Hey you love comics right?
We all go through phases of falling in and out of passion with any form of entertainment.
I have been in the very privileged position of working with the medium full time for
20 years but there have been some years that my love has cooled (see 1992 -1999 for more details).
In my view, and you may well disagree but this moment in time is REMARKABLE for the medium!
I am not claiming that the best the medium has to offer is being created as we speak but just that the breadth and depth of what is available is so far beyond what I ever imagined even 10 years ago.
Digital and Print co-existing-who would have thought that?
Although major players in the market are being fairly proprietorial with the actual raw data both delivery platforms (sorry!) appear to have ruddy complexions.
The 'all digital comics should be 99 cents lobby' seem to be silenced by the cold fact that a percentage of the audience, perhaps as high as 15% compared to print, are more than content to pay $3.99 for a digital edition.In a free market economy it seems to me that we have what appears to be a gentlemen's agreement, Marvel & DC being clearly aware that mutually assured destruction would be the only spoils at the end of a Price War.With no proof to back this conjecture up I must propose that this price 'freeze' has probably converted a healthy slice of the digital market who are fortunate enough have a local comic retail outlet to transition from digital back to print.Years ago when digital was initially being discussed the great hope was that it would become the new 'spinner rack', a place for the potential punter to get a little taste and graze and then become a sequential glutton.This may have occurred and may go some way to explain how print has stabilised, if not exactly flourished.
From this side of the counter that has been something of a relief.
File sharing must have helped.
We have to be honest about this as an industry that some product ,and I use that term because as much as my heart desires every comic produced to be personal expression from the creators, just a cursory scan of solicitations betray editorial expression as the causation of content.
So if someone reads the reviews of lets say the recently concluded Age of Ultron, which I could summarise as 60% good 40% bad, would you condemn that person for torrenting the ten issues?
Well if it meant that person came into the store and purchased Chris Ware's Building Stories for about the same cost, then the answer is no.
Nobody really talks about illegally downloading in the shop, I guess its just not polite to admit.
Do I torrent comics?
Mike Zeck & Gene Day's Master of Kung Fu
Steve Ditko and P Craig Russell's
Rom The Space Knight.
Will these comics, tangled in the mire of expired licences ever be available again?
In truth I personally haven't felt this passionate about this INCREDIBLE medium in years and having some of these works available to inform and influence generations of creators is surely only beneficial?
I remind myself of the decades when Little Nemo and Krazy Kat were unavailable in any form apart from yellowing newspapers.
The likely hood of finding in a UK flea market in the 1950's a copy of the New York Herald, the first newspaper where Little Nemo was published?
Kirby spoke of McKay as an influence.
I wonder how many potential creators never got to see Befuddle Hall?
The Avengers movie?
DC New 52?
Marvel Now ?
A perfect storm?
See you Soonx