Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Upturned Stone

Couldn't do it...

I had all 64 pages of this modern day classic scanned and ready to go online. I knew as soon as I saw those nine pages in Brian Cronin's "The Scariest Comic Books of All Time" on CBR that this was one of the all-time greats. It belongs without a doubt in the Top 10. I bought a copy on eBay the day I saw those nine pages...

But it's also creator owned.

And we must support creators, especially amazing creators like Scott Hampton.
And did you know Heavy Metal sells back issues?...
Eight bucks and shipping. That's what it costs to get your copy.
Sixty-four pages for eight bucks and some extra Heavy Metal contributions thrown in.

So take a gander and decide if you're willing to spend eight bucks.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Digital Age - Part 2

Or... "The New Porn Site Paradigm"

Perhaps you don't know this, but porn hubs are some of the best categorized and searchable sites on the Internet. You can search by keyword, fetish, file type, duration, rating etc... They link into one another, are optimized for search engines, streamlined for speed and advertise like crazy. Sure there are those annoying popups and java scripts, but don't kid yourself. A lot of programmers have spent a lot of time putting these things together.

What does this have to do with comics?

There are many parallels:

Free Internet Porn. There is a lot of free porn online.
Pretty much all of it is in copyright violation or by amateurs.

Free Internet Comics. There are a lot of scanned comics online.
Pretty much all of it is in copyright violation or by amateurs.

Pay Sites. Porn wants your money. Subscribe.

Pay Sites. Comic companies want your money. Subscribe.

Porn Collectors. Some people collect porn. They won't admit it.

Comic Collectors. Some people collect comics. They won't admit how much this obsession costs them.

Big Business. Porn is a multi-billion dollar industry.

The Comic Business. Is not.

Back Catalog. Porn's been around for awhile. It has an extensive back catalog to draw from.

Back Catalog. Comics have a back catalog that makes Porn weep with envy.

OK. Imagine this:

1. Every comic ever published is now online.
2. Every online comic is broken down by writer, artist, genre, publication date, key characters etc...
3. There all available through one search engine.
4. Readers can rate the stories and comment

My God! Could you just imagine selecting a genre such as 'Horror' and search by 'Rating'? How about by 'Alex Toth'? Or '1978'?

Would you pay $9 a month for this?

I would.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Digital Age of Comics

Back when the iPad was originally released, I did a mock up of the "iComics Card".
With the recent hoop-la of DC's "52" in September featuring same-time print and digital release, I figure it's time to re-visit this subject. Let's start with the 'Age' of American Comic Books:

1. The Golden Age (1935 to 1955) a.k.a The Good Old Days Before The Code
2. The Silver Age (1956 -1970) a.k.a. The Age of the Code
3. The Bronze Age (1971 - 1985) a.k.a The Code Relaxes and Contemplates Retirement
4. The Modern Age (1986 - 2011) a.k.a. Code Breakers and The Direct Distribution System

And now...

5. The Digital Age (2011- ...)

Oh sure, I'm aware that web comics have been around for a couple of decades now and that smaller companies have sold online versions of their comics before DC, but this is something quite revolutionary in comics. One of the big two is releasing their entire line digitally at the same time as the print version. And they're throwing in some back issues too.

I still agree with Scott McCloud (who's been right all these years).
Web comics should be different from print comics.
And isn't this simply DC putting their print comics online?
So what's new? Where's the "revolution"?

Getting readers to PAY for a digital comic.

If DC is able to establish a viable revenue stream with their digital downloads, this will begin the true age of digital comics. Innovation will come if there's a market. And prices will come down, don't worry.

Let's hope.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Vampire of Broadway

Did the move from dime store distribution to direct sales ultimately affect the content of comics?

It did. Comics went from the "Bronze Age" into "The Age of Reason" somewhere around 1982 to 1986. Continuity, story arcs, compendiums of facts, figures and abilities, not just kids stuff any more. No sir, the average fan needed to know exactly how many tons Spider-Man could lift.

But in the cheap bins still live issues like "House of Secrets" 144, another title pushed aside by the Age of Comic Book Reason. One day the publishers will put all these back issues online for public viewing. Until that day, we have the cheap bins :)