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Watch: ComiCenter #1 with Mark Waid and Andy Khouri


It’s a newish comics chat show, set at Brave New World in Santa Clarita with hosts Bryan J Daggett and Atom! Freeman with guests Mark Waid and Andy Khouri, this time out talking about digital comics. The show airs live Tuesday at 7 pm on Justin.tv’s Geekweek channel, or on YouTube right this very minute. We’d definitely spend an hour listening to this crew.

  1. I found this to be a pretty good discussion.

    Mark Waid, especially, came across very well.

    But I must admit to be irritated with some of the logic behind one point made by Freeman, (I think):
    that comic companies need to maintain a high ($3.99) price point for digital comics until they start to sell really well, and THEN they can lower the price. huh??

    The logic behind that and a few other statements seemed to reflect a “charge as much money for digital as the market will bear” attitude, which is disappointing.

    I think you need to lower the barriers to entry for the early adopters of digital comics: ‘buying’ a digital comic must be perceived as quick, easy, and a good value for the dollar.

    Don’t overcharge the customer early on and then wonder why digital is not catching on.

  2. Al,
    I believe you missed my point. My point was that digital comics haven’t caught on, not because of the nasty old retailers, but because at the moment, there isn’t a large enough marketplace to support the kind of discounted price you’re talking about.

    Just as the digital music market needed mp3 players to catch on, digital comics will need the best platform for them (the tablet) to reach a saturation point.

    This doesn’t mean that the digital comics landscape isn’t growing in the meantime, however. And, one could make a solid argument that that growth is tied to the fact that the tablets are selling quickly as well.

    Either way, though, thanks for watching!

  3. Atom!, thanks for the comments. I see your point better now, and we will probably continue to agree to disagree. But that’s cool.

    I think that if you want comic readers to migrate toward digital comics, you give them every incentive (low price, efficient purchasing mechanism, they get to keep the digital file, extra content, etc) to migrate. And then promote the heck out of it. You build market share for digital. And it can be a separate market from print.

    I’ve checked out the digital sites of the major publishers. At the moment, I feel as if the digital version is still only a rental or a lease of a comic, not a comic that I actually own.

    I realize that there are reasons why the publishers are not selling pdfs of comics, but the fact remains that music publishers will sell me an MP3 standalone copy of a song for $1, not just sell me access to a streaming rental of the song.

    I’m looking forward to catching future GeekWeek episodes.
    Good luck!

    It will be fasicnat

  4. Al-

    Thanks for all the feedback.

    One thing I do think could be addressed here is the idea of file ‘ownership’. Amazon doesn’t believe that you ‘own’ the books on your Kindle. In fact, when it suits them, they will remove those files from your device without your knowledge or consent.

    You’re right about music working different than any other sales medium. I believe that is because the digital revolution got away from them. The idea that digital comics will always be as clumsy as they are now just doesn’t seem likely to me. But, your chances of ‘owning’ anything other than music in the future isn’t likely either. For music, the genie got out of the bottle faster than they could put him back in. Producers, publishers, creators, they are all likely to be more careful how they rub that bottle in the future.

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