Derailing the Direct Market's Demise
those afraid of what digital comics are doing to comic book
stores, here's how I would save the industry.
Comic Books should come with a digital copy of the comic
(similar to what Warner Brothers already does with the digital
copies of their movies on Blue-Ray). The code could be attached
to a page that requires the reader to scratch it like a
lottery ticket. The digital comic could be released at the
same time for a lower price on-line for the casual reader
on itunes etc. that just wants to read the book and isn't
concerned about saving/possessing it.
would still buy the hard copy of the book and have the freedom
to read the story in other mediums. For the serious collector
the comic companies would likely sell multiple copies because
once the code is revealed, the book is no longer in mint
I would not provide a digital copy with the trade paperbacks
(for now) as an encouragement for the collectors to continue
to buy the monthly books.
As for back issues the whole archives should be available
on-line. The monthly books should go-back to the use of
the "*" and tell the reader what
prior issue is being referenced. That way when someone is
reading a book and the blurb says "as seen in Amazing
Spider-Man #121* " or whatever,
the reader could instantly go on-line and for .99 read the
original story. This
could drive the casual reader to the old books.
related note, I can't believe how many people I've talked
to who don't realize that comic-books come out every month.
They honestly think that there are only a couple of Superman
stories. Sort of like Star Wars, as to the average
person the Star Wars Universe -- oh, let's face
it, they don't even call it the Star Wars Universe
-- consists of 6 movies and a bunch of people who have dedicated
their lives to watching the same 6 movies over and over
day I was talking to my paralegal and she was amazed to
find out that Superman, Batman, Iron-Man, Spider-Man and
the X-Men all have new monthly adventures. She, by the way,
loves Walt Disney's Tinkerbell and has all sorts of Tinkerbell
themed items in her office. For her the one Peter Pan
movie was enough to inspire a love of all things Tinkerbell.**
phenomenom can be seen in other places in the culture, most
notably in the Disney Princess items but also...Harry Potter
and Twilight. In comparison to comic books the number of
stories involving these characters is miniscule.
honestly thought I had seen the Christopher Reeve movie
when I was a kid, then read the one or two Superman stories
that were written when Superman was first created and that
was enough to get me hooked for life. The mass public does
not know that these adventures come out all the time.
Once I explained that the stories come out once a month
she then asked me how I pick which ones to read. I responded
by asking her, "how do you know which TV shows to watch
each week?" That was an answer that she understood.
Honestly, most people don't even know that there are almost
forty years of Iron Man stories.
When we were kids, when we saw that "as seen in Spider-Man
#121" caption there was nowhere to immediately go.
Even if we had access to a comic book store there was no
guarantee that the store would have the particular issue
or if they did there was no guarantee that we could afford
to buy the book.
could have read the issues immediately it could have added
to my appreciation of the book that I was currently reading
and could have encouraged me to read even more old books.
the companies have the ability to drive new readers to old
issues and unlike the current secondary market, they could
be making a new .99 cents on every issue of GL/GA #76
that they sell. It's much like the American Idol
business model...the sales of old 70's bands skyrocket on
iTunes minutes after they perform on American Idol
or Dancing with the Stars.
thus, people, the industry is saved.
Benson serves justice as a crusading deputy district attorney
in a large metropolis somewhere south of Star City.
being the famous Death of Gwen Stacy...
did not have the heart to tell Troy there are now a series
of Tinkerbell direct-to-DVD movies, none of which are as
good as Star Wars.