Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Economy Sad Bear: The There's No Crying In Comics Edition

"Anonymous" has choice words for those complaining about Diamond's new policies:

"Quit complaining, grow and evolve, or shut the hell up and go away."


I'm only really following this WOWIO thing because I had considered publishing my memoirs through them and boy I would have been cheesed off now.

Did you know that it would be cheaper for The New York Times to just give their subscribers Kindles than to keep publishing the print edition of the paper?

I still occasionally buy and enjoy the print edition of NYT. But it's not a habit nor is it a necessity -- it's more of a "treat," usually spurred on by long train rides.

Of course, it must be asked -- is this ascendancy of digital over paper necessarily a development in the same league as the economy failing, etc.? Were things going to go down this road anyway as new technologies developed? Is it just a case of really bad timing? Or has the mass exodus away from paper sped up considerably in the face of the recession? In other words: clusterf**k?

On a positive note, Major Spoilers provides promotion tips for the small publisher, referencing chipper Mr. Seth Godin:

"Instead of being pessimistic about business, Seth insists that a different outlook can drastically change the outcome. When my comic shipment didn’t arrive last week as expected, I didn’t curl into a ball, bemoaning the number of readers that would be lost or comics that would not be enjoyed. Instead, I’ve been looking at other sources to see what can be reviewed.

Why can’t this work for the smaller publisher? I’m not a print publisher, and will admit that my knowledge of print schedules, minimum orders, and the like, all comes from my conversations with a good friend who’s been a magazine editor nearly all his life. It seems that instead of worrying about canceling titles that have low order amounts, the smaller publisher should work to increase awareness of its offerings to increase demand, thus meeting Diamond’s new minimum limit."

Of course, now this post has come full circle.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Do you have any tales or news for Economy Sad Bear? Or maybe something inspirational to lift our flagging spirits? Let us know! I'm friggin' serious! I'm looking for s**t to write! Just don't libel nobody.

Palette Cleansers:
Pictures of Cute Animals
Tony Robbins Quotations
Bubblewrap Popping


  1. ...Or has the mass exodus away from paper sped up considerably in the face of the recession?...

    Yes, I would say it's been incredibly sped up. I've been watching this trend for the past 3 years, and I was expecting paper comics to last another 3 years, but things like the surprising rise of netbooks (from 11 million sold last year to projected 35 million next year), rumors of an iTablet device in the Fall and the new policies enacted by Diamond, I see the shift (and general discussion of the shift) accelerating at a crazy pace.

    - Jim

  2. I agree with the "grow and evolve" thing. I'm hoping more comic series will abandon the monthly magazine in favor of more self-contained narratives... in actual book formats. These endless serial narratives where the characters remain essentially in stasis need to end sometime. Life, death, catharsis have all become meaningless in mainstream comics.

    And tradition for tradition's sake is a lousy reason to keep up a lot of tropes and conventions.

  3. The last season of "the Wire" was a really good commentary on newspapers (among other things). Local small city papers around here are mostly AP reprints.

    I get comics from a train/hobby shop and the owner said diamond cut his discount from 40% to 20%. Seriously I think he's still ordering them to be nice.

  4. Plus, I don't know. You can still buy vinyl records. Will paper comics really ever go away?

  5. Anonymous5:28 PM

    The dominance of various formats will change and shift. Some publishers will, are, and have been adapting. Some won't.

    I'll believe the proclamations of a 100% paperless society when it actually happens. But if digital technology is about being global, huge disparities on that level throw but one wrench in those kinds of myopic predictions.

    In comicland, self-contained pamphlets seem to be quite a rarity these days even though, at 3-4 bucks, that would be a strong selling point for some people, myself included. I imagine them being reborn in anthology collections, and they already are, like birds from dinosaurs. But there will still probably be room for a Lost World for the pamphlet format.

    Which is fine because dinosaurs will always be cool.