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Screen Gems

I was one of the Luddites.  When the iPad came out, everyone was rushing to digitize comics for the wave of the future and the savior of indie comics.  I poo-poo'ed the idea, seeing as how 1) if The Bigs find out, they'll crowd out the indies, and 2) digital is trendy.  People tend to look at something new and say it's the wave of the future, only to have reality come crashing down around them.  I had already been the digital route with a couple of titles from Hard Way Studios, and trust me, they didn't move like all the optimists felt their comics would move.  I was jaded before the scene even began, so I declined to put Rhapsody and Melody or my other works up for digital.

The DC Roadshow went through Chicago the other day, and Dan Didio dropped an interesting statistic:

Floppies outsell digital comics by 630 to 1.

We are assuming he's not spouting bullshit here, but if it's true, and this is a major comic company here, what does that mean for indies?  Supergirl comes in around the 40K mark.  According to my math, 40,000/630 equals roughly 64 digital copies.  Sound Waves barely sells thirty copies.  According to my math, 30/630 equals I'm fucked.

There are no easy answers for the indies out there.  The Bigs can't make it work with all their resources, we sure as hell won't.

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June 2019


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