Comics & the digitisation of content

Comics On the Web

The International Herald Tribune has a fascinating article today about comics and how the web and digitisation is revolutionising the industry. The most interesting section up front is this:

What Rosenberg is calling the “quiet revolution,” the digital impact on previously print-only content, reflects similar pressures on other traditional media. Comic books, which have appealed almost exclusively to children and young adult readers – more likely to be lured to electronic entertainment than their parents’ generation – have been especially hard hit, with sales declining and press runs growing more costly.

Web to Print

But the really interesting stuff comes later on. For instance:

“We are making online our first window,” Rosenberg said. He said that beginning this week, all of Platinum’s comics, including 100 graphic novels and series in production, would be published online at DrunkDuck 2.0 before any are printed. “We want to make a statement that it is safe to do this, that people can do this,” he said.

Some Webcomics that prove they have significant readership could be printed and distributed as traditional comic books as well as be developed into television shows and feature films, he said. Platinum recently announced that it was creating Platinum Studios Mobile, a division that will make sounds and images available for downloading into cellphones for a fee.

I like this concept and it is one that I have discussed before and one which many other have too. (For the best version see Chris Pearson’s post here)

It’s the Econom -ics Stupid!

One of the basic points about web reach though is highlighted too. The idea of reaching a widely dispersed audience as little extra cost:

“With the Net, you can get to a smaller group of people at a larger scale,” said Heiko Ramirez, who produces a popular podcast about Webcomics on the blog Digital Strips, at, where he is editor in chief. He noted that a comic that might find only a handful of readers locally could, with no additional cost, find a readership of 10,000 nationally.

This is something writers should hold in mind and the image below sums it up. The image below represents the visitors from across the globe to my blog. And believe me I don’t advertise other than to my friends who no doubt are sick of it. If something as measly and unexciting as the future of publishing can draw this type of audience from across the globe then think of the possibilities for much more exciting blogs, sites and stories.

Lets wrap it up

Overall a very good piece from an arena of publishing I know little about. Worth reading and visiting some of the sites. There is a nice finishing up quote too:

One development, called “infinite canvas,” permits some comic book creators to do away with the notion of pages. Nonetheless, “print will never go away,” he added. “People like to own what they love.”

Aint that the truth

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