Thursday, June 24, 2010

News You Can Use -- DC Comics Goes Digital

Doug: Howdy. I saw this information last night on Comics Blips, which linked me to Newsarama. The links below concern breaking news that DC Comics is entering the digital comic market, and what's more, they will pay royalties to their creators on a per download basis. You can peruse both stories, and then drop back by and leave a comment if you are so inclined.

Doug: So, where do I stand on this? I'm mixed, and that's not to say that I don't think it's a great idea. If you'll recall, Karen and I ran a post a few weeks ago about the demise of Both of us came clean and said we'd used the site. To be honest, I got swept up in it pretty hook, line, and sinker. It was an amazing collection of material. I fully support both Marvel's and DC's decision to market, and profit, from their own material. Where I'm mixed is that I just don't buy all that much that's new, and to be honest I find the subscription rates somewhat cost prohibitive for reading Silver and Bronze Age material. I've said it before -- I was and still am in love with the DVD-ROMs that Marvel published several years ago. They were cost-effective, and nearly comprehensive. As we've said, had they contained the Giant-Size issues they'd have been about perfect. Also as I've said, I really wish that Daredevil and Thor had gotten that treatment before the program ended. So while I applaud this attempt to stay cutting edge and connected with the ever-changing comics audience and how they receive entertainment in electronic media, I just don't see myself as a user.

Karen: It's been awhile since I last looked at the Marvel site, and I have to say, they've added many more silver and bronze age books since the last time I was there. There's still a lot of cool bronze age stuff that's missing -they have the 2007 Super-Villain Team-Up but not the original? And only one issue of Marvel Team-Up? Still $60 for a whole year isn't terrible. I might consider it, but I already have lots of books, and many of the ones I want , the digital comics don't have. They really do seem to focus on books from the last decade or so. Like Doug, I absolutely love the DVD-ROMs and would buy more of those if they would put them out. I'd love to have DVD ROM collections of even minor titles, like Astonishing Tales, Amazing Adventures, Marvel Team-Up, Marvel Two in One -the list goes on and on. But I haven't heard any news regarding this.

Karen: So what about the rest of you? Where do you stand on this?


ChrisPV said...

I think this is another case of "early adopter beware." For me, the new stuff will never be practical in digital for one simple reason: it's all in trade. And cheaper, too. At 3 bucks a pop, a six issue arc will put you back $18. The trade for same probably goes for $10-$15 on Amazon, less if you can get it used. However, for the Silver and Bronze Age stuff, this will be a godsend here in a couple of years once there's been time to fill out the catalog. After all, finding a reprint of an "important" issue is easy. Superman #1 has been reprinted scads of times. But if you just want, say, Superman #179, you're gonna pay through the nose. So, for me, I'm fine with paying $2 per issue for things that I can't find elsewhere. Much more than $2, however, and I don't think it's worth it. Give it some time, and I think both Marvel and DC will have their libraries available for download.

Also, when will those of us who don't have an iPad get some love? I'm not real enthused about spending $600 just for a reader that I have to spend more money to load with material. Especially when I have a perfectly good PC. And I honestly think that might be a stumbling block. iPhones have other practical uses (although reading a comic on them is painful) but the iPad? Not so much. Oh well. Time will tell, eh?

Doug said...

One thing I like about digital comics, and I know laptops are cumbersome, sitting at a monitor isn't always comfortable, etc., is that you don't have to be so careful with the story! There's no tape to snag on the cover, no chance of putting a crease on a cover...

But digital comics, unless they develop smell-a-vision, will never be able to compete with the smell of old comics!! My $3.25 haul I got off eBay arrived last week and it was musty-heaven when I unpacked and leafed through my new treasures!



Wil said...

The daft problem I have with the digital versions of the old stuff (and it also applies to modern reprints, too) is that they're on whiter than white backgrounds/paper where the colouring just looks wrong and that they don't include the ads, the letters and the soapbox pages. It might not be so much the case now but then, for me, all that stuff was a big part of what made up a comic.

Karen said...

Wii, I agree 100% with everything you just said. This is why I like the DVDs - you get every page, from cover to back. They also don't fiddle with the coloring or anything else. I do pick up trades but I've been appalled at how sometimes they don't publish covers, or they publish just parts of an issue. I'm a completist!


ChrisPV said...

While I really love the old house ads, I'm okay with losing them if it means I can get the stories. And the coloration doesn't bother me too much, as the rapidly growing collection of Essentials on my shelf can attest. I've always been a lot more interest in the stories themselves, and so for me, this could be a godsend here in a few years.

Although I do believe there's a special place in Perdition for the Marvel exec who yanked the DVD license before I got my Thor disc. Ratfink.

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