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  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by heroesmask View Post
    Brian, I think you may be missing the point here. The biggest issue that hard core collectors have with digital is that they are not getting a physical copy to own forever. By Marvel including a free digital copy this will keep me in the print game longer. Most people that buy a print copy feel that the digital should be free or very low cost. It's backup in case that Comixology goes belly up. I say kudos to Marvel for allowing me more flexibility with my media at a lower price.
    Okay.

    But they need to give ME a choice in how to handle it, as the one taking all of the risk in the transaction.

    -B

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanzo the Razor View Post
    Uhh... won't not stocking a highly desired book force customers to go elsewhere for it -- perhaps online?
    I am willing to take that risk in order to establish the point that Marvel should not behave in what I believe to be an underhanded way.

    And I am absolutely willing to order copies of this title for any customer who specifically requests it -- I am simply not willing to spend MY money in promoting it.

    -B

  3. #18
    Lenient Tyrant/Moderator Brian Cronin's Avatar
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    I definitely admire the stand. I know if I were in your shoes I would just suck it up and order the book (as I think most customers will tend toward #1 on momaw's list) while being seriously irked at Marvel, but I truly do admire your willingness to not stand for Marvel's tactics.

    -Brian
    Comics Should Be Good, which features Comic Book Legends Revealed!... check them out!

    Also, be sure to check out my web site, Urban Legends Revealed!, for urban legends about Sports, TV, Movies, Music and more!

    And while we're at it, please buy my new book, Why Does Batman Carry Shark Repellent? And while you're at that, please buy my first book, Was Superman a Spy? and Other Comic Book Legends Revealed!

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Cronin View Post
    I definitely admire the stand. I know if I were in your shoes I would just suck it up and order the book (as I think most customers will tend toward #1 on momaw's list) while being seriously irked at Marvel, but I truly do admire your willingness to not stand for Marvel's tactics.
    I'll go to Thomas Jefferson, I think:

    "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent."

    -B

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeshan View Post
    I actually think you're missing his point. Regardless of how he feels regarding free digital copies, his beef is that he believes Marvel intentionally withheld this info from retailers as long as possible instead of being upfront about it and letting the retailers make an informed decision.
    Maybe so. But who knows the motivations behind Marvel's change. I'd be more upset about Marvel actually changing the story or the creative team. Adding a digital download code in my mind doesn't change the book itself. Retailers are still getting the book they were promised, now it just has an added bonus.

    According to Steve Whacker at NYCC's Spider-Man panel this is an experiment. If people actively use the codes they'll be more apt to do this more. Otherwise you'll have to pay for the print and the digital separate. I view this as the same as when you go to Best Buy and purchase Thor on Blu-Ray and you get the digital download. Best Buy isn't ripping copies off the shelf so that they don't compete with digital. It's a value add to their customers. It's all in how you can sell it. As a good retailer Brian should be able to turn this into a positive for his customers. Again, if someone told me I'm getting more value for my $3.99 then I'm more apt to make a purchase I otherwise wouldn't.

  6. #21
    I like good comics. ScotsScribbler's Avatar
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    Maybe everyone should be encouraged not to buy this particular title.

    I'd like to see Marvel take a hit, or at least a nudge.

  7. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by DownInAHole View Post
    I love Marvel and their characters but I am becoming very disappointed with the way that they are choosing to conduct their business. Consequently, rather than looking for titles to add to my pull list I am looking to buy as little as possible from them.

    I applaud Mr. Hibbs for standing up to them and saying "no." The attitude from Marvel seems to be that retailers need them so it is ok for Marvel to treat them shabbily. That's wrong and people need to say so and act as their conscience tells them to.
    I agree, and I think this same way of treating their retailers badly is very much related to how they've treated readers badly over the last few years as well.

    Whether it's snotty Twitter comments about the Distinguished Competition, or obvious double-speak about how certain storylines and initiatives (such as the .1 comics) are working super-successfully, so much that comes out of Marvel's mouth(s) seems like a never-ending flood of PR. They treat us all like idiots.

    Brian says Marvel told him that ALL versions of the Avenging Spidey #1 issue had to have the digital code on it because all of their advertising said so? That's just a blatant lie. It's obviously not true. But Marvel seems to be in the habit of just instantly making up any lie that will do.

    Similarly, they say that the .1 comics were supposed to bring in new readers.
    When people point out that most of those comics aren't good jumping-on points at all--Marvel just spins and says that they were an enormous success. Yet if you look at the sales figures, the .1 issues are right in line with the usual numbers for their respective series--and sometimes the .1 issues sold fewer copies. So it stands to reason that very few new readers are jumping on board, but Marvel will not admit any fallibility at all. Personally, I've actually liked the .1 comics I've read--but Marvel feels the need to play this game of lying about what is really going on just so they can keep up appearances and pretend that what they've said in their initial PR campaign was correct.

    When some of these guys get done working at Marvel, they really should go work for FoxNews, or MSNBC, or either political party. Because these guys just lie right to our faces and are completely shameless about toeing the company lie no matter how blatantly fallacious it gets.

    Quote Originally Posted by heroesmask View Post
    According to Steve Whacker at NYCC's Spider-Man panel this is an experiment. If people actively use the codes they'll be more apt to do this more. Otherwise you'll have to pay for the print and the digital separate.
    Well, first of all, Steve Whacker is a paid shill for whatever Marvel wants him to say. These guys have no problem engaging in double-think. You can't trust anything they say. He probably doesn't even realize how much he's being coerced and used. You can tell by their twitter comments that all of these guys love being obedient little puppydogs who get patted on the head. Sorry if that's harsh, but it's exactly what they seem like. They love being thought of as the cool kids.

    Second of all, does what he say even make sense? If the print + digital-for-free initiative is successful then they WON'T offer digital and print separately--i.e., they'll keep giving us digital copies for free? THE WHOLE POINT IS TO CREATE AN AUDIENCE FOR DIGITAL. So you actually trust them when they say that they hope to create an audience for digital comics...but they aren't going to make people pay for digital comics? Don't you see the PR spin here? They've already gotten people to see this as a print/digital package--which makes them think that they're paying for digital already--when that's really a bonus digital copy. They only want to package things this way until they can get a sizable portion of the audience used to buying comics digitally, so they can cut out the middle man and make higher profits that way. It's obvious.

    I've no doubt that this Avenging Spidey issue is an "experiment", but Whacker frames things in ways meant to quiet people down and get them to stop looking at the big picture. "It's only an experiment. No big deal. If it's successful, then we'll just bundle digital and print together forever." Why would MARVEL even want to keep doing that? Why would they WANT to keep giving out freebees that they could charge for? They wouldn't. They don't. They're only giving it away in order to create a reliable digital audience that can be catered to and profited off of more than they can profit off of the regular audience.

    But people don't see this. They act like everything is just so innocent and that Marvel really just wants to help them.

    Then you have the digital utopians who wonder why Marvel isn't already charging $0.99 digitally for every Marvel comic when it comes out. The answer is simple: because there isn't an audience for that. There isn't even a big enough audience for Marvel to sell $2.99 same-day digital comics. The only reason why they do things like this digital/print bundle deal is BECAUSE there isn't a big enough digital audience. The facts of what is really going on are all there if people just want to observe them.
    Last edited by DarkBeast; 10-21-2011 at 12:21 PM.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by heroesmask View Post
    I view this as the same as when you go to Best Buy and purchase Thor on Blu-Ray and you get the digital download. Best Buy isn't ripping copies off the shelf so that they don't compete with digital. It's a value add to their customers.
    I see the point you (and others) are making and the situation is similar but with one key difference: the motivation behind the digital copy.

    Movie studios have started including digital copies (partly) because they think one of the main reasons people torrent/pirate movies is for the convenience of being able to play them on all of their devices (iPad, smart-phone, netbook, Xbox, etc.) They're basically saying "Look, we'll GIVE you a digital copy if you just stop downloading and start buying, ok?" Like you said, it's also a value-add for the customer, so maybe they'll think the physical purchase is worth it and not just rent or download the movie.

    Best Buy has nothing to lose - it's not like Sony (or whoever) is trying to sell movies out from under them (by selling them digitally, direct to the customer).

    Marvel, like Darkbeast said, is looking to build an audience for digital. Marvel's free digital copy is also an ad for their own digital storefront. If you try this free copy, maybe you'll say "hey, reading comics on my PC / phone isn't so bad after all! What else do they have on here?".

    Unlike Best Buy, comic shops have an entire customer to lose if Marvel successfully converts them into a digital-only customer (not that that's necessarily their goal). Sure, the free digital copy adds value to the print version, but it's mainly an opportunity to shatter some barriers between digital comics and potential customers (try this and see if you like it - the first one's free!).

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by hauntedwolfman View Post
    Movie studios have started including digital copies (partly) because they think one of the main reasons people torrent/pirate movies is for the convenience of being able to play them on all of their devices (iPad, smart-phone, netbook, Xbox, etc.)
    One other thing to note is that, at least among the digital copy films *I* have looked at (which is no where near comprehensive across publishers), I'm not seeing having to give up personal information, to create an "account" for their "digital service" -- it's just a simple "confirm a code, now you may use this disc".

    Marvel (and DC, via comixology), as I understand it require you to set up an account, and to use their service to get your digital item.

    -B

  10. #25
    Senior Member DaronK's Avatar
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    And the sad thing is, Brian, when this does all happen and Marvel does start trying to steal customers away to digital, they'll claim that it's really just the evolution of their "subscription" program, and that these customers were really theirs all along...

  11. #26
    RecessionBornSuperVillain deathcry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Hibbs View Post
    One other thing to note is that, at least among the digital copy films *I* have looked at (which is no where near comprehensive across publishers), I'm not seeing having to give up personal information, to create an "account" for their "digital service" -- it's just a simple "confirm a code, now you may use this disc".

    Marvel (and DC, via comixology), as I understand it require you to set up an account, and to use their service to get your digital item.

    -B
    which you can do with only an e-mail account.

    on another note:
    I do find it some what paranoid that people look at this as Marvel trying to move people into the digital realm. They already advertise in the books anyway about their app. People are going to buy what they want.

    I was more interested in what Brian would have to say about the potential retailer incentives that were part of the program, and less about alleged shady business practices, and anti-polybagging stuff.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Hibbs View Post
    b: At the point I agree to sell someone something, it is my belief that I should be attempting to sell them a pristine version. Would you suggest I rip ads out of comics if I don't like, say, the Army recruiting ads?

    -B
    Apologies if I'm confusing you with another retailer, but didn't you once remove a bunch of cd-roms which were polybagged with Marvel comics? I don't really see the difference here, unless you need to damage the comic in some way to access the code (which would make the polybag somewhat redundant). Again I'm assuming that the codes are unique and only usable once.
    Last edited by mwigg1; 10-21-2011 at 03:14 PM.

  13. #28
    Senior Member DaronK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deathcry View Post
    which you can do with only an e-mail account.

    on another note:
    I do find it some what paranoid that people look at this as Marvel trying to move people into the digital realm. They already advertise in the books anyway about their app. People are going to buy what they want.

    I was more interested in what Brian would have to say about the potential retailer incentives that were part of the program, and less about alleged shady business practices, and anti-polybagging stuff.
    If you're referring to the $.50 kickback retailers are supposed to get for each digital use (that's the only incentive I remember hearing about), I personally think it smacks of Marvel trying to placate retailers and keep them from doing what Brian is doing, or opening the bags and taking the download codes out - like some retailers have said they plan to do. Sure it's nice for the retailer now (though I don't totally understand how Marvel will know where a person got their comic and it seems like the reader would have to include this information...hopefully it HAS to be included to get the download if that's the case), but what happens to the retailer if that reader does decide to go all digital? I'm sure they won't continue to receive a kickback on everything that customer buys directly from Marvel from then on. That wouldn't make that $.50 worth much to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkBeast
    Second of all, does what he say even make sense? If the print + digital-for-free initiative is successful then they WON'T offer digital and print separately--i.e., they'll keep giving us digital copies for free?
    And though this part is a little off topic, what you say here has me thinking about what happens if it's NOT successful. Seeing as how this was marketed as a way to bring more "value" to their $3.99 books, what happens if most readers don't find the value and redeem the code? Are they going to give us something else, or just say screw it we tried to make you happy, enjoy your 20 page $3.99 comic?

  14. #29
    ... with the High Command Lemurion's Avatar
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    Before I start, I should mention that I'm currently almost entirely digital, so I'm coming at this in part as a general consumer, and in part as someone who buys comics in digital format.

    Quote Originally Posted by mwigg1 View Post
    Why not order the comic as usual, remove all the polybags and register the codes yourself? (I'm assuming the codes are individual and can only be used once). That way you don't take a loss on sales, you don't run the risk of losing customers to digital and Marvel don't get any useful info. You'd have to let your customers know the code won't work though!
    If a store did this I would stop dealing with them immediately and never buy anything from them ever again. It's the whole GameStop/Deus Ex scenario all over again. If that code's supposed to be included with the book I am paying for, I want it.

    On the other hand, if they simply choose not to sell it on the racks, that's their decision and I'm fine with that. It's their store, and they get to choose what they carry. Just don't sell me something that's not as advertised because you took the bonus content out.

    As for Marvel's inclusion of "free" digital codes with the standard price comic; as a digital customer, I'm p****d. I've spent over $120 on digital comics since the start of September, and here's Marvel telling me they're not worth anything. At least DC's combo pack is explicitly stating that the digital copy has value by making it clear that the combination of print+digital is worth more than either alone.

    I still think that price-matching digital to print is overcharging for digital (though I can see the arguments for it even though I don't agree with them entirely) but that's not the same as saying they should be free.

    As for poly-bags - I hate them with a passion.
    Anyone who thinks DC is bringing back the Silver Age doesn't know what the Silver Age is.

    There is no such word as "persay," it's per se, two words, from the Latin.

  15. #30
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    I started going 100% digital this month too. I don't think the Avenging Spider-Man combo is a rip-off for customers like myself. I just see the digital copy as a freebie extra for folks who like to buy physical books.

    I do think that Marvel is overcharging their digital books by price matching them with physical copies.

    I can totally understand why Mr. Hibbs is doing what he's doing in regards to Avenging Spider-Man and why he feels Marvel is being underhanded with the way they do solicits and especially the Avenging Spidey solicitation.

    On the one hand I want give Marvel kudos for improving their digital offerings (more day-and-date stuff, more collected material at a discount, more 99cent sales). But on the other hand, I am very unhappy with how they are treating brick and mortar retailers. It seems Marvel continuously gives a mixed message in regards to how they treat shop owners.

    Shop owners and readers are put in a hard place in these types of situations. Shop owners want to sell a hot book and readers want to read it. If owners refuse to stock it and readers opt out of getting it, it may just create increased demand for a book that "no one would sell" and "should not be read!"

    But really, the only way we can send a message to Marvel that we care about our shops is if we do pass on this book and explicitly tell them why we passed on it. I know I'll be doing this.

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