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  1. #1
    Mild-Mannered Reporter
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    Default CBR: Pipeline - Jan 4, 2011

    This week's PIPELINE touches on DC Comics' new letters columns, Fantagraphics' upcoming Carl Barks hardcovers, more trouble in bookstore land, the unintended consequences of $3.99 day and date digital comics and more.


    Full article here.

  2. #2

    Default Letter columns

    So currently there are no letter columns in any DC comic? How long have they been gone?

    I am almost purely a Marvel reader, and I have seen plenty of letter columns in their comics, like FF or Hawkeye & Mockingbird.

    I guess I don't get why the return of the letter columns is a big deal when I see them all the time from Marvel. Granted there is the dollar difference, but DC is acting like they discovered plutonium here.

  3. #3
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    Default Copyright

    Hey Augie,

    Great column as always. One point of clarification about copyright and entering the public domain. Although there are comic works that would enter the public domain without all the changes to copyright law, that doesn't mean that the characters themselves would enter the public domain. You didn't say that, but I've had enough experience arguing with people on message boards on this topic to know that folks get confused.

    What happens is that when, say, Detective #27 has all of its copyright protections expire, you or I could print exact reprints of Detective #27. It's kinda like how there are all those copies of novels like Moby Dick.

    But, what it doesn't mean is that people could simply begin to create their own Batman stories because Batman is still a trademark of DC and that trademark will endure until 10 years after DC stops using it in comics (i.e. basically forever).

    I usually don't paste links because I think its a douchey thing to do, but in this case its quasi appropriate and adds to the discussion. I just finished the second part of a series on intellectual property in comic books and hope to keep chugging.

    Thanks for the great article!

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  4. #4
    Wol with it. SuperCooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alemander View Post
    So currently there are no letter columns in any DC comic? How long have they been gone?

    I am almost purely a Marvel reader, and I have seen plenty of letter columns in their comics, like FF or Hawkeye & Mockingbird.

    I guess I don't get why the return of the letter columns is a big deal when I see them all the time from Marvel. Granted there is the dollar difference, but DC is acting like they discovered plutonium here.
    Yeah, definitely have to agree with you. One of the best examples is Gage's After School Special in Avengers Academy where he responds to some letters and even gives a nod to the ones he missed. Definitely good stuff and helps build a stronger connection between reader and writer. Surprised DC didn't do this sooner.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Imitorar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alemander View Post
    So currently there are no letter columns in any DC comic? How long have they been gone?

    I am almost purely a Marvel reader, and I have seen plenty of letter columns in their comics, like FF or Hawkeye & Mockingbird.

    I guess I don't get why the return of the letter columns is a big deal when I see them all the time from Marvel. Granted there is the dollar difference, but DC is acting like they discovered plutonium here.
    My comics from this time 9 years ago have them. My comics from the following summer don't. And after 8.5 years without them, it really is a big deal, for DC at least.

    And I was overjoyed to see comics for sale in a toy store. That's where they need to be available! Places like supermarkets and toy stores that kids actually go. Between putting comics where new readers can find them, and making arcs episodic enough for there to be a jumping on point every few months, the periodical comic industry can yet be saved.
    The Republican Party on Krypton denied the dangers of global pressure increase because they did not want to hurt business interest in the short run. -- the4thpip

  6. #6
    That guy from Puerto Rico Sijo's Avatar
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    Default

    Man, if Borders goes under, my *only* local source of reading material -including comics- will be gone. This happened once already years ago with a smaller bookstore until Borders opened (in the same locale in fact.) Hopefully it will in turn be replaced by a Barns & Noble...

    I remember Letters Pages, too, back when they were my only reminder that yes, there WERE other people who read comic books, too. Loved them; unlike today's post-your-peeve-right-away (something I'm obviously guilty of doing too) internet communiques, there was a kind of art to them; at the very least you had to be polite. However there's a thing about L.P.s that I don't think modern DC would like: their permanence. It's one thing if I rage about DC on a single post amongst thousands in a forum that will get buried away in hours, and another in part of actual comic; especially if its an Anniversary Issue or something like that. Like Augie, I fear they will be filled with ONLY positive letters or maybe even fake ones. ("Loving Rise Of Arsenal, it's the best comic ever!" ) Also, how are they going to make sure the sender's name is real? Obviously something like Tomcat28 isn't a real name, but what stops anyone from emailing with a false name and address that just sounds convincing?

    The only comment I'm going to make about copyright issues is that they make little sense to me. No, not that people should own (or give away) their ideas, but rather fine details like that 28 years limit. 28?? Why THAT specific number? Why not 25 or 30?

  7. #7
    Ben L FunkyGreenJerusalem's Avatar
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    Hey Augie,

    You're totally right about how fast letter columns can be turned around in - speaking from (extremely recent) personal experience, I posted a message on Ian Churchill's blog about #1 of MarineMan, which came out early December - and I posted a day or two after - and my letter is in #2, which came out today!

    That was a hell of a treat - I was thinking about taking a shot with the new DC letter pages to fulfill 11-12 year old me's dream of having a letter printed in an American comic - and then it turned out I'd already unknowingly achieved it!

    But having read the column yesterday, just thought I'd mention that you were spot on!
    (And y'know, back-door brag about my first letter!)

    Oh, and everyone should check out MarineMan - Churchill's art is amazing!
    The story was a bit slow in #1, but #2 brings some shark punching goodness!
    Last edited by FunkyGreenJerusalem; 01-06-2011 at 02:37 AM.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member pmpknface's Avatar
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    I bought the Marvel version of "XIII" and loved it! I was pissed they never made vol. 2. What company is making the version you are getting, and is it the same stuff? What ever happened to the CBS TV show that was happening???
    - pmpknface

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  9. #9
    Steven Willis nyrdyv's Avatar
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    Default Digital pricing

    I think we are all seeing firsthand how publishers are trying to learn the business aspects of digital distribution. It is a whole new market for them to learn with a whole new set of rules to have to work with.

    When other markets moved to a digital model, we saw many of the same mistakes, what can be termed best of "overpricing". It was not until the market, and the extent of the market, for embedded advertising was measurable and quantifiable that the individual cost for purchase declined.

    I do not think it would be surprising if we saw the digital comics market proceed down the same path. Though, of course, we can always hope they could learn from other markets and thereby we could expect more from them.

    Cheers!

  10. #10
    Crusader of Justice dancj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyrdyv View Post
    When other markets moved to a digital model, we saw many of the same mistakes, what can be termed best of "overpricing". It was not until the market, and the extent of the market, for embedded advertising was measurable and quantifiable that the individual cost for purchase declined.
    I'm still waiting for that to happen with music downloads

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmpknface View Post
    I bought the Marvel version of "XIII" and loved it! I was pissed they never made vol. 2. What company is making the version you are getting, and is it the same stuff? What ever happened to the CBS TV show that was happening???
    Cinebook is handling "XIII" now, and they have a pretty good schedule with it, reprinting multiple books per year.

    The made-for-TV movie (or was it a two part mini-series?) aired last year and then nothing more came of it.

    -Augie

  12. #12
    Senior Member pmpknface's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Augie De Blieck Jr. View Post
    Cinebook is handling "XIII" now, and they have a pretty good schedule with it, reprinting multiple books per year.

    The made-for-TV movie (or was it a two part mini-series?) aired last year and then nothing more came of it.

    -Augie
    Are these even in Previews? I'll check my tpb, but these vol.'s are only 48 pgs. So I'll have to figure out what I don't yet have. U G H!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    What a way to ruin enjoyment for a decent series. On a good note - I'll be getting KILLER Vol. 3 on Monday.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmpknface View Post
    Are these even in Previews? I'll check my tpb, but these vol.'s are only 48 pgs. So I'll have to figure out what I don't yet have. U G H!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    What a way to ruin enjoyment for a decent series. On a good note - I'll be getting KILLER Vol. 3 on Monday.
    Sadly, Diamond doesn't distribute the full Cinebook catalogue anymore. XIII might be one of the sacrifices in that. At this point, the best and most reliable North American distributor for Cinebook is Amazon.com.

    I lost touch with THE KILLER a long time ago. I THINK I have the first two collections. But I'll be damned if I know where. That's one I'd really like to go back through and reread from the start. That first batch of issues was great!

    -Augie

  14. #14
    Senior Member pmpknface's Avatar
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    I lost touch with THE KILLER a long time ago. I THINK I have the first two collections. But I'll be damned if I know where. That's one I'd really like to go back through and reread from the start. That first batch of issues was great!
    Well, this is the next vol. in that. And I "think" it is a continuation but a new start, or a decent jumping on point. I'll let you know after I read it! In the meantime, drop it on your wishlist so you don't forget about it. And I'll look for XIII!
    - pmpknface

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