Pick of the Week Podcast

Pick of the Week #753 – The Devil’s Red Bride #1

Show Notes

Is there controversy on the pick? Is there discordance? You’d just love that, wouldn’t you? We got on a roll, and then just kept going. Another question that’s gonna take a 10 minute response? Let’s go!

Running Time: 01:15:16

Pick of the Week:
00:01:53 – The Devil’s Red Bride #1

00:09:07 – Rorschach #1
00:20:12 – Captain America #24
00:25:09 – Captain Marvel #22
00:33:54 – Commanders in Crisis #1
00:36:24 – The Flash #763

Star Wars Corner:
00:38:39 – Star Wars: Darth Vader #6

Patron Pick:
00:41:01 – Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #1

Patron Thanks:
00:49:18 – Charles Taggart
00:51:24 – Kevin Quidor

Audience Questions:
00:52:55 – Seth M. wants to know why we don’t pay much attention to comics news.
00:59:01 – Nick G. is here to talk about comics piracy.

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  1. “Being really good at being on a moral high horse” is really a matter of perspective.
    Pirating comics can’t be reduced to a moral absolute in all cases. At least not in terms of your judgement of it’s complete effect.
    If someone downloads a digital copy – a non physical product that isn’t preventing someone else from purchasing that product but depleting a finite amount of stock.
    Especially if, as you have heard many times that it becomes a loss leader situation which keeps a reader in the game or attracts them to be a paying customer later on. That is a very real thing in continuity heavy on going story telling. How many email- voicemails etc have been answered here about overcoming the barrier of entry to comics after not reading for a while? I truly believe there are a lot of people who fall into this category.
    If said pirate would not be able to purchase said comic and is not preventing someone else from buying it – they are not affecting a creators bottom line if in this case this pirate could not spend that money in the first place- no loss of sale here. Especially for a product that increasingly discourages purchasing by pricing itself at an inflation rate at orders of magnitude past affordability to compensate poor business practices driving prices up.
    I am personally more outraged at the page rates and business practices of publishers and how they treat their talent than I am at a person who wants to find some escape from the world and genuinely tries to patronized the industry when they can.
    Is it ideal? No it it is not. Is it wrong? It’s not right. Is it something that can be balanced on a larger scale?
    I believe that is possible.
    It was also posited that “It’s stealing and there are no statutes of limitations”
    In fact there are-
    The statute of limitations for theft? The answer depends on many factors, such as the value of what was stolen, and of course the laws in your jurisdiction.
    For example, the statute of limitations period may be three years in California for a felony theft. However, if the crime is considered a misdemeanor, the statute may only be one year. However, the limitations period would be different if you lived in Arizona or New Jersey.

    My point is you can say something is an absolute and you may even highly laudable reasons for making your stand.
    You can even be ‘Right’ in most cases.
    But a one size fits all morality is not a thing. And it might just be the wrong business model as well.

    • Well I think they pretty clearly set their ground rules for morality in their argument. Is stealing amoral? Most societies and systems of morality would say yes stealing is wrong and amoral. Those are societies that value private property. Have their been societies that do not place an emphasis in private property? Yes for example some Native American populations encountered by early western explorers had no concept of private ownership. In the 21st century does western civilization value private ownership? Yeah, pretty clearly the laws are set up to protect property and condemn stealing.

      Is downloading digital comics stealing? You are benefiting off the backs of the labor of other people without compensating them? So only in the loosest definition is this not stealing.

      Is there a moral quandary at play? Conor alluded to this when he made the statement that comics are not food. If you have to steal bread to feed your starving child there is a tough question on which action is more moral. That’s not in play here because as the guys rightly point out you don’t need comics. You want comics. You could have no comic reading in your life and still live a full and healthy life.

      “If there is one thing that you should know about me, Ray, it’s that I don’t need anything. I want.”

      So by the standards of the society we agree to live in tacitly by participating in that society (paying taxes and receiving the benefits of the infrastructure that society maintains) yeah this is stealing and there is little moral grey area here. Everything else I’ve read just feels like a justification for amoral action. They are straw man arguments usually.

    • As I read this over I realize I said “Is downloading digital comics stealing?” rather than is pirating comics stealing. Oops. I wasn’t making a value judgement on digital only readers 🙂

    • Nothing to add but a “Really well said, Phillosmaster.”

    • Again- making a blanket statement to cover all instances of anything is dangerous.
      No matter how virtuous it makes you feel.

      You’re right they did set ground rules for their argument.
      Their rules- not the only explanation.

      There are actual economic benefits to staying current in this hobby via non traditional means that pay off in other ways in a broader sum.

      If you can’t see that – that’s ok.
      I would save your righteousness for the publishers that profit 1000% more of fthe ‘work for hire’ artists they employ and the poor contracts they engage in than people who might find ways to balance the books in a circuitous fashion.
      And if you’re argument is some kind of quasi religious philosophy that is compelling you to look at this with blinders then I think we are done here.

    • I’d like you to examine your reply and see how its nothing more than a straw man argument (several actually). It’s for your own benefit, and maybe it’s not on purpose.

  2. What if I buy my comics through comixology then go pirate a digital copy so I can read it on an app that I prefer over comixology? lol

    • BTW, I don’t do that but I’ve thought about it. Instead I just drive a half hour to the nearest LCS where 50% of the time the book I want isn’t in stock.

  3. As a lapsed Warhammer 40k fan I think it is a shame that they didn’t try and use this comic as a jumping on point. Seems like a huge missed opportunity. To answer a question you had (but probably don’t really care about) the Space Marines are no longer human. They start human. Then when they become a candidate to be initiated into a Space Marine chapter they undergo a battery of medical procedures and genetic therapies that make them transhuman. One of the side effects of which is a potentially infinite lifespan though most die in battle eventually. Usually they are presented thinking of themselves as something separate from the general human population. Each chapter has a fiefdom of sorts that they watch over and protect. Marneus’s Ultramarine chapter watches and in effect rules over the Ultramar sector, which is under the umbrella of the Imperium of Man who has it’s capital in holy Terra.

    I fell off from Warhammer 40k though I was big into it as a kid and played the war game alot (if you like the idea of mini painting and model crafting then it is a great hobby). My weariness with it stems from just how dreary it is by design. You can only take so much grim dark future space fascist fiction IMO. Also the writing in the novels are uneven depending on the author. Many authors cross over with comics. Certainly the Dan Abnett books were very entertaining and a highlight of the franchise. Also I dug Graham Mcneill’s stuff. If I wandered too far from them I ran the risk of read just sweaty and kinda boring gun porn.

    • My favorite stuff in the setting is not the Space Marine stuff because I find it hard to be sympathetic with the space marine characters since they are steroid-ed up, space zealots. If I was going to recommend anything it would be Dan Abnett’s Gaunt’s Ghosts series which is effectively a sci fi take on Sharpe’s Rifles. Either that or the Eisenhorn novels also by Dan that’s about an Imperial inquisitor. Eisenhorn is more about sci fi horror since it deals with alien incursions and the corrupting influence of the warp (think the movie Event Horizon for what warp travel and the perils of the warp would be like).

      Though I can understand why they started with the Space Marines. They are the sexiest part of the franchise and clearly the most popular element in the war game. A book about Marneus though didn’t make me personally run out and purchase the book though I will eventually.

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