September 2010

House of Idea to SMASH Piracy

Hulk Smashes Abomination

It seems that Marvel is now taking an active role in shutting down pirate comic websites. Rumor has it that Marvel execs paid a visit to Google headquarters to ask them to block links to pirated comic books. Google reportedly denied the request forcing Marvel to seek out the pirate sites and issue Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices themselves. The first site to go down was Comics Invasion, hosted on Blogspot which is owned by Google. Word has it that Marvel is now looking for similar sites to issue the DMCA notices.

The timing of this is especially interesting in light of Mark Waid’s recent words on copyright, piracy, and making the moneys.

Unfortunately for Marvel, this is an uphill battle that will probably cost a great deal of time and energy that could probably better be spent on figuring out how to revitalize the comics market.

Marvel will claim that piracy hurts their business which is certainly true. But it’s the high price of their single issues that motivates their otherwise paying customers to seek out pirated issues. $4 for a single issue that is dependent upon three other issues for anything of substance to occur plot-wise is not a sustainable practice, at least if you intend on selling single issues. $4 for a special 32 page one shot, maybe. But the $4 floppy is not an attractive price point for potential or legacy readers. Since “decompressed” storytelling has encouraged more and more comic fans to wait for the trade, why not just abandon the floppies altogether and just put out trades?

To revitalize the industry, Marvel needs to attract new readers. Single issues won’t cut it. You can no longer get a full story in one single comic. And since the trades have entire story arcs, they have the best chance at landing new readers. That’s why the manga was doing so well with young readers. For ten bucks and a couple hundred pages, you get an entire story.

Some think that comic apps will save the industry. I have no doubt that buying comics on the iPad is wicked easy and convenient. I’m certainly happy to see Marvel, DC, and the other comic companies putting their works on the iPad and similar devices. But until they become as ubiquitous as smart phones, I don’t think it’s terribly wise to rely on apps to save anything.

Marvel will never fully stamp out comic piracy, but they can do a lot to mitigate the practice. I think focusing more on trades than floppies would go a long way to attract new readers.

Source: Bleeding Cool

I Was Quoted For Ad Copy For Skullkickers! No Good Can Come From This…

Skullkickers Quote

Holy crapola! You may recall a comic called Skullkickers written by my UDON noodle friend Jim Zubkavich. You may also recall that I thought it was a fucking brilliant name for a comic. Somehow, my profanity laced post was quoted for an official Image comics preview ad for Skullkickers which is this mind blowing crazy awesomeness thing that is making my brain meats explode.

Skullkickers should be in stores now, at least the stores that are worth going to. And if it’s not there, it’s because many people bought them. So tell your local store to order more because Skullkickers is fucking rad!

Source: Skullkickers

James J. Lee, the Interwebs, and the Erosion Personal Responsibility

A good friend of mine works at the Discovery Channel in Silver Spring. As soon as I heard news that gun wielding James J. Lee entered the Discovery building with bombs strapped to his body, I freaked the fuck out and called her. Fortunately, she was safely evacuated along with the majority of the employees. Only three were actually taken hostage and they made it out safe and sound after Lee was shot dead.

As more details emerged about James J. Lee, the internet exploded with liberals and conservatives blaming each other’s “extreme” philosophies as the motivating force behind his act of violence. Gun laws this. Tree-hugging radical that. Maybe he’s a Muslim. Maybe he follow some radical Asian religion. All this hateful, pedantic, straw man back and forth trying to blame the other side completely ignored the simple fact that James J. Lee was bat shit mother fucking crazy. It’s appalling to think that we’re so afraid of personal responsibility these days that we’re more than willing to blame a religion or political affiliation for the acts of a crazy man rather than the crazy man himself.

James J. Lee might have been a liberal tree-hugger. He may have believed in the living earth, Gaia. He may have listened to the Spice Girls (the Spice album, not that sellout Spiceworld crap). He was also crazy. It’s the crazy that made him do it, not the tree-hugging, not the Jesus, and certainly not the Spice Girls (I have no actual idea if he listened to the Spice Girls. But who knows). He was crazy. His crazy self had a choice to stay home and sit on his ass or strap on a bomb and a gun and go to the Discovery building. He made his choice. He is responsible for his actions. Liberalism isn’t responsible. Mother Gaia isn’t responsible. The Spice Girls aren’t responsible. James J. Lee is responsible.

What happened to personal responsibility? Are we so afraid to take ownership of our own mistakes that we’re readily willing to blame politics for this crazy fucker? If we must restore anything in this country, it’s personal responsibility. You are ultimately responsible for your own actions. You can choose to be influenced by politics or religion or music. But ultimately, it’s your choice, your fault, your responsibility.

James J. Lee should be blamed for his actions. Not politics. Not religion. Not music. Just him.

What Do You Do With Those Leftover Gunpla Sprues? Make a 1.8 Meter Tall Gundam, Of Course!

Spru Gundam

This is quite meta but also quite awesome. AZM Ally deepfreeze sent along photos of a Gundam made entirely out of gunpla sprus, those runner things that are left over once you snip out all the parts to your gundam. The 1.8 meter tall Gundam constructed by modeler Hirotyun was revealed at this year’s Chara Hobby 2010 convention.

It’s just so massively beautiful! They should have sent a poet!

There are some really impressive build-up photos over at Hirotyun’s site and more from the festival from Ngee Khiong.

Source: Ngee Khiong and Hirotyun

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