Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

October 11, 2012

A Curious Coda: Opting Out Of Digital High Society

imageSo I tried to use an e-mail received about the digital versions of Dave Sim's Cerebus story High Society that I purchased through Kickstarter. A couple of the links didn't go anywhere, and I didn't understand why some of the links were generic and others specific, but I eventually figured out what was going on with the help of a nice Cerebus-project person. What I found, though, wasn't the digital copy of High Society I originally thought I was purchasing but a single issue of Cerebus (#27) with a bunch of added material. Further, it didn't really load. And it seemed way bigger than a single issue, both in terms of number of pages and the way it was being scanned.

I guess this was what the Kickstarter campaign offered, although I just re-read what was written and I'm still confused, just as I was confused yesterday about the Sim press release regarding the exact nature of his deal with IDW for Cerebus material. But yeah, I think that it's reasonably clear this is what purchasers were going to receive. That's my bad. Totally.

I have no regrets. I should read these things more thoroughly. I do regret anyone that might be similarly disappointed or frustrated right now that came to that project through me, though. I apologize if I mischaracterized something in talking about my own interest in that project.

What it comes down to from my end is that this iteration of the project just doesn't work for me as a consumer and because I didn't do my due diligence, I'm only figuring that out now. I have very little interest in a 25-week relationship with the potential for glitches every time out as opposed to a single downloading experience (even in parts), and I thought the technology and publishing passion were there to do that. I suppose I assumed in being offered a digital version of High Society with bells and whistles I could get High Society in a way I could ignore the bells and whistles. I had a similar disinterest in all of the kickstarter-generated project update e-mails, and it was probably a sign that I had to really work to stop receiving those.

An ironic thing for me is that one reason I bought Cerebus in serial form all those years is that it was a great, smart package and I didn't have to think about it too much or be bothered by it before or after reading the publication itself. It still seems logical to me that there are younger comics-people and other potential readers that would like to try the book out in digital form, but maybe just the book, and maybe at a size and heft directed at consumption rather than archiving and study. Similarly, in terms of the print stuff that's been discussed recently, I feel that there are enough fans and potential fans out there to make nicer versions of the trades viable. All this other stuff, and why it isn't all more simply, "we have these comics and let's give people these comics," I sort of fundamentally don't get.
posted 4:40 am PST | Permalink

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