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January 20, 2009


And They Will All Live Like Cartoonists: The US Economy And Comics, Post #12

One from the mainstream media on the declining fortune for American comic books and three from the last heaving gasps of newspapers department, an important carrier of comics and supporter of cartoonists since there have been comics as a commercial presence:

* I severely disliked this article in the LA Times on comics and the declining economy. There's too much in the way of anecdotal evidence standing in for national trends (a store closing in Virginia; a reader in an LA comics store standing if for all readers), too much straining to reinforce the article's main point (Barack Obama in Spider-Man), too much herding everything under the general economic malaise blanket whether it deserves to be there or not (Wizard World closing a show, which comes in a period of economic downturn and after about 24 months of Wizard Entertainment downturn). If you pair it with the recent article where it was made to look like a store had suffered massive sales declines when it really hadn't, it may be safe to say we're going to see a lot of articles talking about general economic downturns in comics whether or not they exist to the extent claimed.

* is it too early to identify this kind of thing, where the New York Times sells off percentages of itself to big-monied buyers, as a kind of parceling out of the newspaper's prestige? Not that their prestige goes away as they do this, but it always seems to me that investment like this is more for the name than for the opportunity.

* the prominent blogger Seth Godin's argument that what we really lose with newspapers is local, investigative news combines two of my favorite observations about the decline of newspapers: that wrapping itself in a package of features may not have been a good idea because those features can be assembled elsewhere, and some sort of doom was inevitable as it became more and more likely for readers to get what a newspaper gives you somewhere else. It's not quite the same argument, although it obviously overlaps. Comics are one of those things that Godin says are better to read on-line.

* Tucson will lose its long-running afternoon paper if no buyer is found; few expect a buyer to be found.
 
posted 4:05 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
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