And another thing… – On Why We’re the Assholes

The thing I didn’t get into, mostly because it’s a different (if connected topic) below, is that a lot of the problem is our fault, too. We haven’t actually held up our end of the bargain as content producers. The pricing on digital comics is still outrageous, especially considering many people think the print versions are too expensive, too. While the fine folks at Comixology and Graphic.ly have done a stellar job on their apps and web presence, because of content restrictions, it’s still far from the seamless experience that is iTunes. Obviously, there’s the content argument (as so many very kind people have made about my books elsewhere) and the problems of insularness, and so on, and so on, and so on.

Is piracy the only reason the comics industry is in serious trouble? Of course not. Is it a major one? Absolutely yes.

BUT, ultimately, it’s our responsibility as content producers to figure out a solution. Now, let’s get to work.

6 thoughts on “And another thing… – On Why We’re the Assholes

  1. I think there will always be the debate of how many pirates are actually people you would convert into buyers if you eradicated piracy and so on, but I definetely think your at least bringing up the right points to be discussing, as far as piracy goes and the other stuff. The fact you’re talking about any problems is a win really :) just don’t let it get in the way of the good writing!

  2. That’s what I get for not checking for other posts before commenting. The industry is in a tough spot right now, and there doesn’t seem to be a right solution other than to keep trying. With sincerity, good luck.

  3. I find it almost embarrassing that in 2012 people are still copping pleas for piracy. There’s really no excuse or justification for it. Yet at the same time, anytime I see someone complain about it (including myself), they look like a goddamn dinosaur! Piracy is wrong, deep down we all know it, and as to how much it’s actually hurting comic sales? A moot question if you ask me. That energy can be used to improve countless other aspects of the comics market that keep new blood away. And maybe even creating a user-friendly experience that leaves the pirates with no more bullshit excuses. It’s starting to happen with music, so why not comics? Props to you and any other creator willing to look at the flaws within the system as well.

    I don’t think the content producers are assholes. I do think they are clinging to their old ways out of fear, and it’s ultimately slowing down their own progress towards new, more profitable business models. I don’t think the pirates are ever gonna be enticed to come over to the direct market, like it or not I think comics will have to come to them.

    I love what Comixology and Graphic.ly are becoming. I like to think that their customers are a different breed of customers than the comic shop crowd, though I’m sure there’s lots of overlap. I do kind of agree on the pricing, but I don’t really have enough information to say whether or not what they’re asking is fair. Obviously .99 and 1.99 comics would sell better but people gotta eat, too.

  4. as content producers you guys are held hostage by the comic shops. You’ve got 2000 or so comic shops that cry rape whenever a dark horse puts out comics at a cheaper price than the newsstand. Until you can get me a digital periodical at under a buck? Comics days are numbered. How is it with no word of mouth that skull kickers can run up a free page a day and get 50k views with no promotion? Why is it that you folks have such little faith in the quality of your product? I feel bad for comickers held hostage by the shops. There’s plenty of web comics that make good money without a comic shop, a diamond previews etc. People will pay for good content. The issue is that your buyers , comic shop owners, don’t want to read new or good content, preferring to coast on dcs 52 or what not. Creators need to change the way they do business.

  5. Pingback: Why Piracy is Not Responsible for ‘Ruining’ Comics [Op-Ed] | My Blog

  6. One more asshole comment. I guess I’m sorta happy to see comickers feel the butthurt of piracy. Next time you guys are signing at a convention, and you’re buying some Jackie chan DVD or some highlander sword or wolverine costume or the tons of legit in their native country but not so much here due to licence restrictions doctor who or anime stuff that’s not licenced for sale in America? Or some out of print horror flick that’ll never see release? I hope you think about being an asshole and fandoms lifelong support and advocacy of piracy. It’s just that now theres germanic barbarians at the gates, and no one to speak out for you guys, cause all the others have been taken away…

    So go team pirate. If you need me, I’ll be over in the grey market area.

    Seriously? I’ve never heard of you folk campaigning for that stuff to be removed from a con floor. The hypocrisy is amusing.

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