Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Digital Age

Sorry for not posting recently, I've been sick. Still am. But a friend emailed me a link to this article on Newsarama. I didn't think Archie would be the first publisher to decide to put their comics out digitally on the same day as their print versions, but it had to be someone.

Is the courageous? No. What it is, is inevitable. The market is shrinking for print comics. That's been true for years. And all the publishers know that the current distribution system is not healthy for comics in general. But none of them are taking any action for reasons I won't go into here, but they make a lot of sense. In the short term, it wouldn't help them.

Unfortunately, in the long term, breaking out of the direct market will do a lot of damage. I'm not a "doom and gloom" kind of guy. And I'm not saying anything that hasn't been said before by people who are smarter than I am. I don't think that comics will stop being published, but something's got to give at some point. Something new has to be tried.

Is digital the answer? Nope. It's not, but it could help. Are digital comics going to kill the direct market? No, I don't think so. They're going to speed up the process a tad, but that doesn't change the fact that the process is already in motion.

And I'm not saying that the direct market has to go away. If I could make one change in the industry, it would be the exclusive contracts that comics publishers have with Diamond Distributors. I think Publishers need to have the ability to sell their comics to whomever they wish, THROUGH whomever they wish. That's the only way we're going to get some new readers and new comics fans into our fun little business. Well, that, and stop over emphasizing super heroes all the time. But that's another topic for another time...



  1. Andy,
    I just found your blog through Google while I was researching the impending close of Borders. I found your blog post on that subject, and the one above, of immense interest. As a reader of comic books, and an aspiring writer, I am very curious about the market and your articles offer the level of detail I would wish for.

    You pointed out that superheroes are over emphasized here. I agree. I have heard this is "au contraire' in the french market, whose product selection successfully appeals to many, many more demographics other than superhero-worshiping geeks. Do you have any thoughts why this is not the case in the U.S.?

    Rest well and I hope you are feeling better today.



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