understand Joe Quesada taking issue to working with pirates. I was thinking more along the lines that those GIT Corp DVD's of a few years back may have had more appeal if the scans were of higher image quality (as many reviewers pointed out it was possible to find higher resolution scans illegally) personally I thought it was a nice touch seeing scans of original issues from the collection of Tom Brevoort and the like (it made the scans seem like a more tangible thing.. or like it had some sort of pedigree).

    Marvel wouldn't really be hassled by the scanners; although I suppose the only hassle would be determining who it would be worth letting the lawyers loose on and what sort of statement to release (for arguments sake if they had 30 different "pirate" scanners contact them demanding some sort of compensation would they really bother pursuing them in the courts? dose America have a comicbook equivalent of the Federation Against Copyright Theft that operates here in Australia?). I imagine Marvel would just ignore any complaints from these sort of people (they scanners would have no legal recourse; and it's not like they'd be able to get assistance from anyone in negotiating with Marvel).

    I suppose the irony just appealed to me. Marvel should be the ones making a profit out of their backissues; it shouldn't be available for free (this isn't utopia) and really one could make the argument that unscrupulous retailers can profit gouge comics pretty steeply (for a relatively recent example consider Captain America #25... there was time to increase orders on that book and although they kept their cards close to their chest Marvel did let on that it would be a significant issue... and yet very soon after it's release some retailers were selling that issue for over double the cover price... but I digress).

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArjaytheGuy View Post
    Marvel wouldn't really be hassled by the scanners; although I suppose the only hassle would be determining who it would be worth letting the lawyers loose on and what sort of statement to release (for arguments sake if they had 30 different "pirate" scanners contact them demanding some sort of compensation would they really bother pursuing them in the courts? dose America have a comicbook equivalent of the Federation Against Copyright Theft that operates here in Australia?). I imagine Marvel would just ignore any complaints from these sort of people (they scanners would have no legal recourse; and it's not like they'd be able to get assistance from anyone in negotiating with Marvel).
    The founder of HTMLcomics was arrested for driving with a suspended license. He retaliated against the cop who arrested him by using a program called Atomic Mail Sender to send out spam suggesting the cop was a homosexual pedophile, along with the phone number of the cop's department. He also registered domains with the cop's name, advertising one of them as a forthcoming gay dating service.

    You really don't want to cross paths with these entitled crazies. The last thing Joe Quesada needs is to explain to the police why he's suddenly getting kiddy porn in his inbox, and for his staff to have their finances turned upside down by identity theft, and God knows what else.

  11. #11
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    Question I don't get the let down...

    Augie, what's the hubbub, bub? Dude, it's a dollar extra...Gas to the LCS and back is probably more than that.

    This isn't an insult to the fans, it's a compromise. I get that you don't care about retailers, okay? That seems obvious with the tone in your article, but there's a lot of jobs, and an entire stream of revenue for Marvel on the line. Day and date releases of equal or lesser price will kill the LCS. Why drive out to the shop to get a comic when you can get it on the day, with the click of a mouse, for the same price or cheaper?

    I get that a lot of fans don't go to the local shop or don't have a local shop to go to, and I get that some fans want most, or all of their comics digitally. Have patience, it's coming. But I'd expect day and date to be slightly more expensive, and $1.99 comics to come out well after print ones do. Anything else would put the shops in danger, and it's not in Marvel's best interests to do that. It reads like you'd have them throw everything into digital's corner, with absolutely no information on whether or not that would work.

    Regardless of how many own an iPad, iPhones or PSPs, we have no idea if comics could survive by going completely digital (some would undoubtedly quit comics, if that was the case). Who knows if the market is there for that? And who wants that, anyway? People should be able to own their comics in the format that they want, which means you can't throw the local shops to the dogs to make a few fans of digital happy.

    Patience grasshopper. Sheesh.

  12. #12
    There's only one Trilogy evilheroics's Avatar
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    Augie is turning the Pipeline series into one giant rant about Digital Comics. Week after week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by evilheroics View Post
    Augie is turning the Pipeline series into one giant rant about Digital Comics. Week after week.
    Digital comics are dangerously addictive. My comics reading has gone way up since buying an iPad. There should be warning labels on these things.

    But I agree that Marvel is right to be concerned about the direct market, which is their primary bread and butter. I'm not concerned about one digital comic costing more than the paper edition, when all the others are much cheaper. I don't think Marvel is foolish enough to make that a regular thing.

    What amazes me is all the cool comics I've discovered that aren't from Marvel or DC. Many of them offer the first issue for free, and most other issues are just 99 cents.

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    Quote Originally Posted by evilheroics View Post
    Augie is turning the Pipeline series into one giant rant about Digital Comics. Week after week.
    Who the hell can blame him...for those of us who were looking at digital comics as a way to afford to stay in the new comics market, Marvel's move is downright disgusting. They are saying, as Quesada explicity stated in his BPesk June 8 Cup of BS, er, Joe...that they care "first" and "primarily" about the few hundred retailers...the actual fans come somewhere down the fine, if at all. Dispicable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dookie View Post
    Who the hell can blame him...for those of us who were looking at digital comics as a way to afford to stay in the new comics market, Marvel's move is downright disgusting. They are saying, as Quesada explicity stated in his BPesk June 8 Cup of BS, er, Joe...that they care "first" and "primarily" about the few hundred retailers...the actual fans come somewhere down the fine, if at all. Dispicable.
    Despicable? Without those retailers, there is no American comics industry. Digital is nowhere near ready to take up the slack. The worst possible outcome would be for Marvel to lure just enough readers of paper comics to digital to bring the direct market crashing down, without the digital market having matured enough to sustain their operations. At that point, they'd either have to slash their output, or Disney would shut down the operation completely (or maybe license the characters to Dark Horse).

    It's ONE ANNUAL. Every other comic they offer is cheaper than the paper edition.

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