Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Scott Nybakken Guide to CONQUERING ALL MEDIA


I stopped reading comics about a year ago and have almost entirely resisted reading about them online for the past half-year (you know, ever since DC unveiled the fifty-two new universes and Darkseid, Monarch, and the Monitors started fighting for control of them — or so I hear on the street, not that I, y’know, care or anything) — and I shall continue to resist, at least until Grant Morrison’s miniseries-to-end-all-miniseries, Final Crisis, comes out in mid-2008 (and maybe even then).

However, when one of my best friends is interviewed by the site TelevisionWithoutPity about the increasing popularity of comics-derived stories in other media, such as the TV show Heroes, and what it all means not only for the comics industry and for Hollywood but for the trend toward multimedia in general — and thus for the very destiny of humanitythe least I can do is link to it.  And Scott’s not just smart, he’s funny, as many of the people reading this already know (but I, too, thought he was serious when, in the interview, he mentions the comic book adaptation of Ken Burns’ Civil War — it could happen, branding issues with Marvel notwithstanding).

Scott’s employers have also launched an online comics imprint called Zuda recently, and as Chuck Blake says, comics companies in general had better get with the program and start selling their wares (especially back issues) online if they hope to avoid simply getting their profits pirated away by the ever-increasing ease of bootleg-downloading of images and everything else.  As the folks at Reason.TV seem to understand, we’re not just entering a period when each TV show has a website or most movies have novelizations but when people (especially the young) will become more and more indifferent to which medium they’re getting their latest dose of a given story/artist/phenomenon from — and indeed will expect to be able to switch back and forth between them with unthinking ease.  Spider-Man isn’t just on paper, he’s on TV and in the theatre and on your phone and even in your fridge eating all your foods, or so the kids these days tell me.

Then again: I used to devour printed Zot! comics eagerly, but after a couple years, I still haven’t gotten around to reading the online version, even though I just posted the link right there.  I still have some habitual attachment to paper, apparently, but the rising generation won’t, you mark my words!  Mark my woooooooooorrrrrrrrds — !!

P.S. Scott’s also fleecing hippies by selling his original artwork from the production of a legendary video for the band Phish, “Esther,” so by all means place an order before all the other fans come down from their highs and snatch up the good stuff.

P.P.S. For only a few hundred million dollars, I’d be willing to produce a sci-fi rock opera based on the songs of the Fixx, tentatively called Built for the Future (hey, I wrote a few Justice League comic books — how much harder could it be, especially in this multimedia era?), and if that happens someday, I will also have a site that sells original artwork.  Until then, buy Scott’s stuff.


chuck said...

Isn’t the web basically outright designed to make it easy to navigate from page to page, comic to comic, chase hyperlinks to footnotes in captions by the editors of comics? Basically, it’s absurd that web distribution isn’t the de facto way to consume comics these days. Newspapers and magazines figured it out long ago and the medium is evem more well-suited to comics. Perhaps stodgy old comics as high art/inker afficinados are keeping down an industry. Perhaps scott can tell us as he REACHES INTO OUR MINDS.

Brain said...

You’re insane, chuck. Printed paper is easier on the eyes, more durable, more easily transported. I’ve tried reading comics in PDF format and it is painful. The medium makes a big difference in how content is presented. Some stuff, like short print articles and four-panel comics, translate fine to a computer screen. As the material gets longer and the required detail greater, the printed page is still king.

Plus, anytime the whole world of human expression is at my fingertips, I always end up looking at really twisted porn. Do you really want Spiderman to end up making it with an hermaphroditic midget amputee goat? Mary Jane just cannot compete with that kind of action.


the last sane man in NYC

Chuck said...

Marvel Declares Chuck “not insane” one week later: