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Original Marvel Comics Going Online 172

Posted by Zonk
from the pay-up-true-believer dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In a tentative move onto the internet, Marvel is putting some of its older comics online Tuesday, hoping to reintroduce young people to the X-Men and Fantastic Four by showcasing the original issues in which such characters appeared. The publisher is hoping fans will be intrigued enough about the origins of those characters to shell out $9.99 a month, or $4.99 monthly with a year-long commitment. For that price, they'll be able to poke through, say, the first 100 issues of Stan Lee's 1963 creation "Amazing Spider-Man" at their leisure, along with more recent titles like "House of M" and "Young Avengers." Comics can only be viewed in a Web browser, not downloaded, and new issues will only go online at least six months after they first appear in print. Dark Horse Comics now puts its vibrant and large images of 'Dark Horse Presents' up for free viewing on its MySpace site. DC Comics has also put issues up on MySpace, and recently launched the competition-based Zuda Comics, which encourages users to rank each other's work, as a way to tap into the expanding Web comic scene."
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Original Marvel Comics Going Online

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  • by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @01:43PM (#21338467) Homepage
    Marvel is trying to compete with the torrent community in this, since an increasing amount of older comics can now be downloaded through Bittorrent.
  • yeah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thatskinnyguy (1129515) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @01:47PM (#21338533)
    Interesting concept of putting comic books online. But nothing beats having a hard copy. That just takes me back to being a kid and getting excited when a new issue came out.
  • Not gonna happen (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Womens Shoes (1175311) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @01:52PM (#21338617) Homepage
    Look, if they want to promote interest in their current work by getting us hooked on the classics, great. But that's marketing. And they want to charge us for their marketing?

    These things are ancient and should be in the public domain anyways.

    And guess what... if they were, they'd already be promoting more intrest in their current work!
  • by walterbyrd (182728) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @02:19PM (#21339009)
    I don't really care. But, it seems to me that the real money is in the movies.

    If they put up the old comics for free, maybe ad supported, it might generate more interest in the movies.
  • by sootman (158191) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @03:09PM (#21339817) Homepage Journal
    Can you GET THE FUCK OVER YOURSELVES?!?!?

    "...Marvel is putting some of its older comics online Tuesday, hoping to reintroduce young people to the X-Men and Fantastic Four by showcasing the original issues in which such characters appeared... For that price, they'll be able to poke through, say, the first 100 issues of Stan Lee's 1963 creation "Amazing Spider-Man" at their leisure... Comics can only be viewed in a Web browser, not downloaded..."

    So: the shit is forty-four years old. What's the big fucking deal if people print it? Or download them so they can read them while on a flight? You don't have to give up your copyrights. It's not like you're releasing the characters into the public domain and all of a sudden you'll see stickers on the backs of Chevy pickups depicting Spider-Man pissing on a Ford logo. (Not that copyright laws have prevented Bill Watterson's 'Calvin' from being abused as such anyway.) You're not making it available to all to print infinite copies--just your typical "personal use" type of thing. And what if people do start printing them, binding them, and selling them? Guess what: that means there's a market, shitheads! Print NICE collections at REASONABLE prices and watch them fly out the door.

    I can only assume that Stan Lee and the others learned a lot about their craft by a) reading old stories and myths and b) looking at old art. What if the complete works of van Gogh, da Vinci, Homer,* Shakespeare, and all the rest were under such draconian control? Would you even be an artist if Sonny Bono had been alive in 1000 BC? Why even charge at all, you hypocritical fucks? You've already made some money once. Releasing them for free might actually grow the comic audience. That would inspire some new fans (and probably some new artists.) Rather than always trying to get a bigger slice of the pie, why don't you try to make the whole pie bigger?

    "The publisher is hoping fans will be intrigued enough about the origins of those characters to shell out $9.99 a month, or $4.99 monthly with a year-long commitment."

    Consider the other angles. I am not a huge comic fan. But, it's a big part of our culture and yes, I would kind of like to see how Spidey, the X-Men, and all the rest came about. If I did, maybe I'd become a fan and start buying the current stuff. But I do not care enough to pay and jump through a lot of hoops. So I'll continue to be the non-comic-buyer that I am.

    It's a very simple question: do you want to a) gain new fans or b) milk your existintg fan base? I think we all know the answer. Probably because that's an easier sell to the bean-counters: rather than possibly making a huge pile of money by exponentially increasing the market, they'd rather just have a smaller but predictable amount--"Lucas has shown us the way. X% of existing comic buyers will pay $Y per month for whatever we shove down their throats. That will net us $Z in 2008."

    Also: "can only be viewed in a Web browser, not downloaded"? I guess these douchebags never heard of screenshots, either.

    * no, not Simpson, I mean the old Greek guy.

    PS: sorry for all the swearing, but this stuff really, really, really pisses me off.
  • Re:No downloading? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @03:17PM (#21339947)
    Or download the torrent (or get a copy from one of the tens of thousands who has).

    I was almost done with Judge Dredd complete run with Demonoid went down.

    Why mess with a page at a time when you can get gigabytes.

    The media companies are overpricing this service.

    They need to charge a low price for "any time, reliable" download access.

    $9.99 for that amount of content is a joke.

    It reminds me of when I used to work in long distance billing software.

    Cost of the call... $.011 cents
    Cost of billing the call $3.75

    Same thing here-- the cost of simply putting the content up on a server is probably under $1000 and any money above bandwidth costs would be pure profit. However, the effort of surrounding it with DRM probably cost $100k in analysis, salaries, extra DRM servers, licenses, etc.

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