Name: Rob E


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    Rob3E's Recent Comments
    June 19, 2012 3:11 pm Definitely enjoy some characters that never found a huge audience. I do like Man-Bat, the Question, the Creeper. Ambush Bug still "pops" up from time to time, but often in his own, zany, not-quite-in-continuity mini series. I miss that short window of AB history when he stopped being a criminal and instead became a lunatic pest to the other superheroes, usually Superman. Legion of Substitute Heroes. Madcap seemed kind of like a Creeper knock off, but I liked the Creeper, so he was okay, too. I always wanted more Howard the Duck, unless I actually got it. Then it just increased my appreciation of Steve Gerber. I hear the Power Pack kids have been showing up again recently, so I'll have to check in with them again. And then there was that one Spider-Man comic where the Toad teams up with the son of the Frogman and this kid with Doc Ock arms that he decided would be spider legs instead and started calling himself Spider-Boy. They called themselves the Misfits, I think, and I always wanted them to return, but I don't think they ever did. Oh, and 'Mazing Man.
    May 22, 2012 10:09 am I don't know that anyone is anxious for another monopoly. But then if you actually consider digital to be an alternative to print, then digital actually breaks the Diamond monopoly. Who do you consider as having the monopoly? Apple? Google? Comixology? I will say that I don't like the current digital model. I would very much like to see a more open, universal format (cbz?) that isn't dependent on any one company's publishing system or any one company's hardware. It hasn't happened yet. And I agree that a marketing model that gives the smallest slice of the pie to the creative force is not a good one, but I don't know how it compares to the current, print model. But we're not locked into the current model. "Digital" doesn't mean "sold for publishers by Comixology to be read on an iPad." That's just what's happening right now. And it's not the only model. Some indy creators are selling cbz or pdf files. Dark Horse has its own app and has some bundles you can get on their web site that aren't offered through Apple (because it wouldn't be feasible with Apple's cut, I imagine). I think it's a misinterpretation to say that "digital is the future" means "we currently have the best digital model." I also don't think "digital is the future" means "print is dead." It simply means that more and more media is becoming available digitally, and there doesn't seem to be anything unique about comic books that would exempt them from this trend. More music is being sold digitally, more books. Movies and TV shows as well. I don't know the numbers, but I have to assume these are profitable models for the industries involved, given that none of them are charities. Likewise comic publishers are selling their books digitally. I assume they're making some money on the deal, or they wouldn't be doing it. Is it enough to sustain the industry? Not likely, at least not yet, but it's clearly a source of revenue for them. I can't make an argument that the current model will lead to a healthy market in future. I don't have the numbers. Do you? I also have no expectation that we've arrived at the digital model for all time. But I provide one bit of anecdotal data: In the past year of buying digital comics, I spent several times more than I spent on print comics in the previous years. You can argue that publishers made less by selling me digital copies then they would have if I had bought print. I have no idea if you would be right or not. But I do know that I would not have bought those comics in print, so even if the amount of money that found its way back to publisher is small, it's money that they weren't going to see otherwise. Digital isn't the future. Digital is the present. Saying that the current model isn't going to be profitable enough for the comics industry isn't an argument that's going to make digital disappear. Failing to find a digital model that generates enough revenue is simply going to make comics disappear or make them more of a niche market then they already are.
    May 21, 2012 3:52 pm I don't seem to be reaping that particular advantage of digital. While it's great that most publishers are now releasing digital at the same time as print, I'm too cheap to pay full "cover price" for what basically amounts to digital rental. Result: I wait for sales, buy things I'd been wanting to read, and then leave them in a virtual pile of shame until I get around to reading them. I'm the pre-order system's worst nightmare. Not only do I never pre-order. I don't even buy new stuff until someone else reads it, raves about it, and they put out enough issues that I can get a complete storyline. Digital trade-waiting. But, while I've spent more money on comics digitally in the last year than I have on physical comics in several years, I don't really look at my unread backlog as a "pile of shame." It's really good stuff that I simply never got around to seeking out in the store, and I will be reading all of it. Plus most of it wasn't current when I bought it, so there's none of the sense of urgency that comes with a pile of unread, new, monthly floppies. I don't actually save any money this way, but I do think I'm getting more issues per dollar than if I had bought physical books.
    May 21, 2012 2:34 pm When I was a kid... [moves spectacles to the end of nose, tremulous waving of cane] we could buy our comics from two stores locally, the drug store and the convenience store. Each place stocked them as subset of the magazines, and if you could request that a title be ordered ahead of time, that's news to me. By the time I graduated high school, buying comics meant either home delivery or convincing your one friend with a car to take a 20+ mile road trip to the nearest shop. Nowadays you not only have to have a local comic book shop handy, but you have to know a whole season ahead of time what you will want to read or hope that your store happens to order enough. Basically in my lifetime comics have gone from extremely convenient to ridiculously complicated. Even if there were no digital option, it would still seem like a broken system to me. But digital can and does do a lot to aid in the otherwise complex process of finding, buying, and reading a comic book. It's frustrating to see reluctance to adopt it in favor of "the old way" especially when the old way was already broken. Of course no one is required to go digital, and it doesn't sound like digital makes up a huge percentage of sales (yet?), but the idea that people can't go digital because it hurts the brick & mortar stores seems poorly thought out for a number of reasons. The pre-order model is already cumbersome. If print really is preferable, then all a digital offering can do is increase readership. But if digital is really going to be a major slice of the market in the future, then physical shops will have to adapt eventually, and delaying that by hampering digital will make nothing better. When I was a kid, two stores in my small home town carried most (all?) titles from three publishers: Marvel, DC, and Archie. Today I can buy almost everything from those three publishers and many more besides without even going into a store. It's a situation that's so much better now than at any point it my past, that it makes those hold-outs stand out all the more.
    May 1, 2012 11:21 am Curious to see if there's any digital pricing for trade-style collections. As is, the print trade cover price is slightly more than buying digital issues, but with Amazon's discounts, it's considerably less. I wonder if we'll see digital "trades" that will be slightly discounted from the print. The older line of trades seems to follow that pattern, with digital, Kindle editions just a little cheaper than Amazon's print price. But ComiXology pricing doesn't follow suit. Pricing holds steady at 1.99 or 2.99 per issue even when Kindle has the digital trade (or even the print trade) for less.
    March 19, 2012 9:20 am Can't go wrong with 'Mazing Man!
    March 16, 2012 2:24 pm There's some single issues of Alan Moore's run on Swamp Thing that have to rank up there for me, although I, too, am more attracted to whole stories, but Anatomy Lesson was the first Moore story I read, the first Swamp Thing I read, and still a great read. That is definitely up there. Used to really like My Blue Heaven, but I'm not sure it retained it's charm on its last reread. Also, I think The Tick #3, Night of a Million Zillion Ninjas. Also my first introduction to the character and the writer.
    January 12, 2012 2:53 pm For me it's the smell of old books, not new comics that gets me. The apartment is a little overcrowded with bookshelves, and every now and then I'll pull one down just to flip through the pages and take in the scent. But if I want to read, I pull out my tablet. It's just easier that way. Once Scratch and Sniff technology goes digital, we can have it all.
    December 14, 2011 1:17 pm Digital. Yes, you have that take-off/landing issue, but that's what the SkyMall catalog is for. In fact, that's probably why the electronics ban continues to exist. Otherwise no would look at SkyMall. Even if I'm not traveling, the amount of time I get to read is more than doubled by carrying my tablet around with me. Just accessing the books is easier even when home. Even though I hate the multiple-apps-for-multiple-comics model, digging through apps for a title is a lot better than digging through piles of issues. And really I think trains are coming back. I hear more and more about people traveling by train, and I've made some in-state trips that way. Sooo much more pleasant than air travel, roomier, and I think you have a higher carry on allowance, so you can bring more floppies. Of course you'll have to, because it takes several times longer for any trip over a couple hundred miles.
    December 13, 2011 1:08 pm Love that Superman story, too. If I was picking individual Moore issues, that would be near the top, but I like the long story arcs that come with working on a series, so my top picks would likely gravitate towards his longer works.