I read something on Scott Kurtz’s PvP blog today that I feel is worth repeating. It was in a post about his iPad impressions, and this section about how it works as a comic book reader struck me so much that I wanted to record and repeat it here.
Comic books look amazing on this effing thing. Big bright full color pages really jump out at you. I can’t think of any other word to decribe it but “fun.” It’s just freaking fun. The Marvel Comics app is sublime. I downloaded a couple issues of Fantastic Four and was blown away by it.
And that’s why it’ll be so dissapointing when the comic book industry does absolutely NOTHING revolutionary with this device. God damn it. I don’t know why I’m so cynical about this, but everything I read from my industry about devices like the iPad make me want to start punching people in the crotch. Everything I read online points to an entire industry either adamatly denying that the iPad will change things for comics or actively praying it doesn’t. Then there’s the truly astounding group of idiots just sitting there waiting to see if it does anything.
Retailers want it to fail because they want to keep selling physical floppy comics. Diamond wants it to fail because they want to keep being a monopoly for physical floppy comics. Fans want it to fail because for them, comics is about collecting, bagging and boarding, not reading. Creators want it to fail because they’re artists, and they don’t understand new business models or how to make money, nor do they want to worry about it.
What about the big four publishers? I don’t know. I suspect they fear selling digital copies of comics will cut into their existing business. That’s why the Marvel app is pushing Avengers comics from 1998 on me. Guess what I don’t give a shit about? The Avengers from 1998. What’s happening to the Avengers now? And how would it be bad for business to offer me those comics for $1.99 a piece?
That Marvel app should allow me to subscribe to my favorite CURRENT title and deliver it to me the day it hits shelves. How about charging me a premium to get it before it hits physical shelves? How about TRYING ANYTHING you luddite assholes! Hey guess what comic book industry? The iPad is not going to be a game changer. No technology is. YOU are the game changer. You have to DO something with the techology that is presented to you. Think. Be innovative. Try something bold. Don’t give me Captain Amaerica from 2004. Even a noble failure would be better than playing it safe at this point. Don’t you think?
I would subscribe TODAY to several digital comics if I could get them beamed straight to my iPhone, or iPad at $.99 to $1.99. This compared to the ZERO dollars I am spending on comic books right now. Marvel, Dark Horse, DC, and everyone else you need to change with the times, and provide current issues on our mobile devices.