Digital Comics -- Can They Make The Leap?

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Digital Comics -- Can They Make The Leap?

Postby Ult_Sm86 » Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:54 pm

I have played around with iPads as well, and I can't make that same statement.

I would say (since I've been posting I've sort of looked into this more), that I don't like a lot of the direction of the new DCnU, but I'd be willing to try 3 issues of B&R, Supes, & Flash for $1.99 each.

However; I feel like I'm playing into their expectations when I say that, and I hate being targeted. I don't mind being advertised to, but I hate doing what is expected of me. It's not very mature of me, I understand that, but I can't help but feel ... used, I think is the word, when this type of thing comes up.

But being I do not have an iPad right now, this is not an option for me. But I'm certainly not going to tell people who are starting to read comics on iPads (or Galaxy Pads or what-haveyou) stop just because I enjoy paper prints better. That's silly.

A comic fan is a comic fan is a comic fan.

I just don't want to see the industry move away from what I love so much.
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Digital Comics -- Can They Make The Leap?

Postby NachtcGleiskette » Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:57 pm

I have a fabulous iPad which make digital comics absolutely glorious to read. I hated digital comics prior to getting my iPad - reading them on my computer sucked. However, now it's nice and easy, and I can read them anywhere, without worrying about damaging them.

Of course the comic companies still believe that paper comics are their bread and butter. Just like at one time AT&T focused on their landline service because these new fangled cell phones were such a niche market. Who needs a phone on them all the time? This is what we call progress ;). And while it's sad that this progress breaking the banks of small businesses, well, every business needs to move with the times and figure out how to make the newest and latest work within their model. If you stay in the same place and try to convince the world that they're wrong, you will get left in the dust.
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Digital Comics -- Can They Make The Leap?

Postby Ult_Sm86 » Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:04 pm

I agree and I understand the comic companies are no longer going to make MORE money off of us (we, the few who attend the comic book stores and will do no other thing but that), and they are trying to break through into new markets. (At least DC is now, we'll see how Marvel takes this.)

I am not against them so much anymore, I'm just against being left behind because I can't access them. And more importantly, I still like my single issue cover art. I don't know how they expect to make up for collection-worthy issues. With the understanding that because so many are printed now nothing is really a "collectible" anymore (in the sense that it won't really be worth any kind of value the way the 1st appearance of Lizard might be -- as an example), but it's still valuable to me. That last issue of Ultimate Spider-Man? Or the death of Johnny in Fantastic Four?

I wouldn't want that on a computer.
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Digital Comics -- Can They Make The Leap?

Postby Bamfette » Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:18 pm

Issues of comics haven't been collectible for ages now. It was that kind of thinking that caused the speculator bust of the 90's, and ever since then, comics are not collectible in any sense except sentimental. Sure, some people still do get multiple paper issue, but the number is far less than it was, now that people realize they're essentially worthless. and as has been stated before, again and again, digital is not replacing paper comics (at least not yet, and if they do replace them it's years off)

Even if they do completely replace single issues, TPB's will be around for a long time, I'm sure, if you want something on paper.
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Digital Comics -- Can They Make The Leap?

Postby NachtcGleiskette » Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:24 pm

From simply a business standpoint, it makes no sense for the companies to NOT move to digital completely. Now, do I think this is gonna happen this year? No, I don't think it will happen in the next 5 years. But in the next decade? I think it's entirely possible. Their fanbase is known for being very tech savvy, and they can eliminate printing and shipping costs, which are enormous. Now their overhead is much lower, they can do as many downloads of the same file as they want, and these digital comics can be sold for $1 or so and STILL make the company more money than the paper.

Honestly, if they're smart, they will move completely to digital and keep subscription options for those who want the paper copies. But we can see the death of the traditional comic shop on the horizon. It's sad, but inevitable. And while tablets are kind of a luxury and a bit expensive now, one day they'll be as widespread as smart phones.
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Digital Comics -- Can They Make The Leap?

Postby Darkholme » Thu Sep 01, 2011 6:23 pm

I bought Justice League #1 through my iPhone last night at 8pm. Here are the many reasons I found this to be awesome:

1) I didn't have to spend $8+ in gas to get to the nearest shop (which was already closed at that time).
2) I didn't have to wait until the shop was open to get it.
3) I didn't have to spend more money on other stuff that I'm not as interested in to "make up" for the gas money.
4) I don't have to bag it, board it, store it, move it.
5) I could read it on my computer before it downloaded to my iPhone.
6) The creators still get money from it.
7) If I really like a series, I will buy the trade from my comic shop, so both they and the creators will get money from it.
8) I don't have to bag it, board it, store it, move it. Seriously. This is HUGE for me.

I can't WAIT to get an iPad, primarily for this. And this is as someone who has worked in some aspect of comic book retailing off and on (mostly on) for almost 20 years (since Oct 1992). Trades are where the physical direct market is heading - ESPECIALLY now that Borders is out of the picture. In a typical week at the last store I managed, Wednesday (or new comic day on holiday weeks) was the ONLY day that single issue new comics would have a higher total dollar amount sold than trades/HCs. And if a Walking Dead or Fables trade came out that week, sometimes the trades would overtake that too. Trades also do AMAZING things for cashflow with Diamond's reorder system.

Physical single issues are ALREADY print-on-demand. The numbers for a print run are set two to three weeks before the book hits the shelves, and it's a combination of retailer orders, Diamond's willingness to risk storing extra copies for reorder, and the publishers' willingness to share the risk on storing extra copies for reorder. Most of the time, it's better to sell through and get a new printing out 3-4 weeks later - preferably to sell with the next issue. But it's still very rare that the system hits the "magic number" where you have 100% sell-through and everyone that wants a copy has a copy.

Digital ties up zero money. None. And when a book sells, the distributor gets money. The publisher gets money. The creators get money. And the person that buys the book gets to READ THE BOOK. And Comixology has offered to help retailers sell vouchers for digital comics through their stores - which is a complete no-brainer in my mind. Why would you not take your 20% cut of a product that you didn't have to put out ANY money for and don't have to maintain or store AT ALL? Sure, you may get 40, 50 or 60% out of a physical sale, but then you have to factor in freight, handling, storage, and the chance that the book won't sell.

Nostalgia is fine and all, but print is just not a worthwhile business model anymore.
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Digital Comics -- Can They Make The Leap?

Postby Ult_Sm86 » Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:42 am

I'm very intrigued by your review Darkholme, and i'll be sure to give the 1.99 Nightwing a try on my friend's iPad.


However; as things stand with me financially, it's just not logical for me to spend the money on any type of pad right now
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Digital Comics -- Can They Make The Leap?

Postby Crawler » Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:26 am

After a long conversation with Bamfette and reading Darkholme's post above, I realized just how much I don't want more single issues hanging around my house. I haven't read a single issue format comic book more than once in roughly 15 years, despite having way too many of them hanging around. If I love a story, I buy it in trade, even if I already have the floppies.

However, I was planning on buying the books I like in single issues to "vote with my dollar" and support the sort of things that I want to see more of. I was most interested in doing this to support the more diverse comics coming from DC this month with the relaunch.

Then I realized:
I can do that just as well with digital comics. And when I finally get a tablet (Black Friday, I'm looking at you), since comiXology is a cloud service, I will be able to load everything I buy between now and then, no problem. And when I want to reread the really good stuff, I'll buy the trade and NOT have all this paper and plastic hanging around in my house. On top of all that, I get to support digital comics. It's win-win-win-win.
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Digital Comics -- Can They Make The Leap?

Postby Bamfette » Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:34 am

As we were just discussing, I am doing the same. Show support for what I want without adding to my clutter problem. I will still go to my shop to get trades, namely Vertigo trades since they seem slow on releasing the Vertigo stuff on Comixology (only up to issue 5 of American Vampire! i mean, really...).

[Edited on 2/9/11 by Bamfette]
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Digital Comics -- Can They Make The Leap?

Postby NachtcGleiskette » Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:30 pm

Awesome post, Darkholme! And C, you make a really good point. I have 4 long boxes of comics. But if I want to reread a book, I head for the trade. Pulling books out of the boxes involves moving them (they're effing heavy) and then searching through to figure which box it's in. I have a system of filing my books, but I still can't find the efficiently. And then putting them back is another hassle. My trades, though, are neatly stacked on my bookshelf. In fact, I've been slowly selling off my collection to replace with trades.

To take it a step further, I recently wanted to read an old issue I didn't own. Driving 20 min tithe store on the off chance that MAYBE they have it wasnt even an option - I just downloaded it. Why take the chance and waste the gas when know I can get it digital?

Honestly, I see digital even expanding the readerbase. There is absolutely a section of society that would never consider setting foot in a comic shop. But a quick download onto a computer, iPad, kindle, etc? I can see casual readership growing.
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Digital Comics -- Can They Make The Leap?

Postby Wahnsinn » Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:11 pm

NachtcGleiskette wrote:I have 4 long boxes of comics.

This makes me want to count! Let's see … 85 short boxes with enough new--this is a relative term--stuff to fill, at least, another 3 boxes needing to be (read and) put away. There's 4(?) long boxes with I-forget-what in them. That small stack that's not in a box for reasons I forget would take up much of a short box. Oh, wait, I forgot those stacks over there of only-the-man-knows-what. Two more short boxes for that, maybe? And I think some title's on loan to my brother-in-law. This is what happens when comic collectors get married. :toothy

[Edited on 2/9/11 by Wahnsinn]
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Digital Comics -- Can They Make The Leap?

Postby The Drastic Spastic » Sat Sep 03, 2011 6:44 am

I used to think I wouldn't buy anything I could get for free, but since discovering Steam I've found that's not true. I like buying games on Steam. It's easy and convenient. I've got four games in my Steam library that I haven't even played yet, I just saw them while browsing, price was right, out comes the credit card. When they make a Steam for comics, I'm sure I will start buying/reading again.

I poked around Comixology but it is no Steam. Whatever, I can wait.
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Digital Comics -- Can They Make The Leap?

Postby fourpawsonthefloor » Sat Sep 03, 2011 6:58 am

I used to be completely for paper. Loved the feel and even the smell - was all part of the experience. Now I find that I actually can read books way easier on my e-reader. Making the leap to comics on tablet isn't much of one at all and it's way more environmentally friendly. Though I do feel bad for the stores.

And yeah, trades all the way other than that. I stopped my pull list about 8 months ago because it was just too much.
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Digital Comics -- Can They Make The Leap?

Postby The Drastic Spastic » Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:10 am

I haven't bought a single issue for six or seven years. Once I found downloads, I quit and didn't look back. I bought trades of things I really liked to assauge some of the guilt over my rampant thieving, but everything about reading them on my computer was better than the floppy version. The colours were brighter, the text was clearer, everything was bigger... you could eat with both hands while reading... they don't take up space in the closet...

The temptation was too much.
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Digital Comics -- Can They Make The Leap?

Postby Crawler » Sat Sep 03, 2011 5:08 pm

While I don't condone piracy, I'd like to point out to all those watching that the pirate downloads of comics are NOT pirate versions of digital comics. They're pirated print comics. Since I know one of the arguments against digital comics is the ease of piracy, this is important to not. Digital comics? Not pirated. Print comics? Pirated. :p

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Digital Comics -- Can They Make The Leap?

Postby The Drastic Spastic » Sun Sep 04, 2011 5:09 am

At least in the past that was because the digital versions weren't worth pirating. Low quality images in a shitty viewer. It seems like they've upped the quality now based on a look at Marvel's digital site. They seem to have the right idea now though the selection is still pretty limited and a lot of it seems pretty random. For example you can read X-Calibre 1 and 3, which were uploaded in 2008, but there's no sign of issues 2 and 4.
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Digital Comics -- Can They Make The Leap?

Postby Bamfette » Sun Sep 04, 2011 6:22 am

DC's selection is better, for the most part. If they begin to upload an old series, it will continue to be uploaded fairly regularly until it's done. And when they launched Justice League, they added a whole slew of comics relating to the New 52, the complete Resurrection Man series from the 90's (27 issues, all on the 31st), Gates of Gotham, Swamp Thing, Animal Man, Hawk and Dove, Legion Lost started a new chapter of The Authority, etc. And of course, starting with Justice League, they will be releasing every issue they publish same day as print.

They are pretty spotty on the Vertigo end of things, though. And can't beat Marvel's subscription deal, though you can guarantee if Marvel went day and date on more than a couple titles as well, that deal would end, or would exclude new comics.
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Postby Ult_Sm86 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 6:08 pm

And finally Image Comics begins to take strides towards Digital Comics.


Can I hear IDW coming around the corner? Or perhaps that's Darkhorse?
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Digital Comics -- Can They Make The Leap?

Postby Nandireya » Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:50 am

I have the Marvel and DC apps on my iPad. I basically got them so I can have a preview of books I've been thinking about getting.

I've downloaded about a dozen books from the DC store...the new Nightwing and Young Justice (the one based on the TV show which I recently found on YouTube...LOVE their take on Robin with his eerie, disembodied laugh and ninjaish disappearing.reappearing acts...of course, given its Gargoyleish pedigree...).

So far I've got nothing from the Marvel one. I wanted to check out the issues of Uncanny X-Force (that is the title's name, right) that featured the AoA characters to see if the new book featuring Kurt Darkholme was worth buying, but they aren't available, at least not in the Australian version...everything's really old, dating back to the time when I still actually bought Marvel books and I already have the print versions of those.

I don't know about the Marvel app, but the DC one is limited to 500MB. You reach that and want something new you have to delete something...something you paid good money for. By that fact alone it won't be replacing my comic buying practices...I'll stick with print.

[Edited on 4-10-2011 by Nandireya]
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Digital Comics -- Can They Make The Leap?

Postby Ult_Sm86 » Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:32 pm

Nan,

most (if not all?) of the Ultimate titles are available for download in the Marvel App.
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Postby Nandireya » Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:51 am

Can't say I'm all that interested in the Ultimate universe...
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Postby Ult_Sm86 » Wed Oct 05, 2011 3:03 pm

Wouldn't blame you for not being interested.

It's a reboot of characters you know and love, a completely different take on them. Some people just don't dig it. I really like the originality behind Ultimate Universe and I like that they're (finally) getting rid of redundant characters like Peter/Logan/Scott/Matt Murdock and putting new people in those heroes shoes.

You can only read about Peter's exploits so many times.
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Digital Comics -- Can They Make The Leap?

Postby Ult_Sm86 » Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:21 am

Okay, can someone explain to me how the pricing for Online Digital Comics works?

I'm really confused.... I don't get why they're $3.99... and wy some are $1.99... and others are .99.... or Free....


I mean honestly, I want to transfer a bunch of my titles to Digital Comics, just to give them a shot, but ... alas, I can't. I'm not gonna shell out the same money for less of the item.
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Digital Comics -- Can They Make The Leap?

Postby HoodedMan » Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:42 am

Ult_Sm86 wrote:Okay, can someone explain to me how the pricing for Online Digital Comics works?

I'm really confused.... I don't get why they're $3.99... and wy some are $1.99... and others are .99.... or Free....


The thing with digital comics is that their price can be adjusted almost instantly to meet "demand". Thus their prices will appear to be a lot more variable than print comics. If Marvel wants to stimulate interest in a given title, they can lower the price of the digital comic a lot more easily than they can lower the price of the print comic (if they can at all; there's a lot more consistency expected of print).

Ult_Sm86 wrote:I mean honestly, I want to transfer a bunch of my titles to Digital Comics, just to give them a shot, but ... alas, I can't. I'm not gonna shell out the same money for less of the item.


It doesn't make a lot of sense to shell out money for something you already have. Buy according to your wishlist, then if you have anything left over, you can try out a different format of what you already have. :)
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Digital Comics -- Can They Make The Leap?

Postby Ult_Sm86 » Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:46 am

For me, HM, it does.

If I can stop getting a comic for $2.99 (DC's "Batman & Robin") and instead get it for a dollar less online and not have to worry about buying bags/boards/storage boxes for them...

I think that works. :)
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