Link: The iPad Could Revolutionize the Comic Book Biz—or Destroy It

Over at Wired.com they have an in depth look at the state of comics and the effect that sales on the iPad and similar could have on it:

In fact, the Big Two have been going far out of their way to keep physical retailers happy as they expand into digital. Even when newly published comic books are available digitally, they generally cost as much as their analog counterparts. ComiXology’s apps even include a Buy In Print function that directs users toward the nearest comic book store. So why don’t comics publishers just cut out the physical middleman, shift to higher-profit-margin digital for everything, and rake in the dough? Not so fast, Quicksilver. Local stores—and their devotees—drive not just the industry’s steadiest profits but its development of new material. If more than the tiniest fraction of that fragile market gets cannibalized by digital sales, then those stores will start folding. If that happens, the majority of print readers who don’t have fancy tablets will have nothing to buy on Wednesdays anymore. And if digital sales alone aren’t enough to cover writers’ and artists’ fees and publication costs and underpin a marketing apparatus, the entire structure will blow up like Krypton. So it may sound like a counterintuitive move, but the industry can’t afford to alienate its analog retailers. “If you undermine and disrupt the industry in a big way immediately, that’s it,” Steinberger says. “It’s over before digital even gets started.”

Read the rest here


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