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Speakers Corner: The LF Forum > Comics or Movies

After listening to my first LF Podcast on comics I felt it was needed to voice some things.

These are directly related to some of the discussions in the podcast.
Compare cinema going to reading comics isn't quite the same, whereas buying a DVD and a comic is a better comparison. You get to KEEP the art not see it once.

I discussed today with Denis' counterpart in Japan about mature-consumers.

My generation collected comics as kids and now we are older and seeing the comics as movies. In a way it's the classic books are better than film. But this is a mature view. When we are young we want to be enticed by the Marvel and superhero ideals but as we get older we mature in out tastes and increase our pallets to include the Sandman's and Watchmans and Swampthings. In a way Marvel was my youth and DC is my adulthood. I still love Ramos' depictions of young superhero characters in Marvel but I can't help be thrilled by the text and story with gritty art by Jim Lee in the Batmans. I'm curious if now that the newer generations who probably spend less time going to the book stores and more time figuring out how they can download video content for free will find themselves at the time of consumer maturity to switch over and start placing investment into the art they enjoy.

I know people who are avid comic collectors who as soon as they found out about .cbx file formats for reading comics digitally they went online and downloaded thousands of dollars of comics. Myself I did grab a few but most were series I had collected in entirety as a young lad. The others I downloaded were several new comics to get a taste of what art and stories are out there now. I'm in Japan so other than ordering Amazon or digital stores I don't have access to browse a comic. I think it will be interesting to see how the next generation who grows up without the thought of going into stores will be able to put value on a digital element.

Digital books you can buy the prints of will make prints stick around for a lot longer but I think my generation is the last to put collectors value on books now that digital is soon to reign king on publishing.

I'm big into comics again and working on my own you can see my interests here:
http://www.fables4japan.com/

July 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNate

Nate

Thanks for your thoughts. A very interesting point about the difference between going to see a movie or buying a DVD (or Blue-ray). You're right in as much as, with a comic you can read it again. (Or view it again). But still.. currently on Amazon the Movie costs $9.99 (blu-ray) or $6.39 (DVD) both of which have extra discs... and the graphic novel costs $12.99 (24 in hardback) !!

OK, so, in that particular case, at least you are getting 12 very full issues of a very good story. it's definitely not a quick read. But it does highlight the difficulties of Old vs New media.

As for downloading... that's a topic we didn't get into on the podcast, but I would have liked to. there are several schools of thought on this subject, the most interesting being 'the more something is downloaded illegally, the more sales it has in the real world'. That's certainly true of a lot of media, but I doubt it is true for comics. I think a lot of youngsters download comics because the simply can't afford to buy them.

I, too, am curious to see how the next generation approaches the concept of going to stores and paying for media. Like we said - you hardly see anyone under the age of 20 in a comic (or music) store these days...

Also, I too believe that the DC line is more mature - even within it's superhero realm.

Lastly, well done for working on fables4Japan!!

DJF

July 13, 2011 | Registered CommenterDenis-Jose Francois

I think with downloading legally it is about options - a lot of book authors have cottoned on to the idea of 'added value' i.e. some give book chapters away for free online, or extra chapters/related stories and content that weren't available in the printed version.

Comic publishers need to give readers and extended universe that doesn't end with the comic itself and a rewards system for buying their comics.

It is staggering in this day and age how few publishers actually care about the end reader and how little they do to draw them in.

In music there are always free downloads or remixes and content given away free for a limited time, would it hurt publishers to give away the occasional comic online?

July 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTheRealRodHull

Giving parts of it away is definately a good idea. I've been far more inclined to by the comics of which I've had samplers than otherwise. Even when the samplers were digital - I've often gone out and bought the print version.

Regarding the 'occasional free comic' idea - there is already 'free comic day' every year, but they don't do much to advertise it, which kind of defeats the purpose!

July 21, 2011 | Registered CommenterDenis-Jose Francois

Great to hear the feedback. I didn't click the response window from before so I didn't know people had posted yet.

Thinking back to why I had my mom drive me 45 minutes to the nearest comic book store to spend 1.29 an issue at times with the money I earned from a weekly paper route I have to think the climate is what changed. Just like the baby-xers the baby-boomers went against the norms of their parents and now the next generation is doing the same. But I don't think they are going the route of buy something and give it worth like the grandparents generation did. It's more like baby-boomer style get something for free and how can I do this for everything. If you look up some of the businesses that tried working with Groupon at first there are a few that ended up giving up way too much because that is the standard and norm that companies are setting so people are following suit and getting upset if they can't get 80% off of something that hasn't really depreciated in value.

I think it's great the people put out content for free online to get more sales and such but if I think about what got me started on comics at that young age it was friends and possibly television creating an interest. I know that things will never be the way they were when I was little but it doesn't mean it can't be better. I do think it's far fetched for the oldies at school boards to update the English cirricullum to include great stories of comics. There's an entire boomer generation of literature there, but for some reason it's not being treated as such until college and even then it's treated as a joke. At the time of Shakespeare some thought he was too forward with his stories and now we hold him as a god among story tellers. Do we really need to wait a hundred years before comics will be treated similar to the Sherlock Holmes and Shakespeare of old?

Prices will continue to inflate and waiver but if the desire is there people will treat the medium with more respect and give it worth. For now though it will remain lesser than literature that most of the world views Comic cons as more of a side show circus acts.

July 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNate

Personally I think part of the problem in the western world is that people associate comics with Superheros too much. And that is where the 'childish' branding comes from. Because (despite the fact that I love them) superheros are pretty silly to your typical, mortgage paying, child rearing, adult.

And regarding school... its hard to justify giving comics serious consideration in litterateur when the ration between good comics to good prose is about about a million to one. There are a handful of worthy titles, but seriously, only a handful. When thinking about a childs education and making a choice about what they should read in school its very very very hard to justify comics.

July 22, 2011 | Registered CommenterDenis-Jose Francois

I think that just proves the point that the older generation will have a hard time incorporating comics into the curriculum. I'm more interested in my generation as we now are having kids and mortgages and yet still like our superheroes or know of them. Though I'm sure you are right that Odysseus will always take precedent over Superman any day.
The handful of titles you may include Sandman but after I read that due to a friends advice I found myself not interested in the writing though I know there is a community that starves for those kind of stories in comics. I guess I will never stop looking to superheroes for my prose.

July 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNate

have you counted the words in a superhero comic recently and compared it to one from, say, 20 years ago?

July 25, 2011 | Registered CommenterDenis-Jose Francois