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

August 22, 2006

Marvel and DC on Downloading Comics

imageI thought this feature about downloading comics content seemed generally clear and raised an interesting point or two. DC and Marvel seem to have different basic attitudes about people uploading their comics, at least as much as Joe Quesada as an artist articulates a strong reaction against the notion of his work being pirated. Their respective on-line programs seem equally passive and slow in developing, though, and any significant differences in approach will likely disappear as these programs become a greater player in the Big Two's ongoing competitive fervor. The article also helpfully points to ways you can join in the comics-for-free fun.

I downloaded some comics once -- it was a big group of mostly DC comics that I think is a regular package someone out there puts together. I wouldn't care to do it again, but I can see the appeal. It was a nice way to read a lot of stuff I wouldn't bother to pay $2-$3 to read, and kind of a crummy way to read stuff I would have enjoyed more on paper. With mainstream comics, at least for me, the former group is much, much bigger than the latter -- and here's a key: I suspect it's true of anyone who doesn't have massive amounts of discretionary income, too. In addition, I've long had the sneaking suspicion that as mainstream comics become more and more dependent on soap opera plot reveals and less dependent on providing a stand-alone visceral and entertaining experience that on-line consumption could steamroll in appeal. If I wake up tomorrow morning with a life-changing desire to track Marvel's Civil War, running to the comic shop and dropping $168 or whatever on single issues is probably not my first option.
posted 4:20 am PST | Permalink

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