Friday, August 21, 2009

New! Comics Research Blog Aggregator

At last count, the Internet was found to host approximately twelvety-million blogs about comics[*]. The number of blogs dealing specifically with research about comics, while slightly smaller, is still daunting for anyone trying to follow all or even most them. That's why here at we've begun the Comics Research Blog Aggregator -- your one-stop shopping place for feeds from all the research-oriented blogs of which we're aware.

If you have or know of a blog you believe we should include, you can suggest it right from the aggregator, using the green + button in the upper right-hand corner menu. You also can respond to this post or use the form at Happy reading!

[*] Source: A pretty good guess.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

In the News: "Menace to Comic Heroes?"
(LA Times)

Last week I had the pleasure of speaking to Michelle Keller, a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times, on the topic of digital piracy in the comic book field. The result was published in today's (Monday, 29 May) paper: "Menace to Comic Heroes?" (you might need to register in order to read it). Wired magazine ran a simliar but less in-depth piece last month, as well.

The LA Times story covers the topic from many angles, from publishers to comics shop owners to readers both younger and, ahem, older (that would be moi). I'm quoted arguing for a possibly not-so-drastic impact: "The collector mind-set says, 'I need the paper issue.'" And while I do believe that's true, it's also true that younger readers -- heck, younger people in general -- are more accustomed to thinking in terms like instant access and transferred bits than they are mint condition and mylar bags.

Apart from select features like Marvel's "Digital Comics," most traditional US publishing companies don't offer dowloadable digital comic books. Even Marvel's offerings are strictly on-line; you can't download a comic and take it with you, you must read it while connected to the Internet. In a half-way move into the digital realm, though, Marvel has begun offering great slabs of its library on DVD-Rom: you can get 500+ issues each of Amazing Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, The Avengers, and Uncanny X-Men on shiny media for about $50 per title.

To me, this is a real bargain; and I'd bet if publishers offered legal downloads of back-issues like these at a comparable price to the physical-media digital versions -- that's 10 cents per issue, kids! -- lots of folks would jump at the opportunity. I know I would.

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