sgtrockkubert.jpg^ Douglas Wolk investigates the death of Sgt. Rock as envisioned by Len Wein and Joe Kubert.

§ The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has hired Robert Corn-Revere as its new legal counsel. Their former counsel, Burton Joseph, passed away earlier this year.

§ J. Caleb Mozzocco counts up how may books are coming out from each Marvel and DC franchise this fall and Batman really needs overtime pay, because he’s starring in 12 titles. His FAMILY stars in another 8. The Avengers and the X-Men each star in 11 books over at Marvel.

David Brothers looks at black stereotypes in comics

Who knows, who cares, but a bunch of black dudes with basically the same moral compass is boring.

but even with all that he’s won over by the Jeff Parker Cage.


§ J. Caleb again, with a roundup of reactions to the Aacks falling on the Cathy comic strip. Meanwhile, Shaenon Garrity surveys the Aacks, with fattening pie charts.


§ Richard Bruton has a moment of enlightenment regarding John Porcellino’s ongoing moments of enlightenment:

His style, a construction of the minimal amount of lines required to tell his simple little tales, whether it be recounting childhood anecdotes, meditations on nature, or retelling Buddhist parables is so delicate and simple, but it unfailingly proves to be honest, stark, unforgiving and staggeringly effective, beautiful in it’s intensity and purity of thought and line.

§ Tim Hodler investigates the auteur theory in comics, which obliges him to quote Carl Barks on Kurtzman:

“Krigstein’s comments about space problems in comics were right on the nail. I’m sure the stories he wished to expand from five pages to twelve would have been much more readable done his way. Kurtzman’s problems as a writer and editor were well presented. He would have definite ideas about how his situations should be drawn, and would inevitably clash with artists who saw otherwise. However, as one who did both writing and drawing, I am inclined to side with the artists. It is so easy for writers to fill panels with windy dialogue and descriptive boxes that the Krigsteins are left with no room in which to move their characters’ elbows.”

§ Yawn. Women are still secondary characters in comics.

§ Like many of us — The Beat included! — Johanna feels no moral pangs when downloading stuff she has already paid for:

My husband, an old-school comic fan, is a fanatic for keeping the periodical comics in near-perfect shape. Me, I’m not quite so careful with them (since for me, they’re to be read and probably forgotten before the next chapter comes out). My graphic novels are sturdier and hold up better to sloppy handling. So to keep the peace, and avoid having an unhappy husband, I’m contemplating downloading versions of the comics we have already bought. That way, KC has the paper objects, and I have versions to read without worrying about what condition they’re in or if I’m stacking them too high or piling things on top of them. Plus, I can take comic books with me while traveling, something I’d otherwise never do with individual issues. (I read them too quickly to justify the space in packing them.)


  1. Regarding the statement that downloading a digital version of a printed comic you already paid for: I’m just playing devil’s advocate here, but isn’t what you paid for the printed version? You didn’t pay for the digital version. If you want a digital version, you could scan the printed version you bought for your own use, just as you might buy a CD then copy the songs to your iPod. But if you don’t want to take the effort to rip the CD then you’d have to pay to download the MP3s. So if you don’t want to take the effort to scan the comics you bought, shouldn’t you have to pay for a digital version?

  2. @John Green

    Also playing devil’s advocate, but if instead of doing it herself, she called up a friend with the same book and got that friend to scan his copy for her and send her the scan, would that be OK?

  3. The issue for many is that while you are downloading it or have it in your share, someone who *does not* own a copy is uploading it from you.

    “Also playing devil’s advocate, but if instead of doing it herself, she called up a friend with the same book and got that friend to scan his copy for her and send her the scan, would that be OK?”

    If they both own it and they aren’t sharing it with someone who doesn’t own it, what’s the problem?

  4. I’m with Charles Knight. I could just read a copy of any given book at the store – but then I wouldn’t be able to talk with my customers. If, instead, I download and read before going to the store, nobody can argue that I didn’t buy a whole bunch of copies of that book. I need to read a lot of material to stay current so that I can talk knowledgeably with my customers. I could lug the printed copies around with me, but I don’t really see why. If someone else has scanned the comic and wishes to share it, I’m happy to be able to get it quickly, read it, and then dump the file. I’m not selling the file, I’m not sharing it with anyone else. I’m just reading it. I don’t feel at all guilty about that.

  5. It’s also worth noting that you have never had to share what you download, and there are several viable alternatives to bit torrent. If you want to download every comic you buy every week without actually sharing with anyone else, you absolutely can.

    Personally, I see it as purchasing content. I bought the comic and don’t feel guilty about grabbing the scan. In cases where there are clear benefits to one format or another (DVD vs Blu-ray, mp3s vs I dunno, vinyl, I guess), it’s a little different, but I feel like a comic is a comic, whether print or pdf or cbr.

  6. No one’s arguing that a comic is not a comic if it’s printed or digital.

    The argument is if you’ve paid for content once in one format, should you get it for free in other formats.

    I paid for this MoMA Van Gogh postcard, so I should get the poster for free. Same content, right?

    I bought this game for Xbox and can only play it online with my friends who have Xbox’s. But since the content is the same, I should get the PS3 version so I can play it with my friends who have PS3’s.

    I paid to see a movie in a theater, so I should get it on home video for free.

    Oh, but one could say what I paid for at the theater was the experience of seeing it on a big screen, with an audience, etc.

    So how is paying for that experience, in addition to paying for the content, any different that the inherent differences of experiencing a comic in printed form vs. experiencing viewing it on a screen?

    I certainly agree that it’s unfair to have to pay for the same thing twice. But I find it unfortunate that many people can’t acknowledge that you’re not actually getting the same thing.

    And even if you were getting the same thing, there are already scenarios where that’s the norm. I paid to see a movie in a theater, I shouldn’t have to pay for it to see it in the theater again.

    I just think people need to acknowledge that they are getting something different, a different experience, a different convenience, or some other benefit, to having a digital version of a comic.

    If you paid for an e-book do you expect the publisher to give you the printed version for free?

    If publishers want to include digital versions with printed versions, that’s fine and great. But people should know that they are NOT the same thing. For free or paid, something digital IS DIFFERENT than something physical.

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