Digital comics: The cure for recession woes?

Brandon Thomas hates reading comics on his computer screen, but that doesn’t mean it’s not inevitable. This column sounds like it would be flamebait, but it’s really not; he takes a good hard look at the industry as a whole and concludes that while digital distribution is part of the solution, it’s only a part. The bigger issue is that people are reading the same old comics with the same old licensed characters, and one way to get them to read something new is to lower the price barrier.

On the other hand, digital comics are not immune from the recession: The Beat reports that layoffs at MySpace include Sam Humphries, who ran the comics features. We here at Digital Strips have been quick to criticize MySpace as a webcomics interface, but the fact is that it brought more eyeballs to comics, and that’s a good thing. Best of luck to Mr. Humphries, and we hope that MySpace Comics sticks with us for a while. EDIT: And it looks like it will!

The biggest publisher in Japan, Kodansha, is launching a new manga simultaneously online and in print; they are even allowing bloggers to republish the comic Misako-San under a Creative Commons license.

Related: This post at Oz and Ends discusses why people don’t enjoy reading from a screen, and there are links for those who want to dig deeper. If nothing else, this seems like an excellent argument against blinking banner ads.

At Fleen, Gary Tyrrell discusses the use of AssetBar to bring in a few bucks.

Microsoft gets in on the act (natch!) with their Infinite Canvas reader.

At Blog@Newsarama, Sarah Jaffe talks to Josh Neufeld about A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge.

Mike Dawson talks to Tim O’Shea about his print and web work at Robot6.

Xaviar Xerxes interviews Grant Thomas, creator of My Life in Records and Graphic Poems, about process and creativity at Comix Talk.

Go for it: The Comicbook Artists Guild is expanding their awards, and one of the new categories is Best Web-Comic.

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