Monday, March 29, 2010

Comic books

Mauricio, a person whom I've worked with over the past three years, illustrates his own comic books. There are only a handful of people in the office who have an appreciation for this medium but it has been quite unanimous how we look at Marvel's decision on producing comic books for the Apple iPad. Some insights:

  1. Comics will not require paper; thus the sale of a comic will not require such a drastic overhead.
  2. Marvel is cutting out the middle-men. When you buy comics, you are buying directly from Marvel/Apple.
  3. Digital copies hold no value.
  4. Comic book stores who hold tonnes of back-issues will cease to exist. Why would they be around when Marvel can sell you a digital print?
  5. Comic books will cost more. Yes, more. Graphic novels were the comic industry's way of creating books with their comics. With the iPad, there is no need. You won't have the ability to purchase a graphic novel, you'll simply need to purchase each and every individual comic.
  6. Those who "collect" comics will cease. As stated above, digital copies will rule and if so, what value is there for comics if a digital copy is always available?

The first issue of Batman or Superman will always retain some sort of monetary value, but this is only true for this generation. The next generation of kids will become exposed to a world where consumable media is disposable. There is no value in collecting digital copies. How we value and commoditize comics will change in the next few years and I will state the obvious: local comic stores will start shutting down because of it.

This is a perfect example of business disruption; those who don't maintain an understanding of where technology is headed will be in for a shocking realization when their business strategy suddenly becomes obsolete.

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