Thursday, November 10, 2011

MARVEL to Give Away Free Digital Copy with Each Print Copy of ULTIMATES Line.

Today in The Cube:

Marvel, through an exclusive with Comics Alliance has announced that, starting in January, they will include a code for a free digital copy in each issue if their ULTIMATES line.
*This ends the NEWS portion of this post.*
I'm sorry - digital comics may be the eave of the future, but I'm not for it
Call me a Luddite if you care to, but I've used the Marvel app on my phone to read Comics and, quite frankly, I did not enjoy the experience. It's too automatic and separating from the comic itself and, frankly, feels a little claustrophobic.
Of course, local comic shop (LCS) owners are concerned, and with good reason - digital comics will mean, in the end, the death of the LCS if they truly take off in popularity; if you can just download a comic, why go to the shop?
Marcel's made a number of missteps in the last few years - we'll see if this is the straw that breaks the camel's back.


  1. Really? I'm maybe confused on the apprehension. This seems like a good choice and win for all parties. It seems the publishers have been (rightfully) worried about putting their brick and mortal distributors out of business by pushing digital too heavily so they've generally kept the online cover prices equal to paper cover price. The draw back to this is it doesn't make it particularly enticing for digital adopters to both buying digital. (If I'm still spending $4 why not get a physical object.) It seems to me that if you give people a reason to buy paper and then throw in the digital it rewards me for buying paper and gives me the best of both worlds. I can easily travel with the digital copy or re-read it without worrying about digging through boxes, but still get that real feel the first time I read the issue (or just stash it away for safe keeping).

    My main concern is how they are going to overcome piracy and that they aren't going to effectively make it easy enough for people to steal electronic copies that they won't bother buying either.

    I'm currently on the fence with digital after buying comics for so many years and knowing I'm likely to have a by of a gypsy lifestyle with a wife in academia. I DEFINITELY prefer paper, but I REALLY don't like carrying around hundred of pounds of comics boxes and needing to have space to store them.

    Personally I give them a big thumbs up and wish more publishers (comics and otherwise) would follow this same model.

  2. You make great points - and I can see where digital would be more conducive for traveling, etc.

    My main thing is, at this point, the digital technology is not where it needs to be for the comics industry to really embrace it whole-hog. Piracy, as you point out, is a big concern. And I also think that potentially alienating the comic store base is not a smart move.

    Also, there's something lost in looking at the comics on a screen as opposed to on the page - which I'm sure you'll agree with. The screen is too confining and really limits the ways in which you can see the panels and the art. For me, the art is paramount. If I can't get a good visual handle on it, the comic is useless to me.

    We've already seen the "Digital Wars" started in the flap between DC and Barnes & Noble over digital rights going to the Kindle Fire. I think we've only just started to see the tip of the iceberg.

  3. Agreed. Will be interesting to see where it goes and hope paper stays around for the long run in the meantime!