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Monday, May 29, 2006 

Comic book piracy online

Yes, there is such a thing as piracy of comics, just like there is for movies on the internet. The Los Angeles Times talks about it right here.
Since their smashing introduction in the 1930s, comic-book heroes such as Superman and Batman have been fighting evil right and left, keeping cities safe and delighting fans.

But these days they and other stalwarts of the industry are stuck in the grip of a sticky Web that could ensnare even Spider-Man. They face foes that couldn't be imagined 70 years ago: digital pirates.

Digital scanning and sharing of comic books have begun to make a dent in the business, driven by easy-to-use file-sharing tools and a culture in which enthusiasts eagerly pass along their copies to one another.

"No comic sells enough to lose some of the market," said Chris Gage, who has written for DC Comics Inc. and independent publisher Arcana Studio. "If your comic book doesn't sell a certain amount of copies, it can get canceled."


Estimates for the number of comic books shared online are fuzzy because it is difficult to track specific downloads on so-called peer-to-peer networks.

But an informal Web poll of 4,621 readers from December 2004 to December 2005 by Comic Book Resources, an online magazine, found that more than 30% had downloaded a comic book at least once. Twelve percent said they downloaded comic books regularly.

"Are there downloaders in the tens of thousands? Possibly," said Todd Allen, an independent online media consultant and adjunct professor of e-business at Columbia College Chicago. "Are there millions? Not likely."

It's certainly not as widespread a practice as music file sharing, but the comic-book business is much smaller. Although the top 10 comic books may have runs of 100,000 to 150,000 copies for each monthly issue, even giants such as DC Comics and Marvel Publishing have books that sell about 20,000 to 30,000 copies. And many comics don't even break 5,000 anymore, Allen said.


Driven by collectors and hard-core fans, the comic-book industry will always have its share of loyal paper-copy readers. Aficionados will continue to head to the comic-book store Wednesday mornings, when new titles go on sale, to leaf through the colorful pages and breathe in the freshly printed ink.

"The collector mind-set says, 'I need the paper issue,' " said Gene Kannenberg Jr., director of ComicsResearch.org, a website devoted to scholarship on comic books and strips.

Still, readership is declining. Comic-book publishers are having a hard time, in particular, catching the attention of younger readers, who either are tuned in to a plethora of other media — video games, movies, music, social networks — or would rather get their fix of the action characters free online.

Shane Coleman, a clerk at Golden Apple Comics on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, says he sees few from the high-school-and-younger crowd saunter in. The younger customers who do drop in look mainly for horror stories or the Japanese comics known as manga.

"You tend to see more people my age come in," said Coleman, an avid collector who, at age 30, considers himself somewhat old-school.

For some readers, the waiting-for-Wednesday tradition is waning. "Zero-day comics," as they are referred to when they are available online the same day the paper copy hits store shelves, appeal to a younger generation used to getting news, music and movies instantly.

The piracy may start simply enough.
Yes, maybe it will. But that aside, if there's anything else this does tell, it's that, despite attempts to imply otherwise, readership for pamphlets, if anything, is on the sad decline.


Comic book readership may be down because the quality just isn't as good as it used to be.

What red-blooded American boy wants to read comics in which his own country is demonised?

Maybe it's just me, but I don't think that most comic book readers want smoky post-9/11" morality; we want black and white, good and evil. Comics are our modern day myths and legends.

You wouldn't think that would be such a hard concept for people in the industry to understand. And yet they still seemed shocked when Frank Miller claimed that he was writing a Batman "propaganda" piece about terrorism.

Excellent points, and something I'd spoken about quite a few times here in other subjects too. Marvel and DC are alienating some of the most potential readers by resorting to attacks on their own country, and keeping writers with better ideas at arms length. That's one of the reasons why it's time for a public debate, on television and radio, to discuss these sort of issues already.

this a big disgrace, as a fan of comic is to easy take my computer and download any comic, but this kind of method to get it is to dishonest, beside there's nothing to get a original comic book.

A comic lovers like to read comic because it is affordable, it has short stories, colorful pictures and many more... If you put some unique content in comics then people like it more.
African comic

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