Digital Comics are not the future. They are the present. Most every comic series are available instantly, at your finger tips. This on demand access has made comics more accessible and has helped expose casual readers to new and old reads. The downside. It’s killin’ the brick and mortar comic shops. There’s virtually no profit in comic book retail as it is and here comes this digital trend that is farting all over retailer livelihood. Especially with titles being released in store and digitally the same day.  Retailers are still holdin’ their own, but for how long?

Helping to prolong the life of your local reading hole comes comic writer Mark Millar. The brazen, often out spoken comic creative -known for his work on Kick-Ass and Wanted– reminds us to support the home front. I dunno if Millar is taking on “The Establishment.” or if he’s just  being a media whore, but he’s telling readers “Don’t Buy Digital”. In an interview posted at Comic Book Resources Mr. Millar said the following:

“I think digital could be a useful tool, but I’m increasingly concerned  for friends in retail that they’re going to get shafted here,” the writer  explained. “I really think day and date release is a disastrous idea and makes  no economic sense at all to comics as a business. It’s potentially ruinous for  comic stores, and in the long term it’s not going to do publishers any favors  either. I see the attraction on a very superficial level. They think they’re  cutting out the middle men and all the guys taking a piece of their gross, but  there’s an equivalent number of hidden costs in digital too, and it’s short term  thinking to obliterate the life-blood of the medium.

Mark isn’t just going for the throat however, offering an alternative strategy for current day-and-date digital sales models, comparing it to film and TV:

“A more sensible approach to digital comics, I think, would be the look at the model used for movie distribution for the last decade or so,” he said. “The primary phase of selling would be comic stores and theatrical. This is  where the bulk of the investment is recouped or maybe even recouped entirely.  The secondary phase is DVD or, in comic terms, the collected graphic novel sold  in book stores as well as comic stores. These fans aren’t as hardcore as the  first group, but they’re a great place to recoup any money lost in the initial  phase. Digital comics are like TV rights to me in that they’re the tertiary  phase of all this. These are for the most casual, mainstream readers or viewers  and much cheaper than the primary or secondary waves. They’re a great way of  pulling people in for the next product coming out in theatres or in comic  stores, but absolutely not the bedrock of your business.”

I’m still recovering from a Thanksgiving food coma. I’m also battling an erection that has lasted longer than 4 hours (attributed to delicious cookies and pie), so I’m not prepared to discuss the many angles of this controversial subject. Even if I was of sound mind, I dunno where I stand. I would say though that Millar is talkin’ a lot of sense.  Would you agree?

Via: Comics Alliance

Category: Comics

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