Damn decent analysis from Comics Alliance on the evolving debate over printed versus digital comics. CA’s Doug Wolk guest posts for Wired and puts a comprehensive evaluation on all sides of the issue, favoring the coming doom of the $4 monthly printed comic. I’ve been saying this ever since the iPad debuted, but DC Comics‘ recent announcement that all of its future titles will be released digitally the same day as print is a game changer. Moreover, digital comics provider Comixology recently sold Warren Ellis’ entire epic Planetary for a mere $25, a quarter of the price of DC’s Absolute Edition and on par with trade paperback pricing. It’s bold publication decisions like this that will continue to hammer away at the frayed, yellow pages of print comics, badgering the aging black shirted slobs of yore into submission and inviting new audiences to experience these AWESOME comics. Had they thrown in the Planetary specials that weren’t included in the Absolute collections, I may have forked over the cash.
With more proof that Comics Alliance is becoming my go-to source for coverage on the digital comics debate, David Brothers offers a compelling argument for comics publishers who are trying to figure out to make money off digital offerings in this early stage. While the numbers on digital purchases are not so enticing to comics publishers today, they are trending upward (and will probably explode by the end of the year with DC’s “Great Experiment”). Brothers argues for setting up a preordering program for digital comics similar to how customers can preorder comics from their local comic book store. This could be a good way of tracking trends on digital offerings as well as marketing to the supposed “new audience” DC has cited is circling well outside physical comics stores. I think this isn’t a bad idea but ultimately for this to work, you have to bring the costs down on digital comics. I would pay a year’s subscription for almost any title if you could get each issue under $0.75. What’s more, publishers could also make some serious bank by preordering digital bundles of classic comics stories. I like where the thinking’s going; we just need to keep moving the football down the field.
Warren Ellis, writer extraordinaire and Mad Space Bastard, weighs in on the digital comics debate. A negative tongue from Saint Warren is a likely kiss of death for your product, so Graphic.ly better be paying attention to his UX concerns on their iPad app. Ellis counters comics publishers’ digital strategies with the simple yet elegant solution he devised for his web serial Freakangels: serialize a page a week online then collect finished stories into print editions for on-demand sales. To an extent, he plays to the Old Print Wankers more than those of us at the edge of the digital evolution, which I found odd, but then again, he’s seen the receipts come back on his own digital work.
So, remember when NATO was all like, “Donchu DARE come all up on mah porch!” and Anonymous was all like, “Bitch, PLEEZ!” and then the internet exploded??? Yeah. This was a topic of great interest at IO Europe a couple weeks ago mainly because no one knew how to deal with it. Purported “cyber-experts” were more in favor of getting their systems completely OFF the internet instead of figuring out creative ways of defending against attacks like LULZsec and responding appropriately. A large part of this fear, I believe, comes from simple inequity in information assurance professionals these days– they don’t know their Googles from their Farmvilles. So ignorant posturing of the kind seen in this article will just antagonize online attack groups like Anonymous. They don’t have to get an operation approved by 10 echelons of command like we do.
I’ve been fairly disappointed in Warner Bros’ revamped-for-the-21st-century Looney Tunes Show, which has earfucked me with simpering, inane impersonations of the Mel Blanc’s original character voices and insanely horrible musical numbers. So to discover that a creative animation director built new Looney Tunes shorts around archival recordings of Blanc has me giddy as shit. Hopefully, this provides the impetus for more AWESOME GENIUSES like this director to cut up and reinterpret existing Blanc recordings into new takes on his classic characters. I gotta believe the technology is getting close, right?