Do I have a treat for you today. As you know, this year is the 75th anniversary of Superman and Lois Lane. In April I ran a series of posts from some of the creators who wrote Lois to celebrate the character. Brad Ricca is a well known authority on the history of the creation of Superman and Lois and we discussed his doing a guest post for the series. The result is this post which discusses and shows for the first time in many decades some some of the early, non-Superman comics by Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel that led to the creation of Lois Lane.
Brad Ricca (shown below) takes it from here.
So when Sue approached me about writing a guest post for the 75th anniversary of Lois Lane, I jumped at the chance. I love the character, like DC Women Kicking Ass (especially on Twitter), and oh yeah, I have a book coming out called Super Boys (June 4, St. Martin’s Press) that is all about the creation of Superman. But I had one request: I didn’t want to write about Lois.
I woke up this morning to find many messages from readers telling me to check out the Gutters. Today’s comic, written by the always amazing Jill Pantozzi with art by Amy Mebberson, addresses an issue pretty near to my heart. And, of course, the comments have the usual…
Call your legislators to let them know how you feel about their vote on #CISPA! https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=564519693592703&set=a.251867728191236.64940.251838778194131&type=1&theater
With apologies to @ChrisJonesArt…
I created this (with thanks to Witty Comics) for an assignment in my online class about Gender Through Comic Books. I had to post it somewhere for the assignment, so I decided to share it with you. In the process I’ve become kind of fond of Clark Wayne, Office Superhero, so you may see him again sometime.
Join the Justice League to battle the hunger crisis! Contribute and get great DC Comics perks at Indie-Go-Go! http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/dc-entertainment-we-can-be-heroes—4/x/876052
How cool is this? Thrillbent is now allowing their new comics to be embedded in other sites! Take a look at my own favorite — Insufferable!
Promote WeDiCoLu & Digital Comics with this free poster/graphic from Couchguy Digital Comics!
I look forward to WeDiCoLu — Wednesday Digital Comics Lunch — every week! For me it’s a trip to McDonald’s and a relaxing hour away from work. For you, it might be a cup of coffee, a scone, and a friendly bookstore, or a nice noontime break on a busy day home with the kids.
However you celebrate it, spread the good word and let others know that digital comics can improve any Wednesday!
P.S.: There are always tons of back issues to catch up on, so any day can be Wednesday!
At comicbastards.com today, Dustin Cabeal posted an opinion piece titled “How Digital Comics Have Made It Easier For the Pirating of Comics”. Dustin has “discovered” that large format comics reading devices (best example, the iPad, though it works with in-browser readers as well) allow the user to capture a full page at a time as a screen capture. He believes that this is making it very easy for pirate distributors to bind these screen caps together and release them to pirate sites. This, he believes, is undercutting the sale of digital comics.
Dustin’s heart’s in the right place as a fellow lover of the comics medium, but his whole premise is fundamentally flawed. The advent of digital comics sales didn’t enable piracy. Long before digital comics were widely available for sale, pretty much any comic you wanted could be downloaded from pirate sites within hours of the print release. If you wanted a digital file, you could get one, almost immediately, with good fidelity of the art. Releases often were bundled with every alternate cover, and could be obtained from most any purveyor of pirate “warez”. These were provided by people who diligently scanned every comic theyu bought at high resolution and uploaded the result to the pirate sites.
Digital piracy didn’t spring from digital sales. It was already there, and has been for years. The truth is, widespread digital sales thru ComiXology and other sites has much reduced the demand for pirated files by offering an easy, legal alternative to the unauthorized distribution of digital files. Prior to that, the ONLY way to obtain digital comics was through illegal downloads, and everyone who wanted to read comics on the growing number of screens out there had to take pirated files or just do without. Piracy is not (nor could it be) much easier now than before, from the point of view of the downloader. The difference is that you can now get the convenience of digital comics legally.
Dustin implies that this is a “loophole” that all the digital comics formats didn’t see coming. If they had, he says, they would probably have disabled the ability. I doubt any of the publishers “missed” knowing about the ability to screen-capture digital comic pages. They saw no need to call attention to it, certainly, but I am sure they are all smart enough to realize that they were ALREADY having their wares stolen widely. Digital sales makes it possible for them to make an honest buck when before they were getting NOTHING from digital copies.
As legal purchasers of digital comics, the LAST thing we want is the digital distributors to start imposing more stringent forms of Digital Rights Management. The truth is that DRM doesn’t stop piracy at all. All it does is make the lives of legal purchasers more complicated. If the distributors found a way to disable screen capture, it would be one more complication atop the distribution method to potentially go wrong and foul up a legal purchaser. It would also mean it would be harder (but never impossible) to do a screen capture for perfectly legal uses, such as pulling a panel or two to accompany a review. It wouldn’t slow down piracy — because only one smart person has to find a way to defeat the DRM to make the file available everywhere. And, trust me, as the music and movie industries have long known (but still refuse to admit) there is no form of DRM that cannot be beaten. None.
Digital distribution is a huge success and gets more and more important as a market segment every day. It will enable an entire new generation of indy creators to reach a market, and overall improve the comics experience for everyone (even if all you buy is floppies and trades). Piracy is a mere drop in the bucket compared to the money there is to be made from digital comics distribution. The easier it becomes to bjuy comics digitally, the less piracy will matter.
So please, Dustin… let well enough alone.
Guy “Couchguy” McLimore
I stopped by one of my LCS yesterday and the owner was absolutely giddy about the announcement that DC Comics will be doing a digital first comic based on the 1960’s Batman show. He knows it will ultimately bring people who remember the show into his shop even if it is digital first.