Letters : Editor : 2009 : To the Editor 13/11/2009

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Date: Nov 13, 2009
Next: To the Editor 07/01/2010
Prev: To the Editor 22/05/2009

From Dave

Nice rave, your Online Comics... The Death of Print?. I can see your point, but I just see this as another sign of the changing times. One day, our grandchildren will see our old print collections and marvel (no pun intended) that we actually had to go to a store and buy our comics. Its just like how my grandparents had no electric power tools or electric cooking instruments. Thats "progress."

Yes... and no.

The problem I face with your argument is that it doesn't entirely recognize that for many people, the "value" of comics is dualistic.

A - The "value" of the contained story.
B - The "value" of the encapsulating physical item.

The relative proportions of A and B are highly subjective, but I think that the average mix of value does follow overall patterns for different object types. For example:

- Video. A is much greater than B. I don't care if I watch a (legal) copy of a video, or the original.

- Music. A is greater than B. Personally I greatly enjoy owning the physical CD for the music I listen to. But I could imagine one day downloading most of my music.

- Books.  B is becoming as significant as A. I love reading physical books. I do not find much pleasure in reading at a computer monitor. I read technical information online, but I would never enjoy read a novel sitting at a computer. The Kindle is nice, but doesn't go anywhere near far enough.

- Comics. B is probably more significant than A. For me the pleasures of "collecting" and "reading" go hand in hand. If the brave new world of entirely online comics ever arrives, well... I'm not entirely sure that it will involve me as an active participant.

- Art. B is entirely fundamental. I don't think we would ever propose that art galleries will move 100% online, that families will sit down with their kids on Sunday afternoon to view a Monet exhibition on their 80 inch plasma, and that rich men in huge houses will download and collect high-resolution digital scans of early Picasso sketches.


From John

In regard to recent review on print vs online, I know that comics in print will never die due to one singular fact. Look at the newspaper. Nowadays any Joe-shmo can log on to msn or yahoo and get all of todays headlines, yet everyday at work i see people walking around with the folded newspaper wrapped in plastic that was delivered to their door that morning. There is somehting about the feel of the item in your hands that makes it yours and no one elses.

Online may be fast and convientient, but you don't own the internet. When you pay your money for that latest issue of Amazing Spider-man, you own that issue. It is your choice if someone else reads it or not. Sure they can buy thier own copy, but they didn't read yours. That is the one reason that online comics, while different and still enjoyable, will never replace Print.

I wish I could agree whole-heartedly with that. Unfortunately, the current sales figures for newspapers are not on our side.

Type in "newspaper sales statistics" into Google and see if you can find any good news. Basically, the numbers are down everywhere. Journalism staff numbers are being cut all over. Advertising sales have collapsed in recent months (mostly due to the recession, but that's part of an ongoing drift down). Newspapers and news magazines are folding quietly all over the place.

I still enjoy a physical paper, and many other still do. But irrefutable statistics suggest that there are plenty of people who no longer bother with print news. Blame ongoing "dumbing down" of society, blame the internet, blame TV... but facts are facts, the future of print news looks grim.

However, my argument is that Comics are fundamentally different from Newspapers, and I really hope I'm right about that.


From Artimid

As far as your rave, I agree almost 100%. While I don't care about newspapers anymore, and most magazines aren't worth their trees, comics I would miss, but...

While the old comics I would like to see in digital format just to see them redone (ONLY if they would redo it) as well as to read some copies that are very hard to find, to me, nowadays, the new comics just aren't worth buying.

The story sometimes isn't that bad, but between the number of pages and often bad art, I just end up feeling ripped off. I started feeling this way when I first realised I was reading the comics in under 2 minutes, and remembering every page and nuance of the story. It just wasn't worth paying several dollars for something that didn't have re-read value, and won't hold up as well as the old comics. Be it the paper, or the printing process, or just the fact that it is so few pages, I found that the new comics of today fall apart easier.

Again, I do agree with your rant, I like owning the books and collecting the books, and I do understand the necessity to not allow you to download it (one person downloads, everyone has) but.... with todays comics, I would rather see if it is possible to pay .30c a copy than $2.50 for a book that took 30 minutes to come up with, and less time to draw on their pc.

The books of 10-20 years ago, I can see passing on to children, but the comic books of today? Can you really imagine sitting with your child and reading a story for a couple of minutes Max, and then being done with a months worth of story? Nah, just not worth the trees anymore. :(

Well, that's the other option I guess... accept that everything is crap, so just haggle down the price to match the quality. But speaking for myself, that's not a road I'm interested in going down.

Like most working folks with kids, my personal relaxation time is a rare and wonderful thing. Life's too short to drink bad wine, too short to sit out a dance on a good song, and way too short to read bad stories - prose or comic book... regardless of the price.


From Edward

i feel the same way...but i always like to take the opposite side in things just to get a different perspective from what i actually think. and i came up with one good thing that can come out of it. Crossovers! with huge crossovers and events like Secret Invasion there were so many tie ins and so many references to other comics that i don't collect, that i was interested. i didn't want to own a Iron Man X- X just to find out what his impact was. that, and i guess it can be a cheaper way to determine if you like a comic or not to determine if you want to collect it. i don't know much about the digital comics...but i guess my two arguments are valid assuming that they upload the comics at least within the week of the release. if they don't and it takes like a month...then...down with digital comics!

Yeah, I guess that's a point. But again, it's ambulance at the bottom of the cliff stuff. The comics aren't good enough, aren't interesting enough, or the market's just too overloaded... so drop the price so people can just browse.

Again, I would much, much rather that the quality was improved and the sprawling overblown cross-overs were reined in. Fix the real problem.


From xman

Who killed spiderman. And who killed the man. From atlantis

Hiya xman from atlantis.

To answer your first question, check out our F.A.Q. Has Spider-Man Ever Died?. As for "who killed the man"? As far as we know, Stan "The Man" Lee is still alive and practicing his lines for upcoming Marvel movie cameos.


From Maclanie

I am a journalist working for french television.

I am coming to New York in a month and I would like to meet Spiderman fans living there. I would like to talk with them about their passion. Maybe you could help me getting in touch with a Spiderman fanclub based in NYC? If you need further information dont't hesitate and contact me.

Sorry, but I'm not aware of any specific New York Spidey fan club. In fact, I'm not really aware of any active Spider-Man fan club at all, at least not in the traditional sense. It seems that online forums and Facebook groups have replaced the "traditional" fan clubs, and are probably even doing a better job of getting fans together from around the world.

Our SpiderFan staff list consists of 30 odd people, many from America (including one or two from around New York), but many also from places such as Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and other non-English language countries including Portugal and the Netherlands.

So, the idea of travelling to New York to find die-hard Spider-Fans is a bit "old school". These days, we Spidey fans are online and international! And if you're passing through New Zealand, I'll buy you a coffee and a pain au chocolat to prove it.

P.S. It never ceases to amaze me how many French speakers also speak such great English.


From LeDebutant (from France)

Greeting, I have a friend who goes gone to Boston is I would like to know what is the comics siperman taken out last so that he buys it from me Thank you.

...and how many don't.

C'mon, LeDebutant, it's just English. It's not that hard. If Americans can make sense in English, surely you can too?


From Kevin

INFORMATION TO NEW YORK CITY PLEASE TO CONTACT WITH STARS FOR ME I AM BIGGEST FAN FOR YOU WE TO SEE THE SHOW OF SPIDER MAN THE ANIMATED SERIES ON FOX KIDS SPECIAL PREVIEWS OF SPIDER MAN WE TO ASK MARVEL FANS OF SPIDER MAN FOR I AM BIGGEST FAN FOR YOU WE TO SEND ME THE LETTERS TO MARVEL COMICS OF SPIDER MAN IN TO THE SHOW SPIDER MAN FROM TO MARVEL IN EUROPE OR NEW YORK CITY WE TO MEET THE STARS FOR ME WE TO SAY HERE IN TOWN FROM TO CALGARY WE TO BAD GUYS ON THE SRTEET OF SPIDER MAN CRIME FROM TO NEW YORK CITY WE TO GET ANOUTHER COMICS FOR ME IS FARWELL TO PETER PARKER IS REAL EVIL EMPIRE OF SPIDER MAN FROM THE SHOW  ON FOX KIDS THE ANIMATED SERIES OF SPIDER MAN 50 THE AMAZING SPIDER MAN NO MORE WE TO GET THE COMICS FOR ME WE TO SEND THE LETTERS TO UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD WE TO SEE THE SHOW OF SPIDER MAN FROM TO TELEVISION SERIES ON FOX KIDS SPECIAL PREVIEWS OF SPIDER MAN WE TO SEND ME THE LETTERS TO MARVEL BLADE THE VAMPIRE HUNTER WE TO SEE MICHALE MORBIUS IS VAMPIRES OF TOMB OF DRACULA WE TO GET MORE COMICS FOR ME WE TO SEE PETER PARKER EMPIRE OF SPIDER MAN WE TO GET THE ANIMATED SERIES ON FOX INTERVIEWS WITH WESLEY SNIPES FOR ME WE TO SEND TO MARVEL OF SPIDER MAN TO MEET MICHALE MORBIUS IS REAL VAMPIRES OF EVIL PLANET ON THE EARTH OF DARK SIDE AND  DARK WORLD OF THE VAMPIRE IN TO THE GRAVE YRAD OF SPIDER MAN TO SEE THE SHOW OF HORROR TELEVISION SERIES WE TO CONTACT WITH ME IS MY NAME IS KEVIN STRILCHUK FROM CALGARY I AM BIGGEST FAN FOR YOU WE TO SEND ME E MAIL TO ME IS

Dammit Kevin, you are NOT helping my argument here.


From SpiderFan1992

Asi como los comics UK y los manga, tambien hubo unos comics que fueron hechos en mexico, y solo fueron publicados ahi, les mandare un link donde pueden encontrar estos comics y sus portadas y cualquier duda que tengan sobre esto, pidiendoles que los publiquen en su sitio ya que son parte de los universos alternos de spiderman: www.spidermex.com.

Hmm... if I'm understanding you correctly, you have recently inherited from your "Uncle Susanna" a worn-out 1972 Spider-Man throw-rug, and you want to know where you can buy replacement tassels for a reasonable price in Switzerland, or perhaps somewhere that will deliver to Switzerland without charging sales tax?


From TKPhoton

Are you guys ever going to do more "Spider-Fun" comics? It's been almost a year since the last one! It seems like with all the BND/later stuff there'd be a lot of stuff to poke fun at. Just kind of seems like a waste (just take this all in the spirit of a compliment it's intended to be).

Hiya TK. You're quite right... it's been over a year now, and that's shameful.

Sadly, my artist friend has kind of dropped off the face of the planet, and I'm certainly no artist! I'll drop her a line and see if she's back in the mood for doing something. You're right, there's plenty of new stuff... though we probably will try and avoid any specific references to Brand New Day... I think that's been well-covered now.


From Axel

I'm a Dutch journalist and i'm writing an article about the Spiderman lizard [Mwanza Flat Headed Agama lizard]. I'm wondering if you've heard anything about it.

I'm looking for a real Spiderman-fan who wants to react on this subject.

A response? Umm... how about "That's a cool lizard."

It does make me wonder how, when Spider-Man gets "lizardified" (as he does from time to time), how come he never turned into a red-and-blue lizard? Well, I guess now we would know what he would look like if he did.



From Zach

Is there ever a Spider-man Convention?(is there one in Sacramento,California?)

There are three Spider-Man conventions. (a) Dress in red-and-blue. (b) Fight crime, bad guys, etc. (c) Generally suffer in your life because of the previous two conventions.

Those are the three basic conventions to follow when being Spider-Man. But I can't really recommend any of them.

P.S. Nah, I don't know of any public get-togethers (or perhaps the plural should be gets-together?) that are specifically related to Spider-Man. However, there are plenty of great comic-book conventions held all over the U.S.A. each year. I'm sure any of those would be pretty entertaining for any Spider-Man fan.