You've all heard me bemoaning the lack of any kind of availability of DC's archives in a cheap and friendly digital form. No matter what the drawbacks of Marvel's current formats, they sure as hell beat NOTHING. Which is what DC had.
Well, no more. Earlier this week, Warner Bros Digital Distribution announced this:
Wow. Talk about ridiculously underwhelming.
Instead of giving us what we want--just the comics, man--Warner is going to tart them up with narration and "motion." And charge us $1.99 per issue for the privilege.
No, I'm not making this up.
On the GIT Corp DVD-ROMs, we got 500+ comics for less than 50 bucks. Complete runs of Fantastic Four, Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers, etc.
Even Marvel's forthcoming DVD releases are giving us 50 issues for 50 bucks.
And you can. if you choose, subscribe to Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited online, and for a monthly fee have access to 27,000+ back issues, all you can read.
Again, you can quibble with Marvel's formats. But lordy, DC, you're making them look good. $1.99 per? Downloads for my phone (if I happen to have Verizon with VCast)? Relatively recent releases that almost everyone who cares to already has? With the craptacular "subtle motion" of panning a camera over a panel and using computers to move figures around? With one guy doing ALL of the voices??
Listen carefully, DC (or Warner...DC is mentioned just once in the whole press release!). You have in your possession the largest, most valuable store of comic archives in the world. And you're just sitting on them, releasing them in ridiculous teensy drabs, while Marvel is freaking eating your lunch. You're getting shut out of a growing market, a huge potential source of income, not to mention a way to attract new, younger fans. How many of your readers have never read a Golden Age JSA or Flash story, and don't want to spend $50 on an Archive? You want to attract new Legion readers? Don't just publish another randomly selected "Legion's Greatest Hits" trade...that's not the best way to hook people. They need to follow the month to month relationships and soap operas. Make 'em available on a cheap DVD set.
Use those archives, DC. Get creative. Find a way to use them that Marvel is missing out on. Can you imagine what the readership would be for an online reprinting of all the stories Grant Morrison is referencing in R.I.P. or Final Crisis?? Surely there are lots of innovations, far more creative than this con job you're pulling.
Issue #1 of Watchman "motion comic" is a free download for iTunes for a couple of weeks, so check it out if you're interested. But you won't be impressed.