The 10 Commandments of Comic Fandom

Pretty much how I picture myself all the time.

I usually write my columns based on something that has been on my mind during the preceding week. Oddly enough, last week seemed to have the 10 Commandments showing up as a persistent theme. Granted, I was spending time with family, and as such arguing about all manner of things both religious and political, but the 10 commandments came up specifically on more than one occasion. This column won’t touch the Judeo-Christian concept of the 10 Commandments with a 39.5 foot pole, but there are all kinds of variations on the big 10 floating around so I figured why not try to come up with one for comics?

1. Thou shall have no other media before comics

The key word on the first commandment is ‘before.’ No one is saying you shouldn’t have other media you enjoy. If you spend much time on this very site you’ll know that we all love TV, movies, books, music, etc. Those are all great, but to be a comics fan is to put comics above those other forms of entertainment. We’re potentially a dying breed, and that doesn’t leave much room for waffling. Whether or not that might be part and parcel of our very decline is a subject for another day.

2. Thou shall not deface a comic

This is a bit of a throwback, but if you find a comic missing it’s cover: don’t buy it. If you’re sister draws on your comics, it’s ok to get upset. Comics are art pieces, however disposable, so they deserve a modicum of respect. Besides, what’s a list of 10 rules to live by if at least one isn’t a bit archaic?

3. Remember Wednesday, and keep it local

This one is really just in here because of the whole original Sabbath thing. Something about rewriting the 10 commandments just demands that one insert something specifying a certain day of the week as more important than others, and what better day than Wednesday? As far as keeping it local, if you have a good local shop, support them, if not, whatever there’s always digital/Amazon, I just needed an extra clause for the commandment itself to flow.

4. Honor the Big 2, and thou shall be granted with a long run

In my estimation, honoring does not mean ass-kissing. I think you can’t be a fan of comics without at at least recognizing the contribution of the Big 2 and their creators have had in shaping the comics landscape as we know it today. Like every parent, they makes mistakes and missteps, but we still owe them a lot, and after all, according to the US Supreme Court, they’re only (corporate) humans.

5. Thou shall not pirate

Many discussions have been had both here and around the Internet about the merits of downloading comics without paying for them. I can’t prevent that from happening here, but the commandment is clear: don’t do it, it’s not cool, it’s not justified, and if you try to rationalize the practice you just sound like you’re making excuses for stealing something, and not even something essential to survival like bread or water. So the commandment stands.

6. Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s stack

We all wish we could have reading libraries like our heroes Conor Kilpatrick, Jeff Reid, or Pat Loika. But in reality we probably can’t. Either we’re transient perpetual students, mom’s basement only has so much room, or the flood of 2009 destroyed the majority of our collection. At the end of the day, we should appreciate the comics we have, buy (within reason) what we want, and enjoy the spoils of our friends free from jealously.

You really want another 5 rules at this point? I'm guessing you have a titanic stack of unread books too.

7. Thou shall not get actually angry over things that have never actually happened

Every single person who contributes to this community is passionate about comics. But, and this is a big but, these comics are by and large fiction i.e. none of the stuff in these books actually happened. It is a ton of fun to debate the minutiae of what happens in our beloved funny books, but there is a fine line between a good-natured debate and an embittered argument. Don’t be the person that can’t leave their attitude at the door. Get pedantic, get precise, but at the end of the discussion let it go and hug it out. Comics are supposed to fun, don’t lose sight of that to the point where you can’t be reasoned with.

8. Thou shall not force comics upon thy friends

I’ve talked a little bit about this recently so I won’t go into too much detail. However, this commandment applies to just about any aspect of your life. If a friend isn’t into the same subculture as you, being pushy about it won’t help. If anything it’ll drive friends away.

9. Thou shall not defend bad movies just because they came from comics

Sometimes movies based on comics suck. It benefits our demographic to call out the crap and only take the time to defend what’s worth the defending. Consider it a small step away from the “BIFF BAM POW Comics aren’t for kids anymore” mindset.

10. Thou shall drop bad books, and never be afraid to try something new

Just like the real commandments, they kind of lose steam towards the end, so we conclude with what might be more good advice than a hard and fast rule. It should be self-explanatory, but the podcast covers this ground often enough that it seemed worthwhile to include. If you don’t like a book anymore, get rid of it; if you’re curious about a different book, try it. None of us will go to our death bead’s proclaiming how long we stuck with Green Arrow just to see if it would get good again.


Not that you’d have 10 to contribute, but what are your person comic commandments? The world wants to know! (And by world I mean the several thousand people that still read comics, but you see my point.)


Ryan Haupt takes uppity Catholics to task in real life, but he apologizes afterwards. Hear him be unapologetically passionate on his podcast Science… sort of.


  1. 11. Thou shalt not discuss the stories of Wednesday’s comics, in the comic shop on Wednesday as other people are making their purchases.

  2. fun article. here are some of mine:

    1.Thou shalt always have fun…and when its no longer fun, take a break.

    2.Thou shalt always remember its a hobby and not a job, grassroots cause or life and death thing.

    3.Thous shalt always put family and adult responsibilities ahead of comics–there will always be more out there than i can ever afford to buy. Never be irresponsible with finances or credit to keep up with and support comics.

    The only thing i object to on your list is #2. I don’t believe that a physical comic book is a “work of art”. It is a mass produced, cheaply printed reproduction of artwork, so for me personally, i don’t fetishize the object at all. Because i know its replaceable and mass produced, i don’t feel the need to preserve (bag and board) or feel any responsibility of custodianship as i would with a piece of original art or numbered fine art print. A loved book, is a worn out one, is how i roll…

    • second that. I’m not gonna spend my money on all that bag and board nonsense. Might as wel buy another trade with it

  3. 12. Thou shalt take classes to prevent social ineptitude.

  4. A few more:

    Thou Shalt not be THAT GUY. —with an illustration of the Comic Book Guy next to it.

    Treat female comic readers like human beings and don’t talk down to them, or sleaze all over them.

  5. Thou Shalt Not place the Big Two above all others.
    Spread your love around. Too many good books go unnoticed because they don’t have Batman or Wolverine. Give the other guys a chance, too.

    • THIS x 1,000. Especially with new voices out there, AND a lot of the Big Two writers doing some of their best work in creator-owned books.

  6. Taking slight exception to commandment 5 I’ll leave you with an hypothetical scenario: Imagine someone who lives outside of the US or Canada or the Americas or the UK. That person has no easy access to comics in issue form, but he is really into comics and the whole comic fandom thing, and therefore doesn’t want to wait for trades to come out in order to keep up with websites like ifanboy and be able to listen to their podcasts without being spoiled. Imagine as well that that person will spend 100s of dollars a month on trades bought online from bookshops abroad (i.e. Amazon, book depository etc) for everything he liked and read in pirated form, but just couldn’t wait for the trades to come out. Is this person morally culpable for wanting to know about comics as they come out instead of 6 months later while still fully intending to buy those comics in trade format?

    • Yes.

    • To steal is to take without permission or right. Wanting something really bad does not absolve you of legal or moral culpability. Not having the discipline to wait for something is not grounds for theft.

    • Seeing as that person is buying the trades, the artist compensated in the same way as he would be by buying issues. Hence not stealing, that person is still paying for comics.

    • @Volcaos: The trade purchases do not off-set stealing the single issues. There’s no justification for stealing comics, especially when 99% of comics are available for legal digital purchase.

    • lol. There is no winning this argument. You either pirate or you don’t. If you do, then own it and don’t look for others to justify it for you.

    • What if reading comics digitally is not a preferred option but only a stop-gap until they can get trades or issues? Are they still meant to pay for the same work twice? Is there any digital service which allow you to read comics digitally and then get the tpb for free for the comics you already paid for?

    • no

    • I for one would happily pay the 17.94 it would cost to get six issues from DC digitally if I could get the 14.99 trade for free at the end, even if I had to redeem the digital comics and no longer get access to them.

    • All those damn thieves, going to their local library, reading people’s work without paying. And how dare people lend their copies to their friends? Don’t they know they’re helping pirates?! And all of those assholes reading books in stores without buying first! How date they?!?? For shame.

    • I love the moral gymnastics happening here. Downloading comics you did not pay for is illegal and wrong. Whatever else you try to bring to it is just absurd. You want this or you would prefer that, at the end of the day it’s still wrong. It sucks you can’t get the comics you want in the format you want when you want them. But that’s it, it just sucks. Sorry. You can’t justify the act of pirating regardless of what you theoretically would pay for because you don’t legally have that option.

    • No, because morality is bogus.

    • @megavikingman Wow. Nobody said anything about what you mentioned at all.
      @lifesend I don’t even know what that means. Can you elaborate?

    • Vadamowens: ok, I’ll spell it out for you: There is absolutely no difference between doing those three things and torrenting, as long as your intention is to buy it if you like it.

    • What if you step out your front door and found yourself in an parallel universe and in this parallel universe they had no currency and the only way you could get comic was to… I have know idea what I’m talking about. Love the Commandments though.

    • @megavikingman: That’s preposterous. None of those examples you listed are akin to torrenting.

      “All those damn thieves, going to their local library, reading people’s work without paying.”

      That copy at the library HAS BEEN PAID FOR.

      “And how dare people lend their copies to their friends?”

      Those copies HAVE BEEN PAID FOR.

      “And all of those assholes reading books in stores without buying first!”

      If they buy the copy after reading it then it HAS BEEN PAID FOR.

      Torrenting is generating new, unpaid for copies of something, unlike the examples listed above.

    • People still use that torrenting comics = reading books in the library excuse? I thought those folks died out with the dinosaurs.

    • @MaxPower just because something is illegal it is not necessarily wrong.
      @Mono0521 you do realize that most people in the world live in places without access to comics issues, right? America is not the world.

    • @megavikingman Bloody hell, man. They skewer pirating apologist’s on here. Why even talk about it? Why even get mad or defensive about it? Like I said, own it or don’t do it…and if you do, don’t let the world know about it.

      It all comes down to the technicality of stealing. Torrenting is against the law regardless of how you look at it. Even if it wasn’t, it’s still theft. Accept it and move on. Someone, somewhere is going to get screwed out of money because either you didn’t like the comic you torrented or read from library/bookstore/friend. There is no guarantee that you will like everything you read, so therefore you’re not going to ‘buy’ everything you’ve borrowed or downloaded regardless of the source.

    • I would like nothing more than to own many albums by the pillows, who are probably my favorite Japanese band. There’s a few on itunes if you mess with the international settings, but not all of them. Many of their CD and LPs are not sold in America, and will probably never be sold here. I have no choice but to buy them imported, since I both want them and want to support the artist. It’s really not that hard or cumbersome.

    • @Volcanos – your argument is like paying for HBO to watch GAME OF THRONES and then expecting them to send you the Blu-Ray for free. Or, seeing a movie in the theater and expecting a coupon for a free DVD. Comics are a business, and no business is going to just give you something because you had it in another form.

      Trades cost money to print. Creators do not get compensated very much at all on trades. Handing out free trades for people who buy single issues is impractical and impossible.

      You either buy the single issues and then get the trade if you liked them, you buy the single issues only, or you wait for the trade. I CAN tell you that “Trade Waiting only” greatly damages sales and reduces the chances of a book continuing beyond 1-2 trades. Retailers won’t invest in a book that hasn’t been a popular single issue seller, and publishers won’t invest in them either since they can’t gauge how many people are going to “trade wait.” And the cost of the issues off-sets the cost of the trade. No singles being bought = no trade.

      It’s just how the business works.

    • @Conor Kilpatrick I agree with you that pirating is a completely different thing from libraries or lending etc, What I am trying to point out is that there are situations, and those are more frequent than you may imagine, where there are mitigating factors which make pirating less morally wrong. If companies came up with solutions, such as the one I pointed out (redeeming legal digital copies for trades) this might be less of a problem. The more you address the reasons for pirating the less it will happen. I think it is more a question of changing business models that it is “fighting piracy”.

    • @Jim McCann Ah! But is that how the business should work?

    • @Volcaos: There’s no situation where taking a form of entertainment without paying for it is morally justifiable. We’re not talking about stealing food because your baby is starving. This is entertainment. There is no inalienable right to read comic books. And like I already said, 99% of comics are available for legal digital purchase.

    • @Volcaos Ok. But that is a bad business plan/model by any stretch of the imagination. All printing cost’s money and there’s no way in hell that someone is going to give out a bonus trade just because you were good enough to buy the digital copies. It doesn’t make sense. They would go bankrupt with that kind of thinking.

    • @Volcoas – it’s how *EVERY* business works. You don’t trade in one thing to get something free. Everything costs money to produce. Pirating removes money for the production of the very thing you claim to love, thereby damaging it and risking whatever book you are pirating of going away. At that point, you have no one to blame but yourself.

      Please take basic, simple economics into account whhen trying to defend piracy. You’ll see it’s selfish and impractical. You are not entitled to comics (or anything) without paying for it. When there is something stolen, revenue drops, and then books go bye-bye.

    • @Volcaos America is not the world. This is Madness!

    • @vadamowens it’s not a bad business model because the digital copies for which you paid more than you would for a tpb are free. They would get advance money, again more than the tpb costs (17.94 for a 14.99 tpb), it would help them gauge the popularity of the comic, it would make people not “trade-wait” with the implications that Conor points out. At the moment they are making free money. I own a record company in real life, one of those small ones where I don’t mind people pirating because it reaches more people and I am also an agent for the bands, and what we call iTunes sales as opposed to CD sales is “free money”. And that is what digital sales are, free money. If they redeemed, they’d still be making an overhead of 3 dollars over the tpb. You’d be paying more not less.

    • @Volcaos I found your company. I’ll be enjoying your music, just don’t ever expect to see a cent from me. I’m sure the artists on your label will LOVE that.

    • @Volcaos you wrote:

      “Imagine as well that that person will spend 100s of dollars a month on trades bought online from bookshops abroad (i.e. Amazon, book depository etc) for everything he liked and read in pirated form, but just couldn’t wait for the trades to come out.”

      So for the comics he DIDN’T like and read in pirated form those stay stolen, right?

    • Right, but other entertainment industries make so much more money than comics. I’m looking at it as if you have to pay money to produce A and B product, then you lose money on one of those by giving it for free.

    • @Jim McCann What I am suggesting here is a way for them to make money in advance without having to actually print anything until the tpb, and a tpb which at current prices would be more expensive by 3 dollars than the one they are selling, while at the same time bypassing distribution companies which take their share. They would be redeeming a tpb for 17.94 dollars! Not for free. This is in alternative to “trade-wating” and buying a heavily discounted tpb at amazon with a cover price of 14.99, which is being sold for like 10 to 12 dollars online and paying percentages to amazon and distributors etc. I am actually giving a way of bypassing pirating that makes companies more money and not less. How is this wrong?

    • I feel like I’m taking crazy pills here. Look, the world is not black and white, this I understand. There are laws that can be questioned as to whose interest they serve. But rit here, right now, we are talking about comic books. Intentions, business models, theoretical buying habits do not come into play here. You are taking something, a form of entertainment that is for sale, without paying for it. It doesn’t matter how much you agree or disagree with the legal system on this, it is what it is. Now, a healthy discussion on why this is an unjust law or ways to improve distribution are awesome discussions to be had and can lead to some interesting ideas. That’s cool. But you can’t say that stealing is not stealing because you want it and can’t have it without stealing it.

    • @Smasher Look at Commandment 10. You also do not pirate those any more because they are bad.

    • I always love these arguments. I think I will stick to trade waiting for library copies.

    • Forcing people to wait for something when they will pay for it now is a bad business model. But corporations employ bad business models all the time. If they aren’t working for the companies they change, otherwise you’re out of luck.

      I only watch a handful of shows on HBO but I pay for the subscription because being a responsible citizen and consumer means I pay for what I utilize rather than weasel, steal and force others to subsidize my lifestyle.

      This isn’t about health care or other policy matters that many reasonable people can disagree with. This is about certain people feeling that because something exists that they have a right to it regardless of their ability to purchase it.

      Avengers came out in theaters around the world before the US and I wanted to see it. But like an adult, I waited. Doing anything else to watch it, short of flying to London, makes you a criminal. For better or worse companies produce content and they decide how to distribute it. It’s always immoral to steal something that is only entertainment.

    • @Volcaos Commandment 10, Funny. But seriously, you can’t un-ring that bell.

    • @comicBOOKchris I really don’t mind. It’s all on bandcamp, if you like it you can buy it, or else just listen to it on your computer and don’t buy it. There is a different logic in music than comics, however, and it is the simple fact that most of the money is made in live concerts, so the more people listen to it the more they will attend concerts and the more money the musicians make. It’s an indie label, the musicians have actually requested to have their music made available in torrents, and streams, they want people to listen to it and go to their concerts, paying tickets. This is however not applicable to comic books.

    • If it’s a different logic, then why bother bring it up?

      And don’t worry, I won’t be coming to any of those shows.

    • If you’ve really kept up with iFanboy in any way, you’d know better than to try to justify pirating comics here. You will NOT come out on top here.

    • @comicBookchris Yeah, you’d have to fly half across the world to see the shows anyway.

    • @vadamowens I don’t think he would be morally culpable, because I don’t think that morality is justified. I’m not simply implying that morality is relative, but that morality is an empty set of beliefs, just as a child’s beliefs about Santa, the North Pole, elves in toy factories, et cetera, are empty.

    • @lifesend You sound like a college freshman that just took Philosophy 101 and suddenly has everything figured out. What you wrote makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

    • @Andrew Gaboury I actually years of academic experience in contemporary analytical philosophy, so if you’d like to demonstrate exactly how what I said makes no sense, feel free to do so and I’ll address your reasoning.

    • @volcaos Do you really send out free CD’s, or records, or whatever “real” format to everyone who bought the music digitally?

    • @lifesend I see what your saying and I understand it, I just don’t think that’s relevant in a thread of people who obviously hold moral standards about the illegal purchase of products, regardless of how meaningless and empty that morality seems to you.

    • @LucasEwalt No, for the simple reason that I do not control the digital distribution, it’s iTunes among other who do. I couldn’t do it if I wanted to, but I would also see no problem in doing it, as the digital price more than covers the CD costs. If someone would come up to me with an itunes receipt in hand, then sure, why not, i’m getting reimbursed by iTunes anyway.

    • Think of it this way, you spending 2.99/3.99 month to month is also buying you the ability to be apart of the subculture of comics. You can now discuss books on here or other websites, you can listen to podcasts, you can go to conventions and understand the panels.

    • @Chris Bout them Pillows albums: Only 2 of them are really worth it. The rest have a few good songs are pretty much snoozers. Little Busters and Happy Bivouac though, definitely buy them. Good shit.

    • @Conor: All of those copies have been payed for, yes, but Not by the person reading them. In fact, those copies are still paid for, whether the reader chose to read them OR the torrented copy. The only case in which an additional copy is sold is if the reader likes it enough to buy it. It’s the same as an in-store flip test. Some people don’t have access to a store to do a flip test, and to say that they need to pay for the book and for the shipping while taking it on faith that the quality is there is a very shortsighted argument. If it sucks, they aren’t going to order again, even if the next book was much better. They would never know that, but it’s much beyer from their perspective to spend that money somewhere else, where they know what they’re getting. Comics do not exist in a vacuum.

      Every credible study done on filesharing has shown that if the quality is there, free downloads actually INCREASE sales.

    • @ed209AF Is it pirating or the fact that Terry Moore just plain reads better on trades? I am sure the trade sales for Rachel Rising will be quite good.

    • @megavikingman: It doesn’t matter that the person who is reading the PAID FOR copy wasn’t the one who did it, all that matters is that THAT COPY WAS PAID FOR. Torrented comics are NEW COPIES THAT AREN’T PAID FOR. As for the running the risk of not knowing if you’ll like something before you buy it? Too bad. That’s life. Comic books are not some special business that are exempt from caveat emptor. Besides, that excuse becomes laughable when you take into account that there are numerous LEGAL online resources to both preview and buy comics.

    • @lifesend I would expect someone as well versed in contemporary analytical philosophy as you claim to be to be able to maintain the logical cohesiveness of a simple argument. But when you use use the non-existence of Santa Claus as evidence for why it’s ok to pirate content you totally undercut your argument. Also it’s awfully silly in an entire thread about the morality of piracy to suddenly chime in that morality doesn’t exist. Way to stay on message.

    • @ megaviking You can’t compare the flip test. That would be like pirating the first 3 or 4 pages before you download it digitally legally.

      When something is pirated you are PERMANENTLY receiving a COPY of something. If you went to the library and they GAVE you a carbon copy of a book they owned, than yes, pirating is exactly the same thing. Your argument makes no sense so stop trying.

      @ Volcaos, I am just making the point that creators have to send out plee bargains to try to get their books sold. I mean look at the comments on this page that i found within 2 seconds of googleing

      People downloaded this because they wanted to read it and are already asking if this pirate will pe putting out the issues as they are published. This is NOT leading to them buying the comic, the proof is on the page.

    • And just go to piratebay’s comic page, Wolverine and the X-men has 716 SEEDERS. SEVEN HUNDRED AND SIXTEEN!!! And just think of the pirates who don’t seed. No argument can be made that this isn’t hurting the comic industry.

    • @Conor But what I think you are bearing out here is a lot of the problems with the comics industry today, Selling digital comics for the price of physical copies seems good for the companies but isn’t. Wouldn’t it be better to sell hundreds of thousands of digital copies at lower prices than a couple of thousand at these prices? As you know a lot of the people who are into comics are into them not just for the story or art but also as physical objects, to me the tactile experience of a comic (be it in issues or TPB) is essential for my enjoyment of them, letting people experience comics digitally either at very reduced prices or with the possibility of redeeming digital copies for TPBs or even issues, seeing as the digital copy has a physical price of 0, would be a way to either get people interested in comics enough so they’d buy them physically or to bypass piracy based on trade-waiting. At the moment what the companies are doing is ignoring pirates’ reasons for piracy losing in many cases 100% of possible profits. They should start seeing pirates not as the enemy but as people that they should find ways to accommodate so that they become profitable costumers of those same companies. The kind of fundamentalist rhetoric you are promoting is not stopping any one from pirating and is also not helping companies turning those people into costumers. In my experience pirates do not like pirating, they do it as a resort either due to lack of money or access, two things that companies can address.

    • @ed209AF This does not mean that those people will not buy a trade later, when it comes out.

    • @ed209AF: And that’s just PirateBay — there are other BitTorrent trackers out there (not as popular, sure) as well as direct download blogs and websites. While the fact that some pirates will ultimately buy the book is nice, I imagine it’s small comfort to creators and publishers.

    • @Valcaos: That comment gets down to the heart of the matter, really: you, and most people who pirate, don’t want to pay for these things.

    • Whoa… 716 seeders?!?!?!?! That means the actual downloads are astronomical. Holy fuck.

    • @valcaos I don’t think the industry can afford to do that. You’re on sinking ship.

    • “due to lack of money or access”

      Lack of access isn’t really a thing with the digital marketplace anymore.

      Lack of money, well than go without. Why steal something you love only to endanger its existence.

      This does not mean that those people WILL by a trade later. Are you saying people should be allowed into movie theaters for free since if they like it they just might run out and buy the Blu-Ray.

    • @ed209AF I’m on your side. But on the Movie thing. It’s almost like 20 bucks to see a movie now a days. I rather wait to rent the movie or take it out from my library. Yes my library rents out blu-rays and video games for free. Also watch on my netfix.

    • @valcaos Just because you disagree with the company’s business model, doesn’t mean you’re justified in stealing. I don’t like everything the government does with my taxes but if I want to live in this country, I still have to pay them. I think gas costs WAY too much, but if I want to drive places, I have to pay for it. It would be far easier and far more convenient for me to go buy my books at my LCS on a Tuesday – the store has them in stock, but the rules say they can’t sell them until Wednesday, so I have to wait.

      You don’t want to wait, and you don’t want to pay, so you steal. I mean, that’s your call, and nobody can really stop you from doing it, but you should at least own up to it and stop trying to justify it.

    • @Conor: You don’t care that free downloads = more sales? Enjoy your dying comics industry. I’m going to use the tools that work to try and save it.

      And you are so wrong about us not wanting to pay. I spend hundreds of dollars a month, almost all of my disposable income, trying to support the artists and writers I love.

    • @megavikingman: I don’t believe that illegal downloads leads to more sales. I believe that you can find isolated cases where that happens but on the whole, absolutely not.

      And if you wanted to support those artists you wouldn’t be ripping them off in the first place.

    • @megaviking: DO they result in more sales though? I’ve never heard anything other than anecdotal (usually by people who partake in free/illegal downloading) that says that they do. And the industry clearly doesn’t think that they do, or they would, you know, do it.

    • @megaviking

      So you can say without a doubt, every thing you have ever pirated you went out and bought?

    • @Conor Now you are just being disingenuous in order to win an argument. As I have said before what is being talked about here is pirating while trade waiting, still paying for comics, still compensating artists. I am proposing constructive solution to stop pirating or minimise its impact, which you do not address either due to lack of comprehension or simple blinkeredness. You are a part of the problem of piracy if you keep doing that, not the solution.

    • @Volcaos: I’m not being disingenuous or trying to win an argument. You can’t win arguments with comic book pirates, all you can do is publicly call them out as much as possible.

      You said in the beginning that you have “no easy access to comics in issue form, but he is really into comics and the whole comic fandom thing, and therefore doesn’t want to wait for trades to come out in order to keep up with websites like ifanboy and be able to listen to their podcasts without being spoiled.” So your solution is to pirate comic books. When it was pointed out that you can get all of those comic books you want to read legally online you moved the goalposts to saying you don’t want to pay full price for a digital comic book.

      So you want to read comics only in trade, except for when you steal them online because you are impatient and because you want to keep up with the conversation but you don’t want to keep up with the conversation using legal means that are readily available to you.

      I’m sorry, but you don’t get to have it both ways.

    • “END SCENE”

    • @volcaos: About three months ago, my wife and I found out we were having a (totally unplanned) baby. Consequently, I had to cut my purchases down from 25 books to 10 books a month, and from 3-4 massive hardcovers/omnibuses/absolutes to maybe 1. That sucks, but that’s life. Now, it would have been really easy for me to say “I’ve spent so much on comics over the years, I feel like I’m entitled to a few free ones when things get tight.” But that’s not true. I’m entitled to nothing.

      It’d also be really easy to say “I’m definitely not spending that money on comics. I’m spending it on diapers and baby food and a crib. I can’t sacrifice anywhere else, so the creators definitely aren’t getting my money, so who cares if I read it for free? They’re not gonna see the money one way or another, so why should I suffer?” But again, that’s just tough for me. This is where I have to decide which ten books I want, and which creators get that money.

    • @Conor And my point is also that you should be able to get it both ways, and that there are ways to do that which can be profitable to companies and artists. I think the current business model is wrong, I think comics are suffering because of that business model. I don’t think piracy is great, or even good, but I do think publishers should provide realistic alternatives. A point which you do not address.

    • @Volcaos You said earlier that the music and comic industry are incomparable, and yet you’re using the music industry as an example to your “point”. Dude.

    • @comicBOOKchris They are incomparable when talking about live shows, because comic book don’t have them. They are not incomparable if you strictly talk about CD sales and comic sales which is what those articles talk about. They are also comparable when talking about digital content which in both cases has a physical cost of 0.

    • @Volcaos: There’s nothing wrong with not liking the system–I think the comic book business pretty much sucks and should be mostly scuttled–but in the meantime you don’t get to steal until something better comes along. As for realistic alternatives? I assume you mean cheaper digital comics. Well, at this point in time cheaper digital comics are not realistic.

      Also, you keep mentioning that digital comics have a “physical cost of 0.” I don’t know that that means but if you’re implying that it costs the companies $0 to make and distribute digital comics I can tell you that that is 100% inaccurate.

    • You’re also being willfully ignorant to the fact that the music industry online presence evolved MUCH earlier and farther than that of comics, so it’s still incomparable. Comic online presence is still evolving, and will soon be at the level of itunes.

      But I’m done here. To paraphrase 2Pac, “I don’t even know why I’m on this track, you pirate commenters ain’t even on my level! I’m going to let my homie Conor ride on you!”

    • @volcaos So you think it’s okay to just do whatever you want when you don’t agree with the current system?

    • Y’know, it’s possible that @volcaos lives in a country where there is no copyright on foreign works (such as Yemen or Somalia), in which case it would not, in fact, be illegal for him to pirate comics. Leaving the morality out of it, there are places in the world where it is perfectly legal.

      @volcaos probably doesn’t live in one of those places, but he might. You never know.

    • @Conor What I mean by Physical costs is the price of paper, printing and distributing comics. Of course there are costs and of course no one advocates giving comics away for free. As I said I am more than happy to pay for digital comics at full price if they are redeemable as trades, for example. As you know, issues end up being more expensive than trades (6 issues cost 17.94 while a trade of those issues has a cover price of 14.99, although it is often heavily discounted).

    • If Burger King and McDonalds are different enough brands that they require constant marketing experimentation and opposing strategies (they sell the same crap, in the same places to the same people and they even have the same colors in their logos), then its really a giant stretch to take two completely unrelated industries like music and comics and say what might sometimes, anecdotally work for one will definitely work for another.

      As an advertising and marketing professional i’ll tell you there is no such thing as a blanket strategy that works every time for every client/brand. If getting a million dollar kickstarter and creating the next walking dead was as easy as following 4 steps and adding water, everyone would do it and there would be no debating of abstractions and anecdotes.

    • @Volcaos: There’s still a distribution cost for digital comics. Comixology and Apple don’t work for free. As for giving away free trades to people who buy digital comics, I’ll just point back up to Jim McCann’s comments about why that’s impractical and unrealistic.

    • @volcaos That is NEVER going to happen. That’s like saying “I’ll only pay to see a movie in theaters if I can get $10 off the DVD when it comes out.” You’re certainly allowed to have that opinion if you want, but movie studios are never going to give you both. You can either pay to read them monthly, or you can pay to have a trade, or you can pay for both – and I usually do a combination of all three. And why would you even expect that to become an option? It’s not set up that way now. You can’t take your individual issues in and say “give me the trade minus the printing costs.”

    • @Conor I think part of the solution has to do with companies having their own digital distribution, yes it is costly, but it pays off, and it’s not like WB or Disney can’t afford the investment. And I still don’t think it’s either impractical or unrealistic you’d end up paying a premium of 3 dollars over cover price for your trade, I don’t see how that is bad for the company.

    • Think of it this way, I like how my comics look in either TPB or Hardcover but I still want to be up to date with all the shenanigans going around in the books so I buy the single issues every week, should the publisher send me a free copy of the TPB or HC once they get collected because I’ve already bought the single issues?

      (Spoiler: the answer is NO)

    • @CarlosFF I think there is a substantial difference if you are talking about physical issues. Those have bigger physical production costs (paper, staples, distribution, printing), wear and tear, etc. Also it would be very un-ecological to waste so much paper. I am only talking about digital comics.

    • @wallythegreenmonster If these studies are valid for both music and movies, and some, like Neil Gaiman, claim that the same happens to books ( will the conclusions for comic books be that different? Really, that would be very interesting and very strange.

    • @Volcaos Way back when DC announced that they were going day & date digital the iFanbase had several discussions about digital comics, its merits, its potential, etc. A lot of good ideas were shared there. During these discussions there were also a lot of people who came down against digital saying that they’d rather have the print copy and the experience of reading on that medium. If you’re serious about this topic, I’d suggest reading through them. They were quite interesting.

      Your idea about redeeming trades after downloading the digital sounds similar to what others have suggested in the past – a subscription model for digital comics.

    • @Volcaos But it is the same idea, I want the HC or TPB and at the same time I want to be up to date in everything that is happening. The solution to your dilemma would be to buy the digital issues and then get the the TPB since you prefer it that way. That’s what I do at least, I read/buy the single issues, the stories that I really really like I get in a compilation for easy reading/displaying (maybe even for the extras). Too much money? Yes, but it’s the legal way to do it if you want both things. I’m willing to bet I’m not the only one who does it.

    • Wow. All I can say after this whole discussion…conor kilpatrick you’re my hero.

      I wish there was a way to see the average age of pirates and those who support piracy. I feel like it would really shed some light on the topic.

    • whatever.
      there are a lot of comics out there that i would have not given a chance if i did not torrent first. For me it is a like a preview or a trailer for a product. If i see that it is bad I don’t buy it, they don’t get my $3 and i spend it on someone who deserves it. Specifically, i could still torrent Animal man, JLA Dark every month if i wanted, but I am sure to buy them to make sure that it still comes out and is supported, but along with other lesser titles i would have never given them a chance without a sample.

      there’s a lot of good stuff out there and any of it that I find online I am sure to buy an actual copy of, there’s a lot of meritless shit out there too, put out just to fill quotas. I am sure to stay away from that after torrenting a copy. i see nothing wrong with that.

    • @Smasher thanks, interesting stuff there.

      @Nightwalker never going to win with this crowd.

    • bloody pirates! there are worse things to be called.
      right and wrong? morality? popular opinion is more like it.
      seems pointless to argue with someone who runs a site owned by a digital comics distributor whether or not pirating is ok or not. pointless as telling a pirate that it’s not nice to disregard the rules.
      i like print books. there’s a shop i’ve frequented for 5 years now where i buy what i want and still read what i don’t. the owner paid for it and he doesn’t seem to mind. so the line might be blurred a bit there.
      i’ve had plenty of bootlegged movies and CDs, though. poor Metallica and tom cruise. or should i say poor Virgin and Paramount or whomever. not sure how many rich people i’m supposed to feel sorry for. so i won’t. i’m reminded of that South Park episode. funny shit.

    • Conor, you obviously cannot see the forest for the trees. I don’t have time to go in to detail about this right now, but I’ll gladly write up my thoughts in detail at a later time.

      And to ed, I currently only download stuff that is out of print or not available in the States, I buy everything on my pull list posted here. But in the past I have, and I have bought or have started to buy much of what I have read through downloads, and plan on buying the rest as the paychecks come in.

    • I agree that I have no right to pirate comic books. Consequently, I don’t pirate comic books. However, some people have gone as far as to say that it is wrong. I’m not sure that anybody has actually shown that is wrong, though. Simply lacking a right to do something is not the same as that thing being wrong. For example, suppose Bob has a right against me that I stay off his land; other things being equal it is also wrong for me to go onto his land. But, let’s suppose that my child is dangerously sick and the only way that I can him to the hospital in a reasonable amount of time is to cut through Bob’s land. In this case, I still lack the right to go onto Bob’s land, but it would be ridiculous to say that my action was wrong. Some have made the argument: (1)-Stealing entertainment is wrong. (2)-Comic books are entertainment. (3) Pirating is stealing. (4)- Therefore, pirating comic books is wrong. This is a valid argument, but its soundness can be brought into question. Premise (2) seems reasonable; premise (3) is a bit more of a stretch but also fairly reasonable. Premise (1), however, lacks any real justification; it is presented as axiomatic, but it really isn’t. If somebody can definitively prove premise (1), then they would be on a good track to also proving conclusion (4). Your thoughts?

    • @thekendon ah some good old logic. Rosa Parks also didn’t have the right to sit at the front of the bus. Of course it’s not comparable, but illegality does not make wrong. Of course there is the very strong argument for the artists being paid for their work, but that is something I’m defending here, only in this case by buying trade paperbacks. If a person would never buy digital issues because that is not their preferred way of reading comics, is it really wrong to pirate while they wait for their preferred format. Isn’t it even more wrong to be coerced into paying twice for the same item?

    • For fuck’s sake. YES IT’S WRONG. No one is forcing anyone to pay twice. If you want to just pay for trades than suck it up and wait. No one NEEDS to know what happens in a comic every month.

      Media is a luxury not a right.

    • @gobo In the end, however, the artists, who are the people who matter here, are making the same money whether you wait for a trade or if you pirate and then buy the trade. No one is injured. So I have to maintain my position, it is not morally wrong if the choice is between not buying or pirating, if and only if you buy the trades after pirating.

    • Urgh…. The creators aren’t harmed by piracy?!?!? Really?!? I feel like this is a SNL sketch or something

    • Wow… so this is still going on? Piracy is Bad. Unless your in Pirates of the Caribbean. So lets all move on. 😀

    • @Volcaos lmao. What have you gained? You haven’t converted anyone. Everyone going in with an opinion left with the same opinion. I’m just not sure what you got out of this tedious thread.

    • @thekendon if you are not willing to concede to taking something that you did not pay for is both stealing and wrong than you are ** COMMENT MODERATED ** looking for ways to validate your selfish decisions. This isn’t about some hypothetical land rights issue. A person illegally acquires material without paying for it. You don’t need elaborate analogies to break down the mystery.

      @volcaos Anyone that tries to use Rosa freaking Parks and the civil rights movement to justify stealing entertainment is wrong. You are not protesting segregation, your freedom is intact, you are not conducting a sit-in at a lunch counter. You are not moral; if you steal you are a criminal. If you pirate material you are only hurting the very industry you claim to enjoy.

      There is zero honor or noble sounding bullshit you can spout off to cover the fact that your acts are illconceived, dishonest and morally untenable.

    • @Andrew Gaboury If you’d read what I wrote you’d notice I said it is not comparable, it is just like the example of thekendon a way of showing that illegality is not necessarily morally wrong. Rosa Parks is simply a clear cut example of illegality being morally right.

      What I am questioning is: if the choice is between a) not buying and waiting for trades and b) pirating and buying the trades, who is injured and why? In none of the cases do issues get bought and in both cases the revenue for the artist and company is exactly the same.

    • @Volcaos The problem isn’t my reading comprehension; the problem is your false analogy.

      At this point I’m not sure if you’re serious or not. You weren’t invoking Rosa Parks to make an argument by invoking Rosa Parks? Try again.

      Your comparison is totally implied. I agree that illegality does not always equal a moral wrong. But you are making a silly comparison in any way connecting that situation with the one you are arguing for.

    • @vadamowens Bah I enjoy it, many years in forums and IRC. If one person comes out of this understanding what my point is, even without agreeing, but at least respecting it, I’m happy.

    • @Volcaos: After reading this entire thread, I don’t think there are many people here who will ever “respect” your points.

      “They should start seeing pirates not as the enemy but as people that they should find ways to accommodate so that they become profitable costumers of those same companies.”

      So thieves should be treated like assets? The ones taking from the wallets of creators should be given special, preferential treatment? Sounds like an entitlemant program.

      Your entire premise presupposes that people who can get something for nothing will gladly give their money at a later date for the same thing they now have for free. That premise is inherently flawed. Once a person realizes how easy it is to have whatever they want for nothing, the will to “do what’s right” is overtaken by the will to have more. Some people will fight this urge, maybe spend a little money here and there, but by and large, if you can have something without consequence (like a smaller checking account balance, for example), you WILL take what you want. It’s an ugly but true part of human nature.

    • NO! And they don’t have to justify it to any smug online judges.

    • I’m a low-level employee of the comics industry. Not a writer, not an artist, not a letterer, not a colourist. There’s a comic I worked on coming out next month from a mid-level publisher. If that comic does not do well in issues (and it’s certainly not a sure thing,) then it will be cancelled, there will be no trade, and a significant share of my monthly income is lost.

      It’s a selfish point of view perhaps, but “I would like to keep eating” is a better reason to not pirate comics than “I want free entertainment” is for pirating them.

      ALSO: the cost of digital comics – it always amazes me when people seem to think the manufacture cost of digital comics is zero. It’s not.

    • @Andrew Gaboury – Thank you for your response. I think you misunderstand the point I was trying to make. I will go trough your response, and try to clear things up. First, unless the “you” that you are referring to is directed at people in general (as it sometimes is) and not me specifically, then I would like to remind you that I do not pirate comic books. The reason that I point this out is that the act of pirating comic books is the only selfish act that I describe in my post, so if you meant some other of my “selfish decisions” I would be confused. Of course, as I have stated earlier, I do not pirate comic books, which makes your point even more confusing. Second, it seems safe to say that you believe that “taking something that you did not pay for is both stealing and wrong.” If you do not, please ignore this point. To your point, I would offer a counter example to show that your belief is not universally true. While walking to class recently, I came across a table with a stack of books and the label “Take One” (it was, I believe, a copy of the Gospel of John). I had little interest in taking one, but I think that few would claim that taking one in such a case should be considered stealing or wrong. Of course, you might be referring to the act of taking without permission. In that case, I would say that in most cases it would, in fact, be both stealing and wrong. However, this is not to say that the act of stealing is always wrong. In fact, the issue of piracy is one of great discussion among ethicists today because the act of stealing becomes incredibly different when the thing being stolen is only a copy of a thing. I should also clarify that I do not support any form of piracy; I just want to suggest that the issue is more complicated than it seems. Third, I know that the issue did not involve land rights; I merely used it as an analogy because it is a relatively easy concept to grasp. Analogies are beneficial because they explain things in other terms. There would have been little point in making an analogy using the exact same subject matter; at that point, it would not even be an analogy. Forth, concerning the need for “elaborate analogies to break down the mystery,” I would say that the analogy was necessary. Many people were equating the lack of a right with a wrong action. The analogy showed that such reasoning is flawed. Now, at the risk of losing the only person who has agreed with me so far, I would like to add that I disagree with much of what Volcaos has written. He or she has done little to actually show why purchasing the trade after pirating the issues can be justified. So, I would like to clarify that my purpose has not been to support the “piracy side” but rather to get people to think before calling something wrong. Again, I would be happy to hear any thoughts.

    • Volcaos wrote: “What I am questioning is: if the choice is between a) not buying and waiting for trades and b) pirating and buying the trades, who is injured and why? In none of the cases do issues get bought and in both cases the revenue for the artist and company is exactly the same.”

      This is where you are wrong and have blinders on. You are speaking in absolutes about both a community of thieves who do not all behave the same and about your own buying habits. You are telling me that every single issue you pirate you end up buying the trade? No, of course not. So you don’t end up buying the trades on the ones that don’t suit you. In that situation, all of the trades you might have tried no longer are purchased. Also, since you are commenting on a comics website, you liekly enjoy being kept up to date on comics news. If pirating were not an option, is it an absolute that you would never download a comic through legal means (paying for it)? Also, are all pirates individuals that eventually buy the material they like or don’t like?

      You can go on about how you don’t like the business model, but the fact of the matter is you are stealing copies from artists that do not all get reimbursed. There is a legal method to do this. If you want to actually want to support the artist (liar, if you did you wouldn’t be on here pretending you have any justifications for stealing) you would download the issues legally and then buy the trades, or just buy the issues and find out if you want the trades. Instead we get a bunch of fibbers on here saying that they are supporting the medium. What a load of horsecrap. You could purchase the comics legally and you choose not to; you don’t buy everything you pirate, and therefore you are getting free copies of the material without the artists being compensated. There is no guarantee in life of you enjoying what your purchase. You don’t get to see the movie first and then decide to pay, you don’t get to pump the gas and then see how far you make it on it. No argument will change your behavior because thieves are of the mindset that it’s better to take advantage of others than to be responsible for themselves.

    • Original question: “Is this person morally culpable for wanting to know about comics as they come out instead of 6 months later while still fully intending to buy those comics in trade format?”

      Conor answered “yes” but probably read the question “wrong.” Yes, we are morally culpable for our desires (i.e. the wanting to know about comics). We are also morally responsible for all of our actions. :. the actions taken to fulfill our desires. In some cases, there can be two faults – wrong desire, wrong action. In this case (i.e. the wanting to know about comics and – presumably – the pirating of said comics) we have neutral desire, wrong action.

      After reading this thread, I find it disheartening to see such inability to assess ethical schemas. There are a lot of “end justifies the means,” “future intentions justifies present actions,” and “Robin Hood-esque” excuses in this thread attempting to demonstrate mitigation. But it’s all red herring and chaff. I feel like because the topic in question IS comic books that there is an assumption that the normative laws of morality do not apply – or that there is more “wiggle room.”

      Indeed, Volcaos wrote: “What I am trying to point out is that there are situations, and those are more frequent than you may imagine, where there are mitigating factors which make pirating less morally wrong.”

      In order for Volcaos to prove these situations, he needs to present a mitigating factor FOR HIS action – meaning, the factor has to lie WITH HIM AND HIS action, not that of comic book publishers/creators. (i.e. their failures or ineptitudes do not have a direct causal relationship on his actions). After a spare minute of thought, all I could think of was Volcaos being a kleptomaniac; however, online kleptomania would be a difficult factor to prove in and of itself.

    • captamerica101 (@Autobot_Hunter) says:

      for everyone who is saying that pirating the issues and buying the trade is okay, here is why it is not. think about it this way: if i steal a car but buy another car (which is slightly cheaper) am i stealing? yes, yes i am. that’s the point, you are paying for one set of issues but receiving two. the wolverine and the x-men thing disgusts me. that many people not paying the creators… it just makes me want to put my hand through a wall.

    • Stealing =/= Acquiring something that did not exist beforehand without paying for it
      Stealing = Taking something that previously belonged to someone, denying them access to said something, and keeping access only for yourself

    • captamerica101 (@Autobot_Hunter) says:

      you now own two sets of something. you paid for one set. someone did not get paid for the other set. that hurts someone’s livelihood. whatever you call it, it is still wrong. look, i was a varsity level debater and you are clearly going to keep arguing too. we both probably have better things to do than argue something that will not change either of our minds. let’s just agree to disagree and go do something enjoyable, because arguing isn’t, at least for me.

    • i like the secret pirating column that sprung up here.

      Lest we forget the artists wishes here. If an artist does not want their stuff on line, it should never be online. Period.
      It’s their property. To do anything other than respect it is illegal and hypocritical, since no one wants their stuff f*cked with.

      morality is not really the point. it’s society. you either have a society or you are an animal and lets all get weapons and get real. otherwise don’t be hypocrite. you live in a society. you have self control as part of the societal pact. we have self control so we don’t have to spend every waking moment killing or being killed.
      which i often fear that many people talk as if they would prefer.
      the fact that you will enjoy your sound night’s sleep tonight is based on this:
      you don’t want people screwing with your wishes. don’t screw with their’s.

      so thank you society and my deferred desires…i’m about to go to bed without fear of bludgeoning.
      sweet dreams.

    • @megavikingman; As a lawyer I can assure you that you are incorrect and that the definition of theft is far, far closer to the former than to the latter.

  7. commandments XI – XX

    Thou shal not be creepy!

  8. I think number 10 should be higher. For some reason that’s my pet cause: people continuing to buy and read books they don’t like. I think it’s so bad for the industry in the long run. Bad for everyone in every way, really.

    This is an actual conversation I had two days ago.

    Guy at the comic shop: “I really want to try Mark Waid’s Daredevil, but I can’t afford it since I have to buy all these AvX books.”

    Me: “Are you liking AvX?”

    Guy: “No! I can’t wait for it to be over so I can stop buying all these books.”

    Me: ” … “

  9. Yeah, I mean I’ve been there, I get it. It’s just something we really need to strive to break free of.

    • Oh, I agree wholeheartedly with your original statement. I collect a lot more books than Josh does, but I’ve adopted a very similar cutthroat approach to my comics. If I lose interest within two books, I usually drop the title. This shits too expensive to not look at it that way.

  10. 11. iFanboy staff shall not include pirating in an article unlessiFanboy staff has nothing else to do other than monitoring the comment threads for the rest of the day.

  11. Like Moses ten commandments, I find flaws rooted in ancient thinking (about comic books) in a few of them.

    1. Just because I’m a fan of comic books does not mean I cannot enjoy another form of media or entertainment more. And that I do enjoy movies and certain TV shows more than comics does not make me somehow less worthy to be a fan.

    2. Wally already brought this up. But a single issue of a comic book is absolutely something disposable. Especially issues that are mediocre or worse. They are made as cheaply as possible and to waste money and valuable square footage storing them like the mona lisa is a waste of time.

    3. I happen to live in a city with a number of great comic book stores. But I still buy my issues online whenever I can. Which thankfully today is more than ever. I love having my entire comic book collection in one place, on one harddrive. Instead of digging out single issues of Snyders or Morrisons batman run or using shelf space on trades I can easily pick and choose which comics I want to read on my ipad.

    4. You should try something other than the Big 2 as much as possible. And sites like Ifanboy are always covering the best work outside of Marvel and DC worth giving a shot.

    The other 6 make up some pretty good comic reading advice.

    • Yeah, I was just trying to mirror the original 4 as much as possible, but I think I covered a lot of what you said in my descriptions.

  12. Thou shall hate Dr. Fredic Wetham.


  13. If breaking the 10 Commandments of Comic Fandom is a sin: Then let me be guilty.

    Actually, the only one I’ve never broken is piracy. I’m all for supporting this business model.

  14. @Conor (or anyone else who can answer this):
    I have a question regarding piracy. First I’ll say I’m totally against it and have never done it, but I do know a couple people who do it on a regular basis and I’m never quite sure how to counter their arguments when it comes up. They will typically say something about how it’s no different from going to a library or borrowing from a friend, and it was mentioned in a thread above that this IS different because the library or the friend paid for their copy. But, presumably, didn’t the person who uploaded the comic online pay for their copy too? Or is that not how that works? Sorry, I probably sound like an idiot even asking that, but I really have no idea who the whole torrent process works.

    • The uploader might or might not have paid for it. It’s illegal to make unauthorized copies of media and distribute them.

    • The argument that borrowing or libraries is akin to pirating sounds good but it falls flat. If I borrow a comic from a friend then the total number of that comic has not increased and I have not stolen anything from the distributor.

      But if I reproduce without permission that same comic, I have diluted the pool of available products. This is reflected in the price of legit comics and reduces incentive to make purchases. I don’t know that the Venn diagram of people who pirate comics and people that purchase them legitimately overlaps very much but stealing is stealing.

      Like it or not, distributors have the right to decide for themselves how their content is legitimately consumed.

    • @Andrew Ah, okay, I gotcha. Thanks, that makes way more sense now. Two people can’t read a library book simultaneously, but an infinite number of people can read a pirated copy simultaneously. I will have to use that next time it comes up.

    • @BookStoreCop:

      The library bought a copy and will lend that paid-for copy out to one person at a time. Same for the “borrow from a friend” scenario. The person who bought the comic that has been scanned is giving that content to ANYONE who wants WHENEVER they want it. The differences between library/friend lending and torrenting comes down to SCALE and INSTANT ACCESSIBILITY.

      And now that digital comics are legally available for purchase, the “I pirated it because I want to read it now, but I’ll buy the trade when it comes out” argument holds a lot less water (if it ever held any in the first place) and makes the piracy more insidious (as there is not an alternative to printed single issues).

      I see how it makes sense to a lot of people (I’ll cop to being one of them for a few years, pirating books I intended to purchase later). But If you really CANNOT wait to read something, you gotta either develop some self-control and wait it out or find a way to pay for it in the form it’s currently available.

      I’ve seen a few people point out the irony of people (fans, even) pirating stories about characters who uphold honesty, justice and other such virtues. What would Batman or Spider-man or Superman think about pirating comics?

    • Not to mention that when you check a book out from the library, you are obligated to return it within a set timeframe or else you will be charged a fee. If a book is not returned, the library will also likely purchase the same book again.

    • i’d argue the companies that own and produce said superhero comics don’t uphold much of those same superhero virtues and values either… but that’s just me.

  15. ’10. Thou shall drop bad books, and never be afraid to try something new’

    No, no, you can;t make me …

  16. Jim McCann rocks! Mind the Gap.

  17. So on Commandment 3, is paper Orthodox and digital Reformed?

  18. Leave libraries out of the piracy argument. Supported by taxes, a public library is a community’s repository of knowledge, which – among other reasons – is an essential part of creating an educated and literate population. Regardless of your finances or social status, whether you lived in Ancient Greece or Toadsuck, Arkansas today, any member of the community can access this service for the reason above. I know, I’m getting real preachy here, but I can’t stand anyone using the excuse that libraries encourage people to not spend their cash on actual media products. I’ll bet a good percentage of people who use their library’s services can’t afford the resources or entertainment which they go to a library for.

    Simply put: Yeah, you can check out all the comic collections you want from there. And you can check out millions of books (classics to last week’s top ten bestsellers), dvds, and more.

    Hey Ryan, how about next week writing up 10 Commandments which the actual companies should follow? Thou shalt remember thy customers’ pay days. Thou shalt put books out on time. etc…

    • How did the library get sucked in to the piracy situation? Who would equate borrowing material from a publicly funded organization to outright theft? Since we’re talking about comics, these are my people. Unfortunately …

    • Amen to that, @stevetwo. Leave libraries out of the piracy argument. The library is not just a content warehouse but a service organization that promotes literacy and education. They don’t do this only by lending out books and DVDs. They offer classes, access to computers, the Internet, and provide a space to bring the public together.

      It’s been already said but let’s reiterate – libraries do not mass distribute their content to their patrons. You check out copy 1 of the first volueme of the Fables TPB, you’re the only one reading that copy until you return it. This is simply not the case when you Torrent.

    • @TreeoftheStoneAge See above.

    • @pyynk: My questions were rhetorical and with outrage. Both stevetwo & Smasher make excellent points. As someone who used to work at a library, I wholeheartedly agree with them. The only pirating/ stealing that goes on at a library are with those who never return the borrowed material.
      I have always held the library with sanctity above that of any church. Anyone who doesn’t agree, just ask the homeless.

    • I thought about that, but I don’t think I have the knowledge nor the clout to preach it to companies/creators.

    • wow. there really is a toad suck, arkansas. that’s hilarious.

    • @TreeoftheStoneAge Ahhh. Gotcha. While my own time working at a library was limited to high school, I tend to agree that comparing piracy to lending a book is like comparing apples to antelopes. If I can’t afford to buy a book (or take the time to visit the library), I wait. After all, that’s what the Amazon Wishlist (or LCS pull list) is for.

    • @sitara119 Actually, my favorite Arkansas town name (guess you can tell I’m from the state) is Possum Grape. When I worked at Walt Disney World and we had our hometown names on our nametags, I desperately wanted to have “Possum Grape, Ark” on mine. The system was computerized, so it was a no go.

    • @stevetwo
      lol. hilarious.
      my wife and i are from louisiana, so i know something about some strange sounding towns and roads(french).
      but, we have family in el dorado, arkansas. so i’ve been there a bunch of times, but i’ve never heard of toadsuck. very funny.

  19. Commandment 3: unless thou is outside of the U.S and receivith comics on a Thursday or heaven forbid Friday (like me). Wherein thou must makeith this day most sacred but must avoid spoilers at thy peril.

  20. (1) Sounds obnoxious and (5) reminds me of this pic

  21. When trying new restaurants, I always dine and dash the first time to see if I like it. It’s okay, because if I like it I’ll come back and pay next time. It’s totally justified

    • And me, I always sneak into movies on opening day. It’s ok, because if I like the movie, I’ll buy it on Blu-Ray…WIn-Win

  22. On a lighter note: thou shalt not spoil the walking dead

  23. How about ‘Thou shalt follow creators, not characters”?

  24. Commandment #1: Broke

    Commandment #2: Broke

    Commandment #3: Broke

    Commandment #4: Don’t agree. Case in point: Big fan of OMAC, who was written by the guy who runs DC, and it gets cancelled. Loyal reader to the end but yet I feel cheated out on such a great series.

    Commandment #5: Agree

    Commandment #6: Don’t agree. If I have a friend, or vice versa, who has comics I want to read then I have no mind sharing.

    Commandment #7: Broke

    Commandment #8: DEFINITELY Broke

    Commandment #9: I love Batman but I can never defend Batman and Robin.

    Commandment #10: Definitely agree. I give a series as much due as possible before wanting to quit. Deadpool wasn’t a ‘BAD’ book per say….It’s just that after 2-3 years and 40+ issues I’ve had my fill. Then again this whole new ‘Reborn’ story line has me intrigued to try it again. That and my Marvel pile is seriously going to zero soon.

  25. I’ll never understand why some people who torrent feel the need to seek public permission/applause for it. I get why the downloading itself happens, just like I get why people speed. It’s easy, you’re going to get away with 99% of the time, and maybe you don’t see anything wrong with it. But…just do it, then. Don’t brag about it. Definitely don’t throw it in creators’ faces. Don’t promote it. Sure, it’s a fact of life in the 21st century; so are all the other “little” crimes most people commit on a day-to-day basis. Just keep it to yourself. No one’s mind is going to be changed about it either way, so why expend all that energy yelling about it?

    • I agree. Pirates should be a silent minority and not publicly draw heat to the act. I do get a laugh out of the people who are preachy about anti-piracy. I wonder if they ever downloaded music from napster or limewire back in the day.

  26. i like “thou shalt not blindly follow any publisher, creator or character.”

  27. I see a conflict with 4 and 10.

    i can’t stop dropping Marvel books lately.

  28. Well just like the original commandments this was good for a laugh.

    i’ll go ahead and Carlin it.

    Besides 3 and 10 the entire list is bullocks.

  29. I only take issue with 9 cuz sometimes I just like a movie. Even if a alot of fans think it sucks, I may still like it and may be happy that we at least got the movie. (see Green Lantern, Superman Returns)

  30. 55. Thou shall disregard post-scarcity economics, like that piracy part.