Hypocritical Hyperbole

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Where I wish I Could Support a Good Idea But Worse Ideas Stopped Me August 11, 2011

Filed under: comics,Six Months Late — Micah Griffin @ 18:52
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So I’m all about digital comics. I’ve been cleaning and organizing my comics and I just have too many of them. There’s a lot of comics I want to read but the only way to find them is on Ebay, back issue diving, dime bins, or at conventions. That’s a lot of work for books I’m not entirely sure if I want to read or not. Major companies like DC and Marvel only reprint certain trades, most of which aren’t the ones I’m wanting to read. If I could get all these things for cheap I totally would.

I also would like to buy brand new books digitally, I just can’t get behind the price point for most of these things. There’s no way I’m paying cover price for a digital book. Absolutely not. I’m not even too jazzed about the $2 price point on some of these brand new books. This is not an issue of me not apprectiating art and not wanting to financially support the work that artists do. This is a value proposition based on the  limited amount of funds I have. This isn’t a woe is me post. I’m just saying I’m not rich. For the cost of six issues at full price I can see at least four movies at the drive in (that includes gas). I can buy four or five Mass Market paper back novels at the used book store. I can go to a couple of museums and look at art. I can go to my local art gallery crawl and eat a nice dinner for two as well. So it’s sometimes hard to justify the $2 and $3 an issue.

Now, for $0.99 it’s not so bad. It’s not great, it’s not perfect, but it’s not bad. I’d love them to be cheaper, considering that’s more than I paid for the majority of the comics in my collection. It is known that I have a thing for getting a bunch of books at the flea markets, storage unit sales, and hotel conventions. Cheaper the better. There’s value in that for me.

Whenever a brand new book comes out at $0.99 I’m interested. I think this is great and awesome and what more companies need to be doing. I feel like you have removed a good number of obsticles from me getting into your new book. This is very much the case with The Uniques. More imporant than the cheap new issues is the free first issue. I’m down for this. I was ready to buy all nine issues available just to support the idea. Fortunately I read issue one first.

This is what I found inside:

Yeah, he says douche fag

So leading up to this there isn’t a single black face in the book. First ones we see just happen to be criminals. You can say whatever you want, but that’s some bullshit. The first representation I get of people that look like me in your book are committing crimes? I’m out. On top of that, our heroes, the people we are suppose to be rooting for, throw out a horribly offensive homophobic slur! All this happens in one page. It’s just off putting to me. I did read the rest of the issue. Some other black faces show up, but they’re not in more than two or so panels. They don’t do anything. One says “word, yo.” That’s it. The stuff is just racist. I’m headed to a dinner party so I won’t explain why this is the case. Honestly, if I have to explain why this is SUPER problematic then I probably don’t even want to have this discussion with you as it won’t go anywhere.

So while I’d love to support the Uniques for issuing out new comic books digitally at the most (and honestly only) reasonable sustainable price, I just can’t support the content that’s inside the book.


One Response to “Where I wish I Could Support a Good Idea But Worse Ideas Stopped Me”

  1. hotelnerd Says:

    Great post man. I’ve had the same issue with the digital price point. Why would I pay anywhere near cover price for something I don’t get to hold physically? Digital comics have 0 collectible value, their only value to the purchaser is the content inside pure and simple. And even then, probably for just 1 or 2 reads (there are very few comics I’ve read over and over and over again). It’s just greedy pure and simple. The production costs for a digital comic is next to nothing compared to the printed versions. I doubt they’re giving the creative teams a bigger cut of the pie. No, Marvel and DC especially are just keeping all that as pure delicious extra profit. For me the biggest issues to physical comics is the price point of current comics, the time requirements that I can’t always commit to reading considering the price point, and the physical space my existing collection already takes up and I can’t afford to add any more to it!
    There are only two ways I could really get behind a digital service.
    1. It’s a subscription based month to month service that gives me access to their digital library, like Netflix for comics. Sure there are piracy and DRM issues, but it could be made to work. However, this service also really has to work across multiple devices (iPad, Android, PC, Mac, probably even game consoles) and all for the same subscription. Generally I would use it on my Xoom, but I would want access on PC with the same account. Once again, Netflix does it. Marvel does something a little like this, but it’s got major issues, and they still try to sell a lot of digital issues for the cover price. I’m also fine with there being a big lag between new issues and their availability on the subscription based library, as much as 6 months is fair I’d say. In the meanwhile they can sell print copies and digital copies of these “new releases” or I can just wait for them to come into the subscription library.
    2. A much much much lower price point. Maybe like $0.25? $0.50 at the most? And then it has to come with free cloud storage for every issue I’ve purchased and once again I need access, on my devices. I hate to say it, but the major comic producers especially have a lot of piracy to compete with. I don’t want to pirate my comic reading….I won’t say that I haven’t….but I would much rather pay a reasonable price for a good service and access it all legitimately. Right now they’re pricing themselves out of mine, it sounds like yours, and likely many other markets of consumers.

    Anyways, we don’t need to discuss the other “content issue” you discuss. We’re in complete agreement there. If that was a physical comic, I’d say toss it away.

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