just posted that Marvel is planning to launch an online comics service later this week that would feature over 2500 comics, new and old with Young Avengers
, House of M
and early era Amazing Spider-Man
listed as some examples.
The catch? $9.99 per MONTH
. $4.99 per month if you buy an annual subscription. Also, you don't own the digital copy. It's like Napster where you can read them online only as long as you have a subscription.
I wrote my thoughts on my blog
already, but to reiterate, I think its a stupid move on Marvels part and could end online comics before they start. I cant think of anyone that would want to be forced to read comics online, most likely using a proprietary browser, and not be given a digital copy for themselves. I expetected 99 cents per issue, $4.99 per trade or 6 pack of comics that would be viewable with any image viewing software, like CDisplay or even the Windows Image Viewer.
I would be willing to shell out money for hard to get or expensive comics in a digital format to hold me over until a trade is ever released or even to give random series that I wouldnt typically consider a try, but to pay that much money for literally nothing is sickening.
but for archives, no thanks
But not in the format so far discussed. Hopefully the "true" story that comes out will be better. But I think it's safe to assume that won't be the case.
That said, I would also be far more interested in this as a per-issue purchase like iTunes rather than a subscription model. I hate subscribing to things, and I hate paying for digital content that I only get to use for a limited amount of time.
Ultimately though, I've never found reading digital comics to be anything but extremely painful, I don't know how people put up with constant zooming and dragging etc to actually read them, and I can't picture myself doing so in any kind of volume.
I mean, how many threads do you guys see on "Where do I start reading?" This could be a great measure for Marvel to grab those who want to read, but don't have the energy / money / time to track down all the issues to figure out what the hell is going on and who these heroes are.
New issues don't hit for six months.
I'd be much more interested in seeing a comprehensive archive than new issues to be honest, I love the idea of the Essential Volumes but it's tragic they aren't in colour. If I could get access to all the backissues of the main series that I love reading, right up to 6 months behind current issues, I could definitely get behind that.
I'd still prefer a per-issue cost with discounts for buying them in 6month or yearly packs rather than a subscription service though. I would rather pay the same amount to access less... but not have to read them under a deadline.
Why bother with this? Even if they have higher-quality scans than pirates, the browser and online-only parts of it kill the advantage.
They just need to hire the main pirate organization to do this shit for them. Just email up whoever leads it nowadays and be like "Give us your scans to sell on our website in your format, and we will give you the comics early so you can get them up on Wednesday at midnight." and then let people download them from high speed servers. That's the biggest thing that they could do to make a profit on this. No matter how great the quality is on pirate scans, there isn't some bigass, well-organized website with huge servers that people download comics from. Marvel/DC could provide that, and they'd have a service people would be willing to pay for.
And there's no way DC could provide anything higher-quality than pirate comics, considering all you need is a scanner and photoshop and you can probably replicate the images as they were when they were sent to the printer at Diamond or whoever actually prints the comics. They need to give up on having a higher-tech format, because they can't provide that. Again, what they can provide is the pathway to the digital comic. Bandwidth and ease of use.
Yea, comics aren't as big in the pirate world as movies, music, and TV shows, so they're not that hard to get but it is a bit harder to find where you get them from. Delivery service is the only advantage the companies have, since they can just post them up on a webpage without worrying about it getting sued and shut down.
It's sort of funny...they want to protect sales of paper copies, and they've certainly succeeded at that.
That's like saying Apple shouldn't have bothered with the iTunes store, because people could already pirate music for free... and yet that and other music download services don't exactly seem to be going down the toilet...
I care about the industry but I buy things in trades, not single issues. If there was a way for me to support the industry and read single issues sooner online, followed by buying the trades later, I would be all over that shit. Especially considering I like to wait for the big marvel hardcovers, I can be waiting a year plus for new content!
Don't just write this off because you personally don't see the point in paying for something if you can pirate it for free. Believe it or not there are a lot of people out there who actually prefer to pay for something rather than pirate it assuming the company gives them the choice.
That sounds like it could actually make reading comics digitally a tolerable process, rather than an eye-destroying exercise in zooming, scrolling and dragging pictures files around a screen.
The thing is, with this system you don't even get the comics. This is like if iTunes let you listen to a streaming song online, but didn't let you put it on your iPod or anything. And official music releases are usually of a higher quality than pirate versions, while the online comics I've seen on Marvel's website in the past are just a huge pain to read.
They can't compete with free product when their offering is a pile of dogshit that you have to pay for.
Wow, thanks for that totally unbiased description, it really supports yours argument! Come on, it might not be the ideal proposal but you can hardly call it a "pile of dogshit" if you claim that the product pirates will give you for "free" (read: illegally) are of a quality that match anything that the publisher can hope to provide :roll:
So, if you want to be pedantic, iTunes isn't the perfect analogy (although my point was you're claiming that noone will want this because they can already obtain pirated copies for free, which is total bullshit). Instead, why not visit a website called Gametap. Gee... a monthly $10 fee to play whatever games they offer as much as you like as long as you are subscribed Sound familiar? There are plenty of subscription music services too, I'm just too lazy to look them up.
This is not a new concept, and it's hardly the first industry who wants to put the brakes on piracy while attracting new customers via online channels. It's been managed quite successfully with music and games, so I can totally understand why Marvel want in.
If so, it's on
welp, here's the list. I didn't realize the service was already up. Two issues of Spider-Man 2099. Jeeze. I really wish they had full runs from the get-go. Now it just makes me want to wait until more is out before I subscribe.
If it was me I would either not release a series until the entire thing was ready, or I would make sure the first issues of each series were there and then steadily release them in chronological order. It doesn't make sense to release random issues scattered through a books life.
Still... very interesting if they can work out the kinks. There are a hell of a lot of new and old books I can think of that I wouldn't mind reading, but that either aren't out in trades or I wouldn't go so far as to buy in trades when there is so much other stuff I want.
Also, strangely, I was developing a piece of software called iComic until I realised how stupid it sounded and changed the name of it. I thought this thread was about me for a second there.
Have you tried using Marvel's online comics viewer? I mean, I haven't in maybe a couple years so maybe it's all awesome now, but the last time I did it sucked some serious ass.
EDIT: Looks like it'll be 20 comics a week. So now I'm pretty sure I'll be getting a year's subscription, probably next month.
The thing is, someone already pulled it off perfect, and it's a free, open-source program at that. All they have to do is incorporate it into a web browser so you don't have to install it, and bam, awesome.
The preview comics don't seem so terrible to me, the general idea is one that I've long since decided I'd go for, and the price is right. I'm not really seeing the tragic flaw here. Even the six month turnaround thing doesn't bother me too much.
Yeah, it'd be awesome if they used CDisplay, but I can understand why they won't. This seems more or less to be a Netflix/Napster for comics. $5 a month is really a very, very small dent in my monthly comics budget, and I'd definitely get more utility out of this service than I currently do out of my Netflix account.
I think I'll subscribe to this next week or so. I'm not sure why you guys are pissing all over the service but, hey, whatever. I'll still want to buy the TPBs of a lot of stuff (probably not as much, though) but this will help me weed out the utter crap before hand. I'm all about this service but only because the smart panel works so well when zoomed in.
oh snap, this could be amazing on my 40" TV. Now I just need a bigger monitor at work.
Can you print out the digital comics yourself?
Doubtful, although it's probably a matter of time before someone works out how to grab the comics off the website and view them offline.
doom the fuck tree
Thats what I'm saying. Or on an iPod or something.