The Future of Comics

My latest Big Hollywood post where I discuss the future of comics.

The times, they are a changing and the fact is the print pamphlet comic is just too expensive and the distribution channel of the direct market is on shaky ground. Comics need to be freely available again like they once were, and cheap. And those days are soon upon us again.

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  1. Yeah, I agree. The comics industry, as the years go on, seem to be one long bummer. While I’m sure that the iTablet (whenever Apple decides to unleash it) will be a boon to many, I find it unsettling that so many people are willing to abandon the tactile book and magazine. Really, it’s the most portable thing: you can take it anywhere, into any room, on any plane, train, or car. If its softback and a magazine, it can be rolled up and put in your back pocket. There are no hard drive issues. You don’t have to “upgrade” a book or comic unless you’ve worn it out from excessive reading (and rarely does that happen, even to one’s own most beloved books) – and even then, sometime all you have to do is re-bind them.
    I have to admit, though, it is hard to keep readers into the Big Two books. They’ve been bleeding readers over the past fifteen years or so (after the speculator boom went bust). They’re sort of in a catch-22: Either use the same characters that have been around for 50 years and tell a lot of stories that will have no real impact on the overall mythology (as the characters are a cash cow, and you don’t kill cash cows), or keep adding a lot of labyrinthine details to stories and plots (much like the X-Men since 1975), which requires people read the stories over a long period of time, which tend to shut out new readers.

    I think this is why I stopped reading a lot of superhero comics: there’s no real ending to the story (i.e., Superman and Batman, etc., are never going to stop for any reason, good or bad), and nothing is permanent. Sauron is defeated. Darth Vader dies. The “Circle of Life” is a big point in The Lion King, and demonstrated several times throughout. Sure, Batman “died” in a recent crossover event, but if they want to bring back Bruce Wayne, they will. It just seems like a kind of cheat. I think, if anything, we need to focus more on new heroes with finite runs, the same way that film, television, and prose deal with coming out with new product.

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