Downloading comics

Hmmm, time to get controversial I guess. I don't know, I know a lot of people who download stuff, and while I don't know anyone personally who downloads comics, I can't say I am against the idea. Yes, I agree that it is stealing, but I think it does some good, too. For example, I don't have a comic store in my town, so if I want to read comics on a weekly basis, I either have to mail-order them, wait until I go to a larger centre or I could download them. Well, the technology is there, right? Morally and ethically, it might be wrong, but to keep up with all of the storylines going on out in the world, I guess that's one way to do it. It could be a good way to keep up on "current events" of the comic world, and to preview material that, if you only read collections, like I do, you might want to pick up once it's collected.

Furthermore, I think the majority of stuff that gets downloaded wouldn't have been purchased by those downloaders anyway. I'll cop to having watched a lot of downloaded television and movies, and most of it I still would never have bothered to buy if I hadn't had the opportunity to download it. I just plain wouldn't have watched it. Of course, there are movies that I WOULD have bought, and so far haven't, but I keep a list of ones I'd love to have, eventually. Being in school right now, money is a bit tight, so I'm waiting to pick up a copy of that DARK KNIGHT DVD, you know? I do want it though, and that hasn't been dulled by having seen a ripped copy. The stuff I've seen that's been downloaded doesn't come with any special features or anything, so you know...

None of that makes it right, of course, but hopefully there will be a brighter future to all of this. Maybe these new trends will really make the companies sit up and take notice, and offer digital versions of their stuff, in a format that everyone wants. Also, maybe this will work as word of mouth and people will pick up on stuff that's available for free and buy it once they see a print version. The distribution system in comics is probably at odds with this idea, though, but we'll see. I think Warren Ellis is doing alright with Freakangels, but then again, he's Warren Ellis.

I don't know, it's a sticky situation. On the one hand, I understand the idea behind wanting to make money off your Intellectual Property - so do I. On the other, realistically, Downloading isn't going away, and maybe it's time to stop swimming upstream and try to see what opportunities it presents. Some food for thought I guess. What do you think?

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