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Author Topic: DC's relanuched 52 and digital comics  (Read 5431 times)
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Great Rao
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« on: July 08, 2011, 05:04:27 PM »

With DC's upcoming universe-wide "relaunch", new arrivals will be available digitally the same day they show up in comic shops.  Here's an article in Wired Magazine about the industry's plans for gradually going digital:

http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/06/ff_digitalcomix/

And the solicitations themselves:

http://www.tfaw.com/dc-comics-relaunch/

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"The bottom line involves choices.  Neither gods nor humans have ever stood calmly in a minefield forever.  Good or evil, they are bound to choose.  And when they do, you will see the truth of all that motivates us.  As a thinking being, you have the obligation to choose.  If the fate of all mankind were in your hands, what would your decision be?  As a writer and an artist, I've drawn my answer."   - Jack Kirby
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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2011, 10:24:48 PM »

With DC's upcoming universe-wide "relaunch", new arrivals will be available digitally the same day they show up in comic shops.  Here's an article in Wired Magazine about the industry's plans for gradually going digital:

http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/06/ff_digitalcomix/

And the solicitations themselves:

http://www.tfaw.com/dc-comics-relaunch/



It's a step in the right direction, but it's still behind the times in price point, functionality, and UI design.

Frankly, the various .cbr viewers on Android (the OS currently with the highest smartphone market share) are better than the Comixology application.
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« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2011, 11:00:37 PM »

I assume that .cbr files don't have digital restrictions built-in - with Comixology, the copyright holder can limit comic access to the buyer - same as iTunes and Kindle purchases.  I assume that's why the comic companies are going with it.

As far as price point, although DC's digital and physical editions will be starting out at the same price, DC currently plans to lower the digital price a dollar or two sometime down the road.  They don't want to alienate the brick-and-mortar comic shops, as that's what's currently keeping them in business.  So it has to be a very gradual transition.


« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 11:03:43 PM by Great Rao » Logged

"The bottom line involves choices.  Neither gods nor humans have ever stood calmly in a minefield forever.  Good or evil, they are bound to choose.  And when they do, you will see the truth of all that motivates us.  As a thinking being, you have the obligation to choose.  If the fate of all mankind were in your hands, what would your decision be?  As a writer and an artist, I've drawn my answer."   - Jack Kirby
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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2011, 12:08:46 AM »

I assume that .cbr files don't have digital restrictions built-in - with Comixology, the copyright holder can limit comic access to the buyer - same as iTunes and Kindle purchases.  I assume that's why the comic companies are going with it.

Nope, it's simply a renamed .rar file for convenience. Even with drm Kindle files, I could still move the files themselves around for better organization across several platforms. Can't do that with Comixology.  I understand why they and the big book publishers push it, but they are fighting a losing battle. Steve Jobs realized this several years ago and forced the music industry to conform. As a result, all music on iTunes has been DRM free since 2009. Eventually, he'll get the movie and book industry to do so as well.

That's why I like Baen Books. All their files are DRM free. Buy the book and you don't have to monkey around getting it to work across several platforms and operating systems. It just works.

Quote
As far as price point, although DC's digital and physical editions will be starting out at the same price, DC currently plans to lower the digital price a dollar or two sometime down the road.  They don't want to alienate the brick-and-mortar comic shops, as that's what's currently keeping them in business.  So it has to be a very gradual transition.




If they want this to work, then there is going to have to be an incentive to actually buy the digital copy. Hard copies aren't going anywhere anytime soon. The Kindle hasn't killed the printed book, nor would digital comics kill the comic book stores. Sure, there would be some closures (similar to Borders closing up shop), but the more successful shops would transition to being more than just comic shops. One of the shops in my town has recently become a catch-all geek enclave by branching out into RPGs, music, movies, etc.

-edited to add

Now, what they could do is something similar to Netflix and what Marvel does with their browser-based Unlimited subscription service. Only, make it so it can be viewed cross-platform. That way they can keep their DRM, consumers would have an in-depth library to choose from, and DC could easily get away with charging $10-15 a month for usage. Add in-app ads or whatever to keep the costs down as well.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2011, 03:03:34 AM by DBN » Logged
Great Rao
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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2011, 05:57:02 PM »

Comixology will be offering digital comic book affiliate links to comic shops, so that stores will be able to sell both physical and digital comics when DC digital goes live.

I had hoped to get in on this - ie, have Superman Through the Ages offer legitimate digital DC comics for sale.  I figure people already come here to talk and read about Superman and to take a look at the old scans that are still available on the site.  A natural market place for DC's digital Superman comics.

Unfortunately, DC does not let comixology offer digital affiliate links to anyone but brick&mortar shops that have accounts with Diamond.  And Diamond requires that anyone who wants an account with them agree to spend at least $450 per month with them on physical comics.  A bit outside my budget for the handful of digital sales I'd probably get.

So it looks like you'll still have to go to your local comic shop - or at least to their website - for all new comics.  Although I can't quite see how Diamond has anything to do with digital comics...

 
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"The bottom line involves choices.  Neither gods nor humans have ever stood calmly in a minefield forever.  Good or evil, they are bound to choose.  And when they do, you will see the truth of all that motivates us.  As a thinking being, you have the obligation to choose.  If the fate of all mankind were in your hands, what would your decision be?  As a writer and an artist, I've drawn my answer."   - Jack Kirby
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« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2011, 11:54:26 PM »

Probably DC wants to keep a good relationship with Diamond, because digital has the potential to do in the brick & mortar stores. I guess they are trying to strike a delicate balance.

What about digital offerings of old comics--are you able to do that?

My personal feeling is that this site should be relatively independent. Granted you are using DC trademarks and copyrights, so there has to be a relationship with DC. But I think fans who come here are more interested in previous incarnations of Superman and less so whatever is happening with Superman at the moment.

Since it's possible old guard fans will have some disaffection with the current Superman--it's nice to have this place as a retreat to celebrate the old stories and the old creative talents who made them.

It's your site, so you need to do what's right for you--but my interest is in celebrating the old stuff.
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« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2011, 12:48:40 AM »

I was hoping that the old catalog - 1938-1986 - would be available in a legitimate, online white-market digital format. As much as I enjoy scanning and cleaning up old comics, I'd prefer to offer copies that were clearly defined as 100% legal.  One of my questions for Comixology was related to whether or not they were ever going to be offering the old stuff too.

But it looks like it may be a bit before that happens.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2011, 12:58:56 AM by Great Rao » Logged

"The bottom line involves choices.  Neither gods nor humans have ever stood calmly in a minefield forever.  Good or evil, they are bound to choose.  And when they do, you will see the truth of all that motivates us.  As a thinking being, you have the obligation to choose.  If the fate of all mankind were in your hands, what would your decision be?  As a writer and an artist, I've drawn my answer."   - Jack Kirby
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« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2011, 02:32:32 AM »

I saw that too, about the B&M sales plan.  I'm sort of business-challenged, so maybe it's just me, but I don't understand how this going to work? Why would you need to go through your LCS to get a digital file from a publisher?  If you download a digital comic today it doesn't work that way, does it?  So why would consumers want to have that extra layer added?

What if your LCS doesn't even have a website?  What am I missing here?

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