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Author Topic: Openness of Comic Books  (Read 2641 times)

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Offline John C

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Openness of Comic Books
« on: April 02, 2010, 04:44:06 PM »
Cory Doctorow is ranting about the iPad (because it apparently isn't getting enough coverage today), but look at his very first example.  The idea that Marvel's digital comics aren't something you can own or share, and they consider it an enhancement.

http://www.boingboing.net/2010/04/02/why-i-wont-buy-an-ipad-and-think-you-shouldnt-either.html

It's a nice little reminder that sites like this do it right.  The comic you download lives on your machine and you can do whatever you want with it from there.

(While I kinda-sorta agree with most of the rest of what he says, it's not really relevant here, and I think it's misapplied to Apple, which hermetically seals the boxes because it's makes the case look cool, not because they don't trust the user.  I mean, they don't trust the user, but that's not why they do it...)

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Openness of Comic Books
« on: April 02, 2010, 04:44:06 PM »

Offline dlg87020

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Re: Openness of Comic Books
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2010, 05:19:31 PM »
Digital distribution of comics makes me a little nervous, too. But its not just comics, its video games, books, and music.
 It seems to me that the digital restrictions on sharing media is just greedy B.S.
If people really want to share digital  media, they'll do it, legal or not.
Library's have never hurt book sales.
Lately movie production companies have been complaining that video rentals hurt their sales, but video rental places have been open for years, and its just now that companies are complaining.
 I've heard people say that the ipad is the future of digital comics. If, in the future, you have to buy a five or six hundred dollar device to read comics, and than not even be able to share those comics, then the future looks pretty bleak to me.

Offline Yoc

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Re: Openness of Comic Books
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2010, 01:15:23 AM »
Bottom line can we read the scans shared on DCM using an iPad???
I've been screaming to the heavens for a device something like this but if wont let me read my scans.... first I'll cry and then I wont buy one.  Maybe a knock-off down the road would do what we want if the iPad wont?

Offline Astaldo711

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Re: Openness of Comic Books
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2010, 06:22:36 AM »
Next thing you know you'll be in trouble if you read a comic over someone's shoulder without paying a fee.
"I'm the Holiday Armadillo, your part Jewish friend!"

Offline narfstar

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Re: Openness of Comic Books
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2010, 06:39:02 AM »
I am anxiously awaiting the new Lenovia with removable monitor. A large independant ipad with your laptop. I want one and I want it NOW :D

Offline Astaldo711

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Re: Openness of Comic Books
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2010, 06:48:34 AM »
I'd love to have something transportable to read my comics on. You have NO IDEA what a hassle it is to drag my computer into the bathroom, get it all set up, get the plugs all up and running only to have the wife or daughter bang on the door "you done in there?!?"
"I'm the Holiday Armadillo, your part Jewish friend!"

Offline bchat

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Re: Openness of Comic Books
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2010, 07:24:37 AM »
Lately movie production companies have been complaining that video rentals hurt their sales, but video rental places have been open for years, and its just now that companies are complaining.

Did anyone tell the production companies that the economy isn't doing well?  I seriously doubt someone that's lost their job, had their hours cut-back or is making less than they did at a previous job is going to choose buying several DVDs over paying their rent/mortgage or buying some food.  It's not that people aren't spending money at all, it's just that they get smarter with their money when they have less of it to throw away.

I don't think video rentals is the real problem, anyway ... it's all the tv shows on DVD that come-out cheap (such as twin-packs for about $20) that's the real competition for consumers' money.

Offline John C

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Re: Openness of Comic Books
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2010, 08:15:20 AM »
Using the iPad to read CBR/CBZs?  I don't know enough about it, but I'm going to guess not directly.  I really doubt "there's an app for that," given the entry barriers.  I also don't know what the "disk space" is like.

However, there's an obvious workaround:  Unzip and upload the images to Flickr or a similar "cloud" service, and use the web browser.  Which means sort of closing your own open content for the purpose...

I'll repeat my usual comment, though:  The absolute best device I've found for reading comics is the XO Laptop from the One Laptop per Child organization.  The screen's a bit on the small side, but certainly big enough for most reading, and the image rotates into nearly proper page dimensions for a Golden Age comic.  It weighs about three pounds, which is heavy, but the extra plastic makes it pretty near indestructable.  And the screen does backlit color AND has a reflective mode (like an old calculator LCD panel) that's super-sharp.  Seriously, just the fact that it's readable in sunlight made it worth the money.  Sit in the park and read comics on a sunny day without worrying about glare?  Sure!

It's NOT a complete solution out of the box, though.  Until recently, there wasn't a formal program to integrate in that'd handle the files (and "View Slides" seems to only work with zip/cbz files, from what I read--I haven't tested it), which means farting around on the command line to make things work, albeit with great instructions on the OLPC News forum.  It also can't access Windows shared folders do to an Intellectual Property issue or external hard drives, so you need another route to grab the books (like downloading them or putting them on a USB "stick").

Plus, it's a laptop.  When I had two computers die on me at around the same time, all I needed was an OpenOffice installed to a USB drive, and I was able to work entirely from that machine for about three weeks. That's including software development (on a remote machine, of course) and preparing lecture notes.

And to answer bchat's question, the studios were expecting to do better in a down economy, because their model is that poor people spend on entertainment before meeting expenses.  They assumed that people who grew up "middle class" would fit the "poor" model, whereas middle class folks are instead more likely to panic and tighten their purse strings.

They also neglected to account for the fact that they're simply producing crap that nobody cares about and hoping that "star power" can save everything.  Probably the fact that television can now get the same sorts of results for a fraction of the cost has eluded them, too.  Why would I go see a generic action movie in the theater or on DVD when, say, the Human Target turns in a better script, better effects, and much better music every week?  (How I Met Your Mother also hits a lot of the romantic comedy notes better than most movies and still leaves me time to do something else, rather than sucking up two hours.)

Offline narfstar

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Re: Openness of Comic Books
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2010, 11:12:34 AM »
I think the 3D craze is to combat the internet. Give people something that can only be fully appreciated on the big screen. Have to admit it works some with me. The only movies I care to see at the theater are special effects movies 3d or not like 2012 or Avatar. Avatar was a good hour long movie that unfortunately lasted 3 hours. If you look at what "sales" at the theater it is romantic comedies for dates, stupid humor for teens and special effects movies

Offline Poztron

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Re: Openness of Comic Books
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2010, 05:21:07 PM »
Bottom line can we read the scans shared on DCM using an iPad???
I've been screaming to the heavens for a device something like this but if wont let me read my scans.... first I'll cry and then I wont buy one.  Maybe a knock-off down the road would do what we want if the iPad wont?

From the FAQ I read on the iPad (from PCWorld's site, I believe) it sounded like the iPad as currently configured is not going to be a good reader for much of anything that isn't bought through Apple's online store with DRM or uploaded through a convoluted method. It won't read PDFs for one thing. And I'm guessing (though I don't know for sure) that it won't read .cbrs or .cbzs. Whether it would let you read a folder full of jpegs of comic pages in consecutive order is another question mark. Barnes and Noble's ebook reader sounded more promising than this.  :(

Offline Yoc

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Re: Openness of Comic Books
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2010, 07:39:12 PM »
Bummer.
I had thought I'd be able to read them via a wireless router somehow.  I thought there were iPhone apps for cbr/z files already?

-Yoc

Offline John C

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Re: Openness of Comic Books
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2010, 10:51:45 AM »
I think the 3D craze is to combat the internet. Give people something that can only be fully appreciated on the big screen.

Very possibly, though they seem to be expanding to smaller screens as fast as possible.  I think it's more that flatscreen sales have hit a plateau and it's time to sell, sell, sell.

On the other hand, if the result is that Odd Todd gets more work, I guess it's not too bad:

http://www.time.com/time/video/player/0,32068,75184978001_1976624,00.html