"If we can't learn to live together, we're gonna die alone"

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Digital Distribution

I've discovered something useful on the internet. That doesn't happen every day. As a recovering comicbook collector (now reformed and self-labeled "reader") every day in modern pop culture can be a battle. For users, its harder and harder these days to find a reliable dealer. True comic book stores are hard to come by these days. And the fact is that its an expensive habit. Keeping up with your favorite heroes (or anti-heroes for that matter) is daunting task in an era where the death of Peter Parker in the Ultimate universe mirrors the continued existence of Spider-Man in original form. The newest Spider Hero is a multicultural icon, half black and half Puerto Rican. But it can leave you needing an advance on your student loans to grab all 5 books in the original Marvel Universe as well as the Ultimate Universe. I don't even wanna get started with the X-Men. The current storyline is one I've been waiting for since I was 12 reading collected trade paper backs from the Golden era of X-Men tales (Chris Claremont, credited for more than 200 issues of Uncanny and setting the general tone of X-Men up to and including the box office-shattering movies, was the best writing influence on comics through the 80's and into the 90's). SCHISM pits the ideals and leadership qualities of the Cylcops against Wolverine for the direction and strategies of the team into the forseeable future.

Anyways, I don't have the money to buy all these books. I'm saving up to possibly get into a mortgage and the general pace of life leaves little room (physical, to store in my house, and conceptually, for my gf to understand) for the amount of comics I would like to buy every week... So They found a better way.

I've been reading tons of free selections from Marvel's On-Line distribution library and discovered that for access to the entire 15,000+ library I need only pony up 5.99 a month. Marvel's even all caught up with iPhone/Pad apps for anytime/anywhere consumption. Dark Horse Comics' On-line distribution setup similarly awesome. Most books are 1.99 but they sell bundles of complete storyarcs mostly for 4 or 5.99. Since Dark Horse's bread and butter is licensing, the flagship titles most notably being the entire line of Star Wars comics, it goes without saying that there is a ton of material there that I would never go searching for in stores. The online services are changing all that.

I encourage people to check out these libraries. There is so much awesome stuff to look for. If you just wanna go searching for X-Men storyarcs from the 80's (Phoenix Saga), 90's (X-Tinction Agenda, Age of Apocalypse) or straight Wolverine gigs (First Class, etc) you can stick with that. But like I said, Marvel offers a monthly or full year subscription service and its just letting me devour stuff I otherwise wouldn't have the time, money, or honestly general motivation to go after.

Its worth searching the Android or Apple App stores for other comic distro services. They are out there. And in the same way that the internet gave rise to hordes of musicians gaining access to world-class distribution network over night, comic book creators have also established a niche. Yeah, there is plenty of shlock to wade through but there is tons of good free stuff out there...and in the event you discover something truly awesome you can buy, subscribe and support in other ways directly to artists without getting that nerd-stench of old french fries and mom-basement that hangs in the air at your local establishments- assuming there still is a comic book store within 30 miles of where you live.

So take some inpiration from that, and then take an afternoon off and get a hold of 5-10 X-Men issues or Hellboy or Buffy comics or whatever floats your boat. You'll be way glad you did. In the mean time I'm gonna keep scheming on how to go about creating a retail outlet for pop and comic book art that doesn't strictly attract magic card and miniature game-players. This shit is still cool. In many ways now more than ever. Just check box office returns. Comic books are not leaving. They're just evolving..

Visit Dark Horse online....https://digital.darkhorse.com/
Visit Marvel online....http://marvel.com/digital_comics


Most of the Science Fiction Vehicles in the known multiverse TO RELATIVE SCALE

PANDORA's BOX - Some of what I'm Listening to..

Showing some of my most recent Pandora Station Selections. If you want a serious 90's hip-hop "fire-and-forget" party mix, I always recommend "Black Sheep Radio"