Why Mark Millar Is WRONG About Digital!

Mark Millar is a very opinionated Comic Book creator that never passes on an opportunity to let his voice be heard in the industry. The creators latest controversy has stemmed from his Kick-Ass title in which he ran the following advertisement.

He continued to express this statement,

 I think digital could be a useful tool, but I’m increasingly concerned for friends in retail that they’re going to get shafted here, I really think day and date release is a disastrous idea and makes no economic sense at all to comics as a business. It’s potentially ruinous for comic stores, and in the long term it’s not going to do publishers any favors either. I see the attraction on a very superficial level. They think they’re cutting out the middle men and all the guys taking a piece of their gross, but there’s an equivalent number of hidden costs in digital too, and it’s short term thinking to obliterate the life-blood of the medium. Retailers are as big a part of comics now as the characters or the creators. They’re not just an outlet. These are carefully crafted communities and owned and staffed by people with a genuine passion for what they’re doing in a way that the ‘Amazon Also Recommends’ box isn’t quite going to match.

The claims he makes in this statement alone are nothing short of controversial. He is missing a huge fact about the industry: Comic Book print sales are continuing to rise! In 2011 overall print sales were estimated at $660 million, in 2012 the sales were at $700 million. The simple fact about the industry is that interest from other markets such as digital or bookstore sales generate interest in monthly print comic books. There is a mass crossover between the two markets and no reason to cut off digital sales!

Millar has no basis for his claims and does not back-up anything that he is saying. Creators from Marvel have clearly expressed that after seeing sales numbers from the industry, both markets work in somewhat of a conjunction with each other to build up interest in the titles. Numerous individuals have started in digital and made the adjustment to print and vice-versa. Also the argument remains that if an issue is too difficult to find in stores, a consumer could go buy it in digital to get caught up in the story.

In the interview, the writer then continues to talk about how the retailer is the best of friend of the creator, which is in fact true. Working with Comic Book stores is great for the industry, and it will help a title thrive in this crowded market. While he also states that many retailers that he knows are barely hanging on in the current industry, the simple fact is that the economy is not in a great place right now and so difficulties will still persist. The creator is also not supposed to be too heavily involved in the business of the retailer itself. Mark Millar does enough by simply writing creator owned tales that sell very well.

The Comic Book market is in a great place right now and is continuing to grow. Digital will allow this industry to survive past print, and have a definitive future amongst other entertainment forms!

Source: CBR