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Committed: The ComiXology Reader Survey

As part of my job as a graphic designer, I created a infographic for comiXology based on information gathered in their recent reader survey. Some of the results were quite surprising (and others weren’t), enjoy!



I don’t believe that last statistic for a second. You’d get a more honest answer asking about those “other activities.”

If you have a tablet and you read comics then you pirate comics. Let’s all be honest here.

“This is The End” is a film where the whole conceit is actors playing themselves. A comic tie-in misses the point.

“The World’s End” could conceivably have some short comic prequels, kinda like Shaun did, to fill in some of the backstory. But anything more than that is unnecessary.

“Elysium,” though, has potential. Blomkamp did some serious worldbuilding there, and not only are there other stories that could conceivably be told in that world, there are probably more interesting stories than the one the movie *itself* told. Heck, even the most obvious route of telling Kruger’s backstory could be a story worth reading.

What did one person spend $63,129 on? These people need to get Marvel Unlimited.

I have a tablet, I read comics, and I don’t pirate comics. I get all my digital comics through Comixology, the Digital Comic Museum, or those DVD-ROMs with an entire decades worth of Archie comics or whatever on them. All legal methods. I don’t find it hard to believe at all that most people do it that way. I think the people that pirate comics like to think everyone does it because it makes it not so bad in their minds that they do it.

How are those the top three movies? I guess by the poll but what was the question? “What is your favorite movie?”

And I’m guessing it should say “But we’d love to see comics based on all three!” The current sentence is asking for “a comic” that incorporates all three movies.

As for the reading at night image, saying “Over 2/3 of all respondents like to do their reading late at night.” implies that the question asked was “when do you like to do your reading?” and the most popular answer was “late at night.” But the next sentence “Instead of other activities.” Would imply that the question asked was “What do you like to do late at night?” and the most popular answer was “read.” While I didn’t partake in the survey, or see the questions, I’m inclined to believe the first interpretation is more likely and the sex joke implication was coined later.

I used to be excited by the idea of digital comics. I knew there would be hurdles but hoped publishers would be able to overcome those. It hasn’t panned out so well as I’d hoped.

The digital comics I’ve read, I’ve read on an iPad. I have books with Dark Horse, Viz, Top Shelf, and Comixology. I found both Viz and Dark Horse’s apps pretty good. I enjoy the crisp definition and abiltiy to zoom afforded by the iPad.

I won’t be buying digital any more.

Digital, it turns out, diminishes the community aspect of my comics life. With no way to loan the books I buy, I would no longer have any means to share the magic of the books I love. Comics are an expensive pasttime. If I recommend a friend read 20th Century Boys, it’ll cost them about $250 to enjoy the series. Summit of the Gods? $100. Fables? Upwards of $200. Especially with newcomers to the medium, the inability to freely lend digital books demolishes my ability to convert new readers. My wife still hasn’t even read Green River Killer because it was too much of a hassle to navigate her iPad to access my account. She wasn’t even sure which app it was under.

Digital, in my view, is fundamentally broken because it eliminates one of the single best parts of purchasing comics: sharing comics. So now, though I don’t really have the physical space to accomodate them, I’m back to buying physical books. And in a given week, I’ve usually got at least five graphic novels or manga series out on loan. And because of that, I’ve turned well over thirty people onto the medium. That number would be next to none if my library was in digital.

To the piracy question: I have read scanlations before. I enjoyed Cross Game so much that I sought out the rest of Mitsuru Adachi’s books online. I will buy them if they are ever released domestically. I also read Bride’s Story scanlations as they come out, but also pre-order every volume from Yen Press. I engage in piracy after a fashion then, but I do so as ethically as I can. I purchase the American editions of everything I read. I mean, why wouldn’t I? I replaced all my legitimate digital purchases with physical copies because the digital was to ephemeral. Scanlations aren’t only intangible, they’re also poor quality with sometimes awful translations.

I don’t feel bad for how I use scanlations. Though I’m sure someone could present an argument that would make me feel so.

If you have an Android tablet, the pirates offer a better product. Android users got High resolution comics 2 days ago and still can’t do double page in landscape. You can download comicrack and do so much more with it. Comixology is a company with a multi-million dollar revenue stream. ComicRack is developed by one guy in spare time. I refer to Gabe Newell, CEO of the biggest digital games retailer, Valve:

“In general, we think there is a fundamental misconception about piracy. Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem. For example, if a pirate offers a product anywhere in the world, 24 x 7, purchasable from the convenience of your personal computer, and the legal provider says the product is region-locked, will come to your country 3 months after the US release, and can only be purchased at a brick and mortar store, then the pirate’s service is more valuable. Most DRM solutions diminish the value of the product by either directly restricting a customers use or by creating uncertainty.

Our goal is to create greater service value than pirates, and this has been successful enough for us that piracy is basically a non-issue for our company. For example, prior to entering the Russian market, we were told that Russia was a waste of time because everyone would pirate our products. Russia is now about to become our largest market in Europe.”


That is the problem indeed. I would stop pirating TV shows, if I could watch them. You might say, “But you don’t *deserve* those TV shows! You should only watch them when it’s legal! How entitled of you”. That is true, entertainment is not a need, I can live without it, but since the economics of international trade are usually cited for delay in getting such products to my shores or most times local censorship laws, it makes zero economic sense for me to not get the product by the means that is superior to the alternative and has no delay.

While I am pretty anti-piracy myself, I do agree with pretty much everything Mudassir says. I think most pirates probably fall into 2 camps. Camp 1 pirates pretty much everything they can simply because they can, and if the only option was to pay for the product would just go without. Camp 2 pirates stuff because there isn’t a reasonable legal method, or any legal method in some cases, to get what they want, and the pirate method is extremely easy. For all the stats music, movie, game, comic etc. companies come out with about how much pirating hurts the industry, I think it doesn’t take into account that the vast majority of those people would never be buying their product, or that it’s their own fault their product is so hard to get.

The Crazed Spruce

October 11, 2013 at 11:03 am

EI have to admit, I used to download a lot of pirated comics. Y’see, the comic book selection in my town dropped dramatically a little over a decade ago, and it was pretty much the only way I could get anything. ComixOlogy came out a few years later, but I didn’t get the app until this past Spring, when I bought a cheap Android tablet. Even so, I stuck to free comics for the first month or so. Even now, I can’t bring myself to pay full price for new releases. But even sticking mainly to sales and discounts, I wind up spending about $100 a month. (Why, just in the past couple of days, I picked up Batman: Year One, A Lonely Place of Dying, The Judas Contract, Walt Simonson’s Thor run, and about a dozen pre-Crisis DC comics. Even at a buck or two each, that’s a nice chunk of change they’re getting from me.)

And at least half of those reading on the potty are reading DC 52 books! ZING!!!! yukyukyukyuk!!! I kill me!

I have not done any digital comicking as of yet, cuz I don’t have one of the fancy schmancy devices, or access to a home computer right now. Probably because I spend so much on physical comics….

I like physical comics because it gives me a concrete visual look at all the comics I still haven’t read yet. :) If I go digital, I can TOTALLY see myself buying WAY too many comics and spending WAY more than I oughta, just because the ability to do so would be so easy.

Or maybe not so easy, based on what some people say. I mean, I thought I read fairly recently that subscriptions were only JUST being offered for comics. That seems like it should be the most basic element of digital comics — if you’ve bought an issue, you should IMMEDIATELY get some sort of prompt offering you the next x # of issues for $y, and you’ll get a prompt/email/text/whatever when the next issue is available.

OK, now I’m babbling about stuff I know nothing about. Everyone else here is way more smarter than me anyway, I shouldn’t broadcast how dumb I am in comparison. ;)

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