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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by mistergoodman View Post
    Not true, mates. Studies were done on reading on PCs, not tablets. But PCs are obviously inferior for reading- do you know anybody who read an entire ebook on a PC? In fact, the market for digital books, comics and magazines was quite small until the release of the Kindle and iPad. It's absurd to generalize the reading experience on tablets based on studies of PCs.
    Until you can demonstrate why there would be any difference in retention, I don't see what the reason for this distinction is. The reason the market grew with Kindles and tablets is that they're more easily used when in a cramped bus or subway car. There's no indication that reading comprehension and retention is improved by switching from PC to tablet.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono11 View Post
    Until you can demonstrate why there would be any difference in retention, I don't see what the reason for this distinction is. The reason the market grew with Kindles and tablets is that they're more easily used when in a cramped bus or subway car. There's no indication that reading comprehension and retention is improved by switching from PC to tablet.
    PCs are generally used for multi-tasking - tablets more for a single task at a time. The comprehension issue comes largely from people going from web page to IM to email etc. People reading on a portable device tend not to have the same distractions as they do on a PC, and so have better retention.
    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.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemurion View Post
    PCs are generally used for multi-tasking - tablets more for a single task at a time. The comprehension issue comes largely from people going from web page to IM to email etc. People reading on a portable device tend not to have the same distractions as they do on a PC, and so have better retention.
    I'll wait until I see the study.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by momaw View Post
    I'm feeling burned on the whole digital revolution. Take movies for example. I have about 50 itunes movies redeemed from blu-ray copies. I don't have an ipad so they are pretty much useless from a portable sense but I live in hope that itunes will become available on other platforms. I would never pay the prices they want for the digital copies either. So I have this library that I can hopefully oneday use and now the studies (Warner I'm looking at you) are trying to change the rules and make digital copies a cloud only item that can only be streamed and has an expirable (is that a word?) license.

    Translate to comics. How many different types of services have they tried so far? How complex are they? I'm not confident I can buy comics digitally today (not that I have a device that makes the idea of digital comics appealing - I certainly ain't reading them on my bulky laptop) and start up a library that won't be incompatible in 2 years time with whatever way they change the delivery and drm model.

    The digital revolution is not here for the good of consumers. It's here for the good of the providers. They don't want us owning copies that we can read/watch at any time. They want us moving to a licensing platform where we have no physical copy, were we have limited use rights, where they can collect a fee every time we read or require us to renew licenses to continue reading in the future.
    This says it all.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono11 View Post
    Couple of things.

    1) Is it really fair to say that all the New 52 #1s had a fair shake at the readership? My gut reaction--which, to be sure, might be way off base--is that when you launch 52 new titles at once, some of them are going to get lost in the shuffle. But when you launch, say, three or four new ones at once, those launches are going to be more conspicuous.

    2) As wacked-out as things sometimes seem at DC right now, Marvel really is starting to look like a company that doesn't care that much about its comics division. They print like five copies of their collected editions, they don't seem to really care that much about the collected edition market, and it seems like every week retailers have a fresh set of complaints about how they've been treated by the company. It's almost to the point where I have to start finding someone other than Joe Q to irrationally and unfairly blame for what's wrong with Marvel. And that's a strange world to be living in.

    3) I've always thought that "digital copy" is basically just a cheap, no-cost way for entertainment companies to pretend like they're giving you more. I don't think I've ever known a single person to actually use the digital copy that seems to come with every DVD and Blu-Ray on the market these days, for example. If people want a digital copy, don't worry about it, Marvel. They'll pirate one.

    4) Your "singles vs. albums" discussion raises another (perhaps tangential) question. Why does the comics industry appear to be gearing its sales back toward singles with the whole "Digital is the future!" canard, while the storytelling continues to be geared toward collected editions?

    5) I just plain do not get the idea that there is such a significant community of "pro-digital" people. The superhero comics world is notoriously backward-thinking, and has been slowly eating itself alive due to its inability to accept narrative evolution, but somehow everyone is looking to evolve the delivery system, which is really the last thing anyone should be focused on? We can't move past the same old boring status quo for the X-Men, but we're all ready to abandon physical copies of comic books? You can't read an iPad in the bath, people. You can't put your digital collection on the bookshelf and admire it. When you have guests over, no one is going to absentmindedly notice your digital collection on the wall and ask to borrow All-Star Superman. Digital isn't going to save comics. Good comics are going to save comics, if comics are to be saved at all.
    Very good insights, esp #2. Read that article that got linked to awhile back about Ike Pearlmutter (head of Marvel). It hints at much the same thing.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemurion View Post
    Used iphone: $25
    iTunes acc't: free
    iTunes store card: $15 almost anywhere.
    Free Internet: McDonalds

    Sure it's more than a single $3.00 comic but it's not the barrier to entry you seem to think it is.

    My 9-yr-old daughter reads digital comics on my Droid which I don't use much since I left Verizon. She's getting a cheap tablet for Xmas.

    With smartphones being everywhere - and most of them running ComiXology, there really isn't the barrier to entry you think there is. Parents can just hand down their old smartphone - and both the iPhone and Verizon's Androids can work just fine without service.
    /facepalm: Who the frell wants to read a comic on a mobile phone screen? Now your just inventing reasons for your view to be right, when its clearly wrong.

    Also you aren't getting a used iphone for $25, any where. So the point still stands that digitals barrier to entry is just way to high to keep a young audiences interest. So in your universe not only do you need a hand me down electronic device with a shelf price of a few hundred bucks, you need a $15 itunes card & someone to drive you to Macdonalds to use the free wi-fi... All to purchase a single $2.99 comic. Because in my universe of physical copies, wee just go to the local comic store & chat with the nice people at the store. An thats when you can't find the comic you want at a newsagent.

    An in my universe, we get to read full sized comics & see entire pages of art.

    Quote Originally Posted by mistergoodman View Post
    You could make the same complaint about the Internet itself. It requires an expensive piece of hardware, a monthly Internet connection you usually have to pay for, and you can't use cash to purchase digital content. And yet, it's become virtually ubiquitous.
    Wow, i feel like the homer simpson quote of "Ar i see, the internet is on computers now" fits in here. The internet has always been online mate, there is no offline internet. The internet also offers infinite things to do & see. Comics upon reflection are maybe 5 minutes of reading & usually the digital version is less impressive then the physical copy (especially when you bring in DRM).

    Pow Pow, another Texas Sharp Shooter Fallacy shot down.

    The fact is that its unlikely that digital is "the way of the future," at not until the technical issues are sorted out & even then its unlikely to be nearly as popular as people are pretending it will be.

  7. #37
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    Well, Mr. Lane the all-knowing, it just so happens that

    a) My daughter likes reading comics on a mobile phone screen.
    b) I have a used iPhone which I bought for $25

    Also - you're forgetting the phenomenon of hand-me-down phones.

    I get that you don't want to read comics on a phone screen - I normally don't read them on one either - but that doesn't mean that your personal preferences match everyone else's.

    A shift to digital would not mean that comic reading would become extinct in a generation - deal with it.
    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.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemurion View Post
    Well, Mr. Lane the all-knowing, it just so happens that

    a) My daughter likes reading comics on a mobile phone screen.
    No offense (he says right before saying something offensive), but your daughters preferences do not match those of the regular purchasing audience. Nor should they be taken as any form of consensus, as she's not making any sort of purchasing descision (she's not opting to read on a screen over a book, she's been given no alternative option).

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemurion View Post
    Also - you're forgetting the phenomenon of hand-me-down phones.
    I forgot nothing. It doesn't matter how many phones are handed down, the market does not want to read a comic on a tiny mobile phone screen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemurion View Post
    I get that you don't want to read comics on a phone screen - I normally don't read them on one either - but that doesn't mean that your personal preferences match everyone else's.
    Sure, it doesn't match everyones desire... Just the desire of 99% of the market audience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemurion View Post
    A shift to digital would not mean that comic reading would become extinct in a generation - deal with it.
    Sure it would. Out of Sight, out of Mind. The fact remains that as it stands right now, if we went 100% digital the entire industry would collapse under its own weight as people stopped reading them: Because the barrier to entry & the barrier to interest would just be to high for new readers who aren't alread committed to the purchase (not to mention on a phone you are competing directly with to many other distractions).

    Because no matter how many people have smart phones, its not nearly enough for the comic book industry to make a proper go of it in a digital only market. An without those new readers, comics have zero future (a paradigm, that we've already seen in action).

    In fact DC is trying a digital only title soonish, just to see if it would be viable in the current market. After the entire series comes out they'll be releasing it as a physical trade: At which point DC will see just how viable it is.

    Once you get passed all the technical shortcomings of the technology, the sociology of peoples purchasing habits, the burden to retailers & the loss of quality (lack of proper ownership, DRM, image quality, etc), what we've come up with so far is a $300 way of renting a $3 book.

    In fact in the long run, there are only 3 appreciable advantages to the digital format
    1. Can carry 300+ comics in one device (Which can actually be a disadvantage, especially if it gets broken, lost or stolen.)
    2. Great for people who don't have access to other comic book service, such as no local store (luckily this makes up less then 10% of the buying market)
    3. Great for Long Trips

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowDemon View Post
    Very good insights, esp #2. Read that article that got linked to awhile back about Ike Pearlmutter (head of Marvel). It hints at much the same thing.
    Is it even just Ike, though? I feel like there's a certain corporate culture about Marvel that has basically always existed there. In some ways, it goes all the way back to the entire "Marvel method" of making comics, which as an occasional experiment is a cool idea but as a house style is basically just disrespectful to the reader. Marvel has always seemed like a publisher built on gimmicks and inauthentic posturing; it's not surprising that as soon as they didn't need comics readers anymore, they abandoned all pretense of caring about them.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by wgm11 View Post
    I hope that some of these lower selling 20k titles that are getting cancelled because they can't justify a print run, can go exclusive digital and maybe turn into a profitable thing. Once you eliminate the hard costs of printing and shipping, you're sales expectations can be lower.
    The overwhelming #1 expense of comics production is NOT the cost of printing, but the cost of CREATION -- page rates of writers and artists.

    Printing is (relatively) pennies.

    -B

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono11 View Post
    Is it even just Ike, though? I feel like there's a certain corporate culture about Marvel that has basically always existed there. In some ways, it goes all the way back to the entire "Marvel method" of making comics, which as an occasional experiment is a cool idea but as a house style is basically just disrespectful to the reader. Marvel has always seemed like a publisher built on gimmicks and inauthentic posturing; it's not surprising that as soon as they didn't need comics readers anymore, they abandoned all pretense of caring about them.
    Aint that the truth. Look at how bad this year has been from a story stand point with Marvel.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono11 View Post
    Is it even just Ike, though? I feel like there's a certain corporate culture about Marvel that has basically always existed there. In some ways, it goes all the way back to the entire "Marvel method" of making comics, which as an occasional experiment is a cool idea but as a house style is basically just disrespectful to the reader. Marvel has always seemed like a publisher built on gimmicks and inauthentic posturing; it's not surprising that as soon as they didn't need comics readers anymore, they abandoned all pretense of caring about them.
    I don't think that came into the business until Pearlman (the junk bond king that took Marvel into bankruptcy). He didn't care about Marvel PERIOD, just about using Marvel to flack junk bonds to line his pockets.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Hibbs View Post
    The overwhelming #1 expense of comics production is NOT the cost of printing, but the cost of CREATION -- page rates of writers and artists.

    Printing is (relatively) pennies.

    -B
    We are in a comics economy where the line between profit and loss is razor thin. You of all people should recognize this. The costs involved in getting a floppy from press to your shop each week is significant. If you eliminate thousands of dollars in hard costs from one titles monthly cost then you are in a better place to turn a profit.

    If comics publishers can't figure out a way to sell 15-20k of something and turn a decent profit than the future of the comics biz is pretty grim. Especially if we want to read anything that doesn't have the Avengers or Batman in it.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by wgm11 View Post
    If comics publishers can't figure out a way to sell 15-20k of something and turn a decent profit than the future of the comics biz is pretty grim.
    The "future of comics" is most emphatically NOT in figuring out how to eke out a profit on a 20K-sized audience -- it is in growing the audience so that books don't sell under (say) 50k, and we have scores of 100k+ sellers.

    -B

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by wgm11 View Post
    I tend to agree that digital customers and print customers aren't the same people. For me i'm a reader, not a collector. I buy the digital because i DON'T WANT a printed copy. I have no desire to keep and store comics because i know i'll never read most of them again. I like the stories, i don't care about long boxes or back issues, or CGC collecting.

    Digital is the future and the right now.
    +1 For me, you either sell me digital or nothing - that goes for all sorts of entertainment, not just comics. Kudos to DC to get me to actually buy 3 titles now via Comixology in the new 52. They'd probably get me to double or triple that if they let me review the first issues in full - but I'm not risking $2 on a crapshoot of that size just to see if I like any.

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