Thursday, February 26, 2009

We're Not Dead Yet!

The day after I received a surprise Kindle 2 in the mail, Newsarama.com asks "Could Kindle Kill Comics?" They're trying to make me feel guilty. The answer to their question?

No.

If you ask me, Kindle-like technology (except in full color, of course, and likely made by Apple, as the Newsarama article suggests) will be what saves comics. Just about every other day someone is lamenting the poor state of the comics industry in light of the recession, and meanwhile Marvel is raising the price of its monthlies to $3.99, which means it won't be long before DC follows. More and more people are waiting for the trade because it's simply not economically feasible to buy the floppies at four bucks a pop, but with the current publishing model monthly series hardly last long enough to make it into trade form.

So tell me again how technology that potentially makes monthly comics cheaper to produce and therefore to sell is a bad thing? I can't say I'd consider switching to electronic comics if they were only available online where I have to sit in front of a computer and rot my eyes away, but the Kindle is slick--it really is just like reading a book (or a comic book). Just imagine: you sell the monthlies at $0.99 each, maybe give a discount for annual subscribers, and suddenly people can buy more comics. People who could maybe afford ten bucks a month but didn't want to throw that away on two and a half comics can now get ten comics for their money. By all means, keep producing the paper copies as long as there's demand, but that's no reason not to offer alternatives. Kindle will not kill comics any more than VHS killed movies.

Personally, I would love to have my comics delivered weekly via WhisperNet to my Kindle (again, assuming full color). I'd have my entire comics collection at my fingertips for perusing whenever I want, without the hassle of lugging around long boxes everywhere I move. I wouldn't feel obligated to resell my monthlies to replace them with sturdier trades or, because that's economically stupid, to skip the monthlies and wait for the trades.

C'mon, people! Get with it already. I'm giving you two years to offer electronic delivery of my favorite comics and if not, well, then I might just find another addictive habit to waste my money on.

6 comments:

Th. said...

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The big problem is I'll never get to read DC anymore if you don't have trades to lend me.

Mr. Fob said...

I also won't be able to lend you back issues of the New Yorker once we start our subscription. Sorry.

Th. said...

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And you wonder why people hate you.

Just for this, I'm going electronic too.

Mr. Fob said...

Oh good, then you can still be my friend when I become an electronic snob.

Th. said...

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We'll see.

Th. said...

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