Robot 6

Comics A.M. | What digital comics, industry need to do next



Digital comics | Declaring that “the mainstreaming of digital publishing is nearly complete,” veteran technology writer Andy Ihnatko outlines three major steps the industry still needs to take: a move by Dark Horse to comiXology; the adoption of ePUB as an industry standard; and the abandonment of digital rights management. “We should be grateful to DRM,” Ihnatko writes. “‘What about piracy?’ wasn’t Marvel or DC’s only qualm about digital publishing, but it was a question that needed to be addressed before the major publishers could go all-in. But now that comiXology is up and running, and people have been ‘trained’ to use the new infrastructure, DRM is becoming less and less valuable with each passing quarter.” [Chicago Grid]

Digital comics | For readers only now discovering digital comics, Jeffrey L. Wilson provides a guide that covers the basics, from what they are to where they can be found and how much they cost. [PC Mag]

Batman #23.1: The Joker

Batman #23.1: The Joker

Retailing | Retailer, and CBR columnist, Brian Hibbs digs into sales numbers of DC Comics’ Villains Month issues, and deduces that, in most cases, the publisher printed fewer copies than the baseline orders for the regular series. [The Savage Critics]

Comic strips | Writing for the art and politics magazine Guernica, Anna Clark considers why, a century later, George Herriman’s Krazy Kat still seems so radical: “The multiple realities of Krazy Kat are evident in the Kat itself. Krazy is Quixote-like — a fool, but valiant in his own way. An idiosyncratic knight. More pointedly, Krazy switches genders, sometimes in the span of a single strip. Krazy’s fur typically turns white when he/she is gendered female and black when he/she is gendered male; the switch is most often prompted by the social situation that Krazy is in. ‘I don’t know if I should take a husband or a wife,’ complains Krazy in a 1915 strip.” [Guernica]

Comics | To get readers primed for Halloween, Brian Truitt recommends a handful of new horror comics, ranging from The Wake to Ghosted to Afterlife With Archie. [USA Today]

Awards | Voting has opened for the second annual Gaiman Award, which, despite its name, has nothing to do with The Sandman writer. “Gaiman” actually refers to comics created outside of Japan and translated into Japanese; the goal of the award is to introduce Japanese readers to works from other countries. Of the 82 nominees, 53 are U.S. comics and 15 are bande dessinee. [The Asahi Shimbun]



The subscription process on Comixology is infuriating. I can’t subscribe via the Android app, ie. my primary reading device. So then when I actually go to the website to subscribe, I pay full price instead of getting a subscription discount. I don’t even get the print subscription discount! Finally, when the issue is actually available, I get an email telling me to go download it. It doesn’t even get delivered to my library automatically. This literally defeats every purpose of subscribing.

I think the DRM argument is a good one to have, but is slightly more complicated than Ihnatko’s positions that “everybody is doing it” and “I’d like to read this comic twenty years from now on any device.”

The priorities of rights management differs from publisher to publisher, creator to creator. If the old guard of DRM is thrown out of the window, does that put publishers or creators without significant technological infrastructure in place at a disadvantage?

Viewing devices, personal computers, or any other media platform for that matter, may be completely different, twenty years from now, than from what we’re using. Claiming that you want to convert everything into .pdfs or compress everything into .cbz files doesn’t make a lot of sense when you consider that media devices two or three generations from now will go through plenty of changes on their own.

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