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Monday, December 02, 2019 

Piracy may be a problem, but what about bad storytelling?

The BBC has an article about comic creators who're complaining about online piracy:
A comic book writer's claim that the proliferation of piracy is "a real problem" has encouraged others in the industry to share their concerns.

Jim Zub, who writes for Marvel and IDW, tweeted that 20 times as many people read comics illegally shared online, than pay for digital or physical works.

Many other comic creators replied with their own experiences of pirated work.

For some, piracy brought personal and professional costs, while others suggested radical distribution changes.

In the thread, Zub said having work spread without being paid for initially created a "visibility boost" for the creators, but has now become the norm for an audience of "rapid consumption".

"I don't want pirate readers to think it's no big deal or victimless," he tweeted. "Content worth reading is content worth supporting."
True, but is the content being pirated entirely great from an artistic view? What if it's awful, like Dan Slott's Spider-Man material? Who in the right frame of mind wants to buy that? Or his Iron Man and Fantastic Four material? And who want to buy Brian Bendis' Superman material by this point? If you know where to look, there's plenty of truly revolting products out there - including, but not limited to - political propaganda and just plain sleaze, not worth plunking down money on. So while I admit piracy isn't great, at least it gives everybody and anybody a chance to see just how bad the stuff could be, and why it might've fared poorly in sales before.

They also mention a would-be writer who may have worked for Bleeding Cool in the past:
Joe Glass is an independent comics writer from South Wales whose titles are sold through Comixology, a distribution site for comics, and has sales figures "the publisher is happy with".

However, on one pirate site alone, Glass found that his LGBTQ+ superhero series The Pride and The Pride Adventures had been viewed a total of 16,843 times illegally.

This level of piracy hurts him and many other independent writers and artists, for whom money is "pretty tight".
I vaguely remember Glass as somebody who was reportedly antagonizing Richard Meyer over POVs he didn't agree with. I don't know why, but it sounds like an oxymoron if the audience he's presumably catering to doesn't want to spend dough on his product, the 100 millionth addition to some already cliched genres, and surely another example of "wokeness".
For a comics creator at the start of their career, working to the scale he is, Glass says piracy is a "stumbling block" to getting further work published, rather than giving him exposure.

"I tried to consider the benefits, but now I ultimately can't see it as anything other than stealing."

If every person to pirate his work had bought an issue instead, "it would mean enough payment to me and my whole creative team in full for the series, and a good step of the way into the next project."

"Instead, the next project is entirely reliant on getting picked up by a publisher who will help fund its creation."
Well if he was wrongfully attacking Meyer over petty issues like artistic dissent and whatnot, I have a hard time caring, even as I won't condone piracy. Plus, why does it seem like quite a few news reporters these days are suddenly getting into the writing/drawing business of a medium they may not have reviewed objectively? I just don't see the point.

I will say, in fairness, that if piracy is really such a big deal to them, then FWIW, they should abandon the practice of monthly pamphlets and just publish the whole book in a paperback/hardcover instead. And maybe limit digital content to only a handful of sample pages; maybe those where the word balloons haven't been added yet. IMO, that's how to really make a transition to professionalism, and I wish Stan Lee had thought of it serious decades before. But if they really must complain about piracy, at least acknowledge artistic merit does count in any event.

And then, the artist Jon Malin had the following to say:

Another creator said:

They could also be the very SJWs they're presumably trying to appeal to. Did that ever occur? Leftists who may support their particular beliefs, yet won't spend a dime on the writer's work in question, no matter how much it adheres to their twisted beliefs. In any case, if these would-be creators are attacking the audience for all the wrong reasons, they can't be surprised if little to nobody wants to purchase their work and would rather look it up online for free. To appeal to the masses, you have to keep a dignified image and maintain at least a little class. Otherwise, don't be shocked if they won't rush to buy your work when it debuts.

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"I have a hard time caring, even as I won't condone piracy."

But on November 23 2019 Avi wrote:
"... you can't always judge a book by its cover, and that's certainly been the case these days with the Big Two. Great art on the cover, but sometimes dreadful art and definitely awful stories inside. That's why it's better to just look for a copy on the web you can save to file instead."

"I will say, in fairness, that if piracy is really such a big deal to them, then FWIW, they should abandon the practice of monthly pamphlets and just publish the whole book in a paperback/hardcover instead."
The books are on the pirate sites too, not just the floppies.



"To appeal to the masses, you have to keep a dignified image and maintain at least a little class."
That is exactly the way to NOT appeal the masses these days. Look at the president of the US for starters! This is the guy who performed a fake orgasm at a campaign rally last week to make fun of an FBI agent he doesn't like.

It's ridiculous to hear a democratic blame the coarsening of culture this on Trump, when many progressives have been clamoring for obliterating all traditional social norms. as far back as 1960s. They are now who pushing for an end to respectability politics--which now manifests itself as "anti-assimilation" , punching people with unpopular political views in public, where being crude and vulgar is seen as empowering. Progressives had not sympathy for the Korean business owners whose convenience stores were destroyed during the LA riots. It was okay for ghetto black kids to steal from the owners, because the owners used guns to defend their property. Never mind, several ghetto black kids have unregistered guns and armed robbery is not rare.

Trump, a former Democrat, is just following cultural trends that made reality tv popular, rap music the most popular form of music.


I want to hear why things are getting SO BAD that vulgarity and threats of violence are remedies for progressives. Why are trans people in the U.S. now equating misgendering with something that deserves a violent reaction.



The prior comment didn’t blame Trump for the coarsening of American culture; it just gave one of many examples of how much he relishes it, has appealed to it and taken advantage of it. His fans love him because he is unabashedly crude and doesn’t act like one of the stiffs, and he knows it. That being said, Trump has been the poster boy of the coarsening of culture since his tabloid days in the 1980s. And when the president goes low, as Michelle Obama described it, other people have a license to go lower.

The description of progressive thought you give, though, is a real caricature of a lot of unidentified and probably non-existent sources. What is respectability politics and what does it have to do with anti-assimilation? There was a debate in the bloggysphere over whether it is okay to punch a Nazi hatemonger - and most superhero fans would vote a hell yes on that - with no clear consensus one way or the other among progressives or anyone else. The rest of the claims about riots and stealing - there is no clear progressive viewpoint on that either. You don’t name anyone who actually takes the positions you describe, and there certainly is no widely held progressive viewpoint that stealing from small shopkeepers is okay. It is not progressives who are standing up for the Second Amendment rights of ghetto kids. Isn’t it the NRA who thinks that arming ghetto kids is the best solution to police violence? If they haven’t had the guts to come out and say that yet, that is where their policies lead.

Progressives don’t have a monopoly on crude and vulgar! Vulgarity and threats of violence are endemic to all ends of the political spectrum these days. That is why right-wingers have shot up mosques and churches and synagogues and killed immigrants in shopping malls, and why American forces shot across the border to kill Mexican kids playing on the Mexican side. And why Trump pardons soldiers who the army considers war criminals. And why right-wing extremist groups put so much priority on recruiting military people and getting their guys into the army to get military training.

"here was a debate in the bloggysphere over whether it is okay to punch a Nazi hatemonger -"

this is clearly happening in real life with people who are far removed from the bloggysphere. Hollywood has gotten in on the act to endorse violence with Madonna saying she wanted to "blow up the white house"
and tv show pretty much endorsing political violence
htt ps://www. huffpost. com/entry/conservatives-upset-the-good-fight-wants-you-to-punch-nazis_n_5cb48a84e4b098b9a2d72ee2
as long as progressives do it.



" You don’t name anyone who actually takes the positions you describe, and there certainly is no widely held progressive viewpoint that stealing from small shopkeepers is okay. " Actually, there is. There was a progressive narrative about the L.A. riots, that it was black people venting their frustration about systemic racism and that the victims, the Koreans, were to be blamed for what transpired because they were RACIST!

"Progressives don’t have a monopoly on crude and vulgar! Vulgarity and threats of violence are endemic to all ends of the political spectrum these days" Traditional religions and values moderated this to a large degree. When progressives in Hollywood wanted to push the envelope in the 1960s and 1970s, and show more sexuality and profanity in Hollywood, they felt that they needed deconstruct Puritanical Christian culture to do so, because it was Christians, not hippies or Beatniks or Communists who stood in their way. The right often jumps straight to violence. The Left loves to degrade and make vulgar spectacles --we can plainly see this in Fine Art--and in the media--where they DO have monopoly on crude and vulgar seeing how Fine Art and the media see themselves as progressive things--just as the comics industry sees itself as fundamentally progressive and what progressives do is push limits--and destroy them.

The event that provoked the LA riots was the acquittal on criminal charges of the four police officers who beat up Rodney King. The riots occurred about a year after a Korean shopkeeper named Ja Du had shot in the back of the head a black girl named Latasha Harlins she had accused of being a shoplifter and got into a tussle of some kind with; Du's light sentence with no jail time was upheld by an appeal court a week or two before the riots. In the aftermath of the riots there was certainly discussion of whether groups of Korean shopkeepers, were using disproportionate force or being overly aggressive in using firearms against potential black and latino looters during the riots. Were they justified in using guns to defend themselves and their stores? Were they justified in shooting indiscriminately into a crowd? When does excessive force take you outside of self-defence, and how proactive can you be in the use of force? Those are legal issues and there are arguments on both sides, just as there are people who try to explain why there were racial tensions between the Korean shopkeepers and the black neighborhood residents. But there are no progressives, conservatives or right-wingers to whom anyone pays any attention who blame Koreans for the riots. Nobody says their racism caused the riots.

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