Tag Archives: rant

Marvel iPad App Leads to Real World Sales

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At Book Expo America Marvel’s Ira Rubenstein claimed that Marvel’s iPad app, which was available on the first day of launch, helped move units in the physical world.  From MediaBistro:

In a BEA panel discussion yesterday, Ira Rubenstein, the executive VP of Marvel Entertainment’s global digital media group, explored the company’s early experiences with an iPad app…

“It’s been tremendously successful, tremendously well received,” he explained about the iPad app. “What we are seeing is that in-app purchases are actually increasing week over week. People are downloading the app, finding content, and downloading more. What we’ve see also with some of the research is that digital books are actually leading to physical purchases.”

While this might be a positive turn of events the proof is in the pudding and numbers need to be released to fully evaluate the impact and if this impact is positive or negative.  Here’s the questions that need to be answered.

  • Of the people who purchased, how many are not regular comic book readers, or returning comic book readers?
  • Of the people who purchased, how many purchase physical copies regularly or irregularly already?
  • For those regular readers, are they purchasing more or less physical product?
  • How many would have not purchased a comic that did if this app were not present?

All of that should lead an understanding if digital sales are cannibalizing physical sales, expanding physical sales or are they two distinct universes with little overlap.  If it’s the former, there’s issues.  If it’s the middle answer, that’s great for everyone.  If it’s the latter then more can be done.

We’ve seen expansion of materials to other media is good for everyone, and digital sales can potentially be just as beneficial.  There was some coattails as far as physical sales with the releases of the X-Men, Spider-Man, Iron Man and Kick-Ass and we should strive for the same results when it comes to digital apps.  How can apps drive individuals to their local stores?  That’s a question and puzzle we all should be trying to answer.

The above are just some of the small questions that need to be answered.  The potential is there and at this moment digital dsitribution’s impact on the real world can’t be determined, but there is potential for disaster as much as there is for success.  If digital products become the norm and preferred the livelihood of brick and mortar stores becomes endangered and the chain to distribution and printing.  No one wants this and we all need to work together to make sure that’s not the end result.

Open Digital Standard

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This is an article I’ve wanted to write for a while.  GeekWeek has an excerpt from Graphic.ly CEO Micah Baldwin about setting a standard for digital comics.

Since I started this business, something that’s been bouncing around my brain is the fact that if somebody were to buy a comic book on comiXology and then want to read that comic, for whatever reason, on Longbox, they’d have to buy it again. Fundamentally, that’s the reality. If I get a book on Panelfly, and then I get into comiXology and it’s also in their library, I have to rebuy it. What’s interesting is that if you look at it, that’s primarily driven by the technology and not necessarily by the publishers. I think that’s lame. It’s lame that somebody can’t take a book they bought on my system, decide they don’t like Graphic.ly and would rather go read it in comiXology and then actually go do that.

Digital comics is in it’s infancy with numerous different applications coming to market, some already in the market and many more to come.

Questions we as consumers need to ask are:

  1. Who owns the comics I purchase?  Do I?  Is it licensed?
  2. Can I take the comics I purchase to another service?  Another computer?
  3. What happens if a service closes?

There are technical issues to consider.  Each of these applications have different features and I’m sure the back ends are very different from each other.  But let’s go beyond the technical issues.

What I think you’ll see, is one app dominate.  This will become the defacto application.  That race is wide open.  One will become the iTunes.  Now, how long did it take for iTunes to open up the music you purchased so you can play items purchased on different services or devices?  How much more did you have to pay for that?  How much of a headache was it for the consumer leading up to this.

Here’s where it should be easier, there is no “iPod” for digital comic books.  There is no device driving digital sales and digital sales driving the sale of a device.  We can and should be able to read our comics on our PC, Mac, iPad, iPod, PSP, PS3 and whatever else may come.

Until there’s an open standard.  And my rights as a consumer have been made clear, I’ll be sticking to the physical medium.  I own that comic book I purchased at the store.  I can take it where I’d like.  I can read it when I want.  And there’s no worries about it becoming outdated and upgraded out of existence.

Until this is settled, call me skeptical.

What We Can Learn From Batman About Immigration

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Bryan Young of the comics blog Big Shiny Robot has a piece up at the Huffington Post about lessons we (though he says Conservatives) can learn from Batman concerning illegal immigration.

Citing a line by the villain Clayface in the Neil Gaiman written Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?

He died saving the city. No, that’s not true. He saved the city, he died saving me. I said, ‘I’m not worth it.” And he said, ‘Everyone’s worth it.

Young makes his argument that “as long as you’re a person, you’re worth saving, worth protecting, worth welcoming with open arms.”  The biggest issue with this line of thinking is, that even though Batman may defend the city, he still beats the crap out of the people who break the law.  Sure he protects the weak, but he also jails those that break the rules.

I think the better argument to make is to focus on Superman and taking his example.  The ultimate illegal alien, he defends humanity when he could enslave it.  He steps up and defends the his adopted land no matter what.  And for this he’s loved.  Show the love for your adopted nation like Superman, and it’ll defend you in return, like Batman.

Open Call For Reviews, Press Releases and More

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Erik Larsen, who’s no stranger to speaking his mind, tweeted some comments last night about the direct comic book market and how it hampers independent comic book publishers and favors the big two.

Erik Larsen

While there’s something to be said about the big two crowding out smaller publishers and stores being risk averse, I don’t see bookstores stocking indie comics like they would the big two.  But, I digress from the point of this blog post.

We’re looking to review and promote anyone and everyone. We’ve reached out to the big publishers and some seem to get what working with blogs will get them and quite a few just ignored us (but that’s a blog post for another time).

If you’d like your comic book or webcomic reviewed or promoted, please just contact us at graphicpolicy at gmail.com.

We’re here because of our love of comic books and want to promote the amazing work that’s being done.