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Why is ‘returnable comics’ an attractive idea?

Reading, not buying

Last week, a reader alerted The Beat that there’s a grace period for returning DC Digital Comics on Amazon, just like other Kindle titles. Heidi MacDonald pointed out that, “in theory, someone could buy this week’s DC lineup for Kindle, read them and return them.”

Although commenters point out the folly in actually trying that (and Heidi specifically discourages it), it got me thinking: Why shouldn’t comics be returnable? I mean, we could put whatever restrictions on it you like, but my question isn’t so much about policy as it is about why people buy periodical, single-issue comics in the first place; particularly, monthly superhero comics. I agree that it would be a crappy thing to read and return a publisher’s entire weekly lineup. My question is: Why is that even a temptation?

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Comics A.M. | Blade of the Immortal manga to end after 19 years

Blade of the Immortal, Vol. 25

Manga | Hiroaki Samura will bring his long-running samurai revenge epic Blade of the Immortal to a close in the February issue of Kodansha’s Monthly Afternoon magazine (on stands Dec. 25) after 19 years. The series is published in the United States by Dark Horse; the 25th volume was released in North America in August. [Anime News Network]

Political cartoons | NPR talks to several editorial cartoonists about the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo‘s decision to run cartoons mocking the Prophet Mohammed. The general sense seems to be that while the magazine had the right to do so, it wasn’t a good idea given the turmoil already caused by the YouTube trailer for Innocence of Muslims. Politico cartoonist Matt Wuerker said, “Over the last few years, people have gotten the idea that cartoons are radioactive because they have the power to inspire riots. That doesn’t help cartooning in a certain sense.” And Daryl Cagle observes that the long-term effect is to make editors more timid. [NPR]

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