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TV & Media Non-Trek television, movies, books, music, etc.

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Old November 24 2010, 10:42 PM   #1
Alpinemaps
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Comic Books, digitally

I used to have an extensive comic book collection (about 3500 books), that I sold off not too long ago. They were taking up a lot of space, and I was happy to get rid of them.

I had stopped reading comics about 15 years ago. And while there were plenty of titles I enjoyed, I just couldn't make the space commitment anymore. I stopped reading them because I couldn't justify the expense anymore, either.

Fast forward to 2010. I have an iPad. I see that Marvel and DC have comics available digitally. Some of them are free to read (some of them new, some of them 'classics'). The price point isn't great, IMHO - $1.99 for title, digitally, seems a little excessive. But, if I wanted to keep up with current stuff, and I didn't want the actual paper copy, I could see the draw.

But, that's not what I'm interested in. Instead, I'm interested in older stuff. Golden and Silver Age stuff. I don't need to *own* them - in the traditional sense. But, I'd love to have them.

So...where are they?

There are some Golden Age titles that are in the public domain that you can pick up. But the majority of stuff are still owned by their respective companies. So, why aren't they releasing them digitally?

I'd love to see a collection of Superman and Action Comics, All Star Comics, Justice League of America, Flash Comics, More Fun Comics, Batman, Detective Comics, Whiz Comics. What about a complete run of the Avengers, Amazing Spider-Man, etc? I'd pay a decent price ($40-$50?) for a collection of Superman, for each decade (in a rough chronological order). I don't want to pay $1.99 each issue, though.

But, how great would it be to read all of this old stuff? I don't need to own the original comic - it would be too expensive and who would want to crack open their copy? But, give me a digital version that I can pick up and put down at my leisure - now you're talking.

So, am I missing the boat here? Does this already exist? Or are the comic book companies missing out on something?
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Old November 24 2010, 11:17 PM   #2
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Re: Comic Books, digitally

^^ It certainly exists in pirateland...
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Old November 24 2010, 11:21 PM   #3
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Re: Comic Books, digitally

It takes time to scan them in. For one thing. AND, they probably have to examine contracts with the writers and artists who created the work, to see if they move it to an electronic medium if that is permissible in the contract.

But, it's a LOT of books to scan in.

But, what DC and Marvel should do: download the pirated stuff. Clean it up more. Offer some other material to go a long with it and resell it. The pirates shouldn't be "offering" it anyway, so, steal from them.
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Old November 27 2010, 06:01 AM   #4
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Re: Comic Books, digitally

The sad thing is, you would think a lot of these companies would have digitally archived these things by now. I just gotta think there is some more money to be made it selling these things.

Just goofing off tonight, I did a search for 'free digital comic books' and came across this:

http://www.amazon.com/Star-Trek-The-.../dp/B001B5KYR2

That's over 500 Star Trek comic books, from 1967 to 2002. For $18. Now that is a good deal, and one I'm going to look into.
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Last edited by Alpinemaps; November 27 2010 at 06:15 AM.
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Old November 27 2010, 05:58 PM   #5
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Re: Comic Books, digitally

Mr. Adventure wrote: View Post
^^ It certainly exists in pirateland...
Without getting into the legalities, it's staggering how much stuff has been scanned. The last I checked there were literally only about 100 issues of DC material from the last 40 years that hadn't been scanned and similar number for marvel.
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Old November 28 2010, 12:11 AM   #6
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Re: Comic Books, digitally

That's shocking.

That's why I think the comic companies are missing out. I'd rather pay them for the rights to read them, then obtain them from non-legal sources. I have a feeling other people would, too.

I know having the paper in your hands is worth a lot. But, I'm realistic - I'm never going to own the Action Comics 1-100. And even if I did, I'd never want to sit down and *read* them and *enjoy* them. That's why putting that stuff out digitally just makes so much sense.

There's something else, too - my 3 year old already knows how to use my iPad. Soon, she'll be ready to read, and I'd love to plop her down and read old Superman or Archie or Disney comics with her. She'd love to see them onscreen like that. Here's a way for me to get a new generation into comics without costing me tons of money or worrying about continuity or dealing with the modern pitfalls of comic books.
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Old November 28 2010, 02:32 AM   #7
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Re: Comic Books, digitally

Alpinemaps wrote: View Post

That's why I think the comic companies are missing out.
That's why I wonder if there's some legal reason that hasn't been settled. Because it's just stupid of them NOT to release them digitally if they can.
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Old November 28 2010, 04:02 AM   #8
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Re: Comic Books, digitally

I remember back in the 90s buying a few collections on CD at Costco or the like. I think it was Spider-man and X-Men comics, each had like 50 issues if I recall. They got lost in a move soon after so I never actually got to read them.
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Old November 28 2010, 09:29 PM   #9
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Re: Comic Books, digitally

Do they make any money on the Ipad-kind?
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Old November 28 2010, 10:10 PM   #10
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Re: Comic Books, digitally

Venardhi wrote: View Post
I remember back in the 90s buying a few collections on CD at Costco or the like. I think it was Spider-man and X-Men comics, each had like 50 issues if I recall. They got lost in a move soon after so I never actually got to read them.

I think they still release these on DVD, occasionally, but with substantially more than 50 issues.
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Old November 29 2010, 01:49 PM   #11
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Re: Comic Books, digitally

I'm a regular user and purchaser of the comics using the Comicxology powered apps that Marvel, DC, Image and IDW use and I have to say, as someone who has possibly over a thousand comics in his possession in about 3-4 bins - this is really a great a great app. Sure I'm reading it on an iPod Touch 4G buuuut you can read 'em online - the accounts are the same if you're using Comicsology - so you can move up to a bigger screen and what I DO like about these e-comics is that I can keep a whole storyline in my pocket, read it wherever/whenever. They don't get dog eared and I don't have to look like a little kid carrying a comic book in his briefcase. I do merchandising on the side and sometimes I take the bus to my jobs, so if I'm sitting there for a half hour - forty five minutes I can read at least a couple of comics on the ride to and from my jobs. Sure some of them are older comics and even the 'current' comics aren't really current. Typically I consume a lot of the freebies and if there's a title I really like but either a) never owned because I couldn't find it in a shop - back issue bins sometimes aren't the cheapest or b) a title I've wanted to try but didn't want to spend the 3.99 that is on the stands I'll check the app and download it that way.

I used to have regular access to comic shops before I moved and I was always buying stuff from the dollar/fifty cent/quarter bins - honestly it seemed like nearly everything from only a year or two prior ended up there at the shops I frequented. But since I don't have easy access to those and when you factor in shipping, sometimes ebay ends up almost as much as cover price- these kinds of apps are very economical and while the digital files aren't worth much it's still cheaper than the actual comics - not in all cases, but some. I mean, how easy is it to find the entire Demon in a Bottle storyline from the old Iron Man comics individually in the back issue bins? I doubt you could snag each issue for under 2 bucks a pop even if a TPB is a little higher. And they do periodically discount some titles, some are like .99 cents, most are 1.99 some are 2.99 for newer ones which is kinda steep for a digital download. I'll pay a bucks or two depending on the comic. Plus one nice thing... NO ADS. Just pure comic book.
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Old November 29 2010, 04:36 PM   #12
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Re: Comic Books, digitally

Alpinemaps wrote: View Post
That's over 500 Star Trek comic books, from 1967 to 2002. For $18. Now that is a good deal, and one I'm going to look into.
I have this - it's worth getting. And all the files are in PDF so doesn't matter if you have a Mac or PC.

I also have a similar release of Mad Magazine from 1952-2006.

One reason why there may not be more of these could be indicated by the Mad release, which is missing about 25 pages of articles because they couldn't get copyright clearance from the original writers, even though some of the material in question is 50-55 years old. So there are a few gaps.

They aren't comic books, but similar releases have occurred for National Geographic and Playboy as well. I don't know if they have similar gaps, too (with Playboy I'd be surprised if there aren't).

There is definitely a market for such releases, though, and I'm hoping we'll see similar releases some day for things like Starlog and Doctor Who Magazine - preferably in a permanent "take-away" format like a DVD Rom rather than just an online archive (like that for, say, Life Magazine and People Magazine) which will be around only so long as the websites are maintained.

That said, there's still no replacement for print versions. I get splitting headaches if I spend more than a few minutes reading off any sort of screen (for some reason I'm OK with Word documents - just PDFs and e-books I've found impossible), so I personally would rather have to deal with big bound volumes of old Mads, etc. But it's still just cool to have them all in one folder.

Fortunately there seems to be a growing trend towards reprinting older comics. Obviously both DC and Marvel have done extensive reprints in omnibus form, but a company has started reprinting some of the old Gold Key stuff like Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery, which is great to see.

Alex
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Old November 29 2010, 06:11 PM   #13
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Re: Comic Books, digitally

23skidoo wrote: View Post
That said, there's still no replacement for print versions. I get splitting headaches if I spend more than a few minutes reading off any sort of screen (for some reason I'm OK with Word documents - just PDFs and e-books I've found impossible), so I personally would rather have to deal with big bound volumes of old Mads, etc. But it's still just cool to have them all in one folder.

Alex

What until color e-ink is available. That will help with the headaches. It's one of the things I like about my e-reader, no eye strain.
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Old November 29 2010, 07:37 PM   #14
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Re: Comic Books, digitally

I like the idea of digital comics I really do but as an collector with over 20k books I really cant see me jumping into the digital world. It has nothing to do with the technology but more my joy and love of having the actual paper in my hands while I am reading. I dont find the 1.99 price point bad either considering the $3 & $4 & $5 cover prices being thrown around on the printed versions. I also like the ability to just go dig through an old long box and see whats there from 15 or twenty years ago. I dont think that fun would be there if they were all digitized.
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Old November 29 2010, 10:49 PM   #15
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Re: Comic Books, digitally

23skidoo wrote: View Post
That said, there's still no replacement for print versions. I get splitting headaches if I spend more than a few minutes reading off any sort of screen (for some reason I'm OK with Word documents - just PDFs and e-books I've found impossible),
Have you tried black-and-white e-ink screens yet? The new pearls screens are good. The newest kindle has one, and I think Sony has it was well. You shouldn't experience any problems with them (at least, no-more-so than with physical books).
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