20071117
An update on the squential art industry.
Jim Lee doesn't post as much as I would like on his studio's blog, gelatometti (that should remain the case since he's so late with his books), but when he does log an entry, it's golden. The following post has a number of videos following Jim around the Wildstorm studios recorded by Gametap. Showing some scruff there Jim.

Touched on the comic industry a few posts ago when I spoke with Whilce Portacio at Harvard. If you read that post, then you'll know the industry isn't doing that well. There are just too many other mediums competing for our attention and even with great storytelling and art (collectively at a much higher quality compared with the 90s) the industry is just holding onto a small share in a crowded space.

With that in mind, I was under the impression Marvel was just using its IP to generate revenue through licensing (and more recently in house movies via Marvel Studios). Comics were a loss-leader. Guess that won't be the case anymore, Marvel is finally moving into the digital age. Years after Stan Lee failed with Stan Lee Media and long after the colorists and letters have jumped into the digital realm, the publishers are finally moving their product online starting with Marvel's Digital Comics Unlimited. All the insightful comments have been stated by those in the industry so I have nothing new to add. It sounds like a great deal, they just have to make it engaging enough for me to read an issue here and there, enough to warrant a one year subscription. The fact that I can't read it on the go sucks though... we really need those e-readers to go full color.

This won't replace DCP (Digital Comics Preservation) anytime soon. I guess this is the part where I give my thanks to DCP. I hardly buy comics anymore, midway through high school I would buy my weekly Wednesday stack and they would just sit there, it would take me almost six months just to get to them. By college I didn't have any time to collect them so I canceled my subscriptions. It wasn't until Jim Lee started drawing again in 2003 (Batman Hush #608) that I started up. Actually I didn't hear about it until the 4th or 5th issue in the series so when I went to the local shop on Craig Street in Oakland, Pittsburgh I had to retroactively purchase the prior issues. Even now, I stopped downloading the new releases because I haven't had the time to sit down and read all the books I've downloaded. So much to do, so little time.

HeavyInk might be the thing to get me to buy comics again, it's so simple, every month the issues I request gets mailed to me at a 20% discount and with free shipping. HeavyInk is also trying to be more than an online retailer, they are going to take full advantage of what the web has to offer and really build an online community around the store. Not that big of a deal but something to really set this store apart from all the other online comic retailers.

Elsewhere in the industry, Frank Miller is directing The Spirit movie! EGADS Brain! Don't know if there is anything to say except that it's going to be AWESOME. This might baffle the Will Eisner fans, but I'm more excited about this project because of Miller's involvement than the subject matter itself. I understand Eisner's contributions to the industry but The Spirit was before my time so I never really got into it or grew up with it. Take a look at the cast, quality written all over!

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