A look at Comic book piracy

By Robert “Rob Base” Greenwood

Comic book piracy

Before anyone bashes this article let me just say. Piracy and theft of copyrighted material is a crime and is not something that should be supported.

Now that the formalities are over,lets talk about the music business for a second. Since the whole piracy issue really affected them the hardest.

Back in the early 80s cassette tapes brought on new dimensions of listening pleasures and with that the first true modern advent of ”piracy” took hold.

But as far back as I could remember we still purchased the record or tape no problem. Sales grew ten folds as new genres of music paved it’s way across the air waves. Even with this knowledge labels screamed abuse due to blank audio cassette tapes and the creation of the ”mix” tape.

Yet rock stars still flew private jets and rap stars still sold out arenas. So years pass and the next big thing took hold, it was called the compact disc. The CD created new level of sound and listening euphoria.

This new age of enlightenment was dubbed  the “Computer Age” and with it came the dawn of coping disc to share across the Internet via file sharing sites. This spurred much debate. On top of everything else sales started to slump, keep in mind that these sales slumps weren’t across the board and music stores still existed.

So what changed?

Why was the music business hit so hard? There are many theories out there but never fully touched on this subject.

Supply and demand.

The high cost of music production be it in the realm of sales or R &D. Pay checks to Execs who for the most part do nothing. Walk into any real record label I dare you! you will find that they have a ton of low paid people who know their stuff and the Execs are never in their office , they party on money racked in by the performers.

Cd sales dropped so what did the music stores do ? Raised the price of a cd. The average price of a cd was 11 bucks and here’s the thing , we all buy blank cd’s to do many a task and we know how cheap it is. 32 cents per disk even less now and it costs roughly 10 cents for a case. So, the real question is why? Why is a cd with 12 songs costing 15 to 22 bucks?

The lovely little term ”overhead”. Instead of knocking down the price of a cd, they raised it to keep their personal bankrolls stable.

Invention of the Internet will always bring Good and bad things. On to the subject at hand comic books. Unlike CDs which retain no value or have little collect – ability. Comics have always been a market based on a collector,who wish to read the comic and collect the book.

Artist and publishers can blame piracy for the down fall of comics but the truth is comics created the downfall themselves.

With the creation of image comics and companies relying on hyperactive art over substance and the ”chase” cover. Comics slowly sealed their own doom. Plus the ever raising price in a modern market place is another factor.

No kid will spend 5 bucks on a 32 page comic with 6 pages of advertising. Comic books have been on a rise due to better stories and better art. Yes people pirate comics. So the question how do you stop it?

Piracy is created out of a lack of money or the lack of willingness to commit to a product. People are willing to spend money if the price is right. Yet understand that Comics and all printed medium fight for that 32%. (All printed media are fighting for less than 40% of all consumers. This was from a consumer report from 2011)

If it’s free they will read. I want a comic artist nowadays to tell me they buy CDs!

Ask anyone if they buy music and they will say “Oh I download and buy from apple or amazon.” Well good for you, I do the same for comics. make it worth while and I will buy.

In the end piracy will always be there. Nothing can truly stop it nor completely control it.

On the subject of digital comic books the price is still a bit high but on any given day Comixology has 99 cent deals. In the end, if you want and enjoy these comics buy some.

Invincible’s Atom Eve Joins the Femme Fatales Statue Line!

Springing from the pages of the Image/Skybound comic book Invincible, it’s Atom Eve! Samantha Wilkins, the matter-manipulating heroine created by Robert Kirkman will join her fellow comic-book beauties Dawn, Kabuki, Lady Death and more in the Femme Fatales statue line. Depicted soaring into action with her signature energy effect, this Jean St. Jean-crafted PVC statue of Invincible’s love interest stands 9 inches tall and will come packaged in a window box. Pre-order today at your local comic shop or favorite online retailer! Coming summer 2013!

Visit comicshoplocator.com to find the nearest comic shop, and check out the full line-up of Femme Fatales here! Get regular DST updates on Facebook and Twitter!



Lenore the cute little dead girl statute

Don’t let her cuteness fool you — Lenore is not to be trifled with. Nor is she to be talked down to, lied to, threatened, annoyed, spoken to or looked at. Any one of those things is punishable by Lenore removing your kneecaps. Which is why we’re content to observe Lenore from behind the sturdy plastic window of her packaging. This 7-inch PVC statue of the undead cult-favorite comic book character is due out later this month, and you can see the boxed production piece below!

Pre-order the statue at your local comic shop or favorite online toy store, and be on the lookout for the Lenore Vinyl Bust Bank in early 2013!

Visit comicshoplocator.com to find the nearest comic shop, and get regular DST updates on Facebook and Twitter!



31 days of Halloween:Seduction of the Innocent


~taken from the Wiki page~

Seduction of the Innocent cited overt or covert depictions of violence, sex, drug use, and other adult fare within “crime comics” — a term Wertham used to describe not only the popular gangster/murder-oriented titles of the time, but superhero and horror comics as well. The book asserted, largely based on undocumented anecdotes, that reading this material encouraged similar behavior in children.

Comics, especially the crime/horror titles pioneered by EC, were not lacking in gruesome images; Wertham reproduced these extensively, pointing out what he saw as recurring morbid themes such as “injury to the eye”.Many of his other conjectures, particularly about hidden sexual themes (e.g. images of female nudity concealed in drawings or Batman and Robin as gay partners), met with derision within the comics industry. Wertham’s claim that Wonder Woman had a bondage subtext was somewhat better documented, as her creator William Moulton Marston had admitted as much;however, Wertham also claimed Wonder Woman’s strength and independence made her a lesbian. Wertham also claimed that Superman was both un-American and a fascist.

First U.K. printing, 1954.

Wertham critiqued the commercial environment of comic book publishing and retailing, objecting to air rifles and knives advertised alongside violent stories. Wertham sympathized with retailers who did not want to sell horror comics, yet were compelled to by their distributors’ table d’hôte product line policies.

Seduction of the Innocent was illustrated with comic-book panels offered as evidence, each accompanied by a line of Wertham’s sardonic commentary. The first printing contained a bibliography listing the comic book publishers cited, but fears of lawsuits compelled the publisher to tear the bibliography page from any copies available, so copies with an intact bibliography are rare. Early complete editions of Seduction of the Innocent often sell for high figures among book and comic book collectors.

It is worth noting that, prior to its publication, Wertham was not an anti-comic crusader, nor did he likely mean for the book to generate the public reaction it did. In Seduction of the Innocent, he puts forth several arguable progressive positions that are sometimes lost in his ‘boogeyman’-like depiction, e.g. by Scott McCloud in Reinventing Comics. For example, Wertham expressed a concern for the impact of impossibly proportioned female characters on girl readers or on the advertisements of violent and harmful toys. Primarily, Wertham assigned the blame to parents, not the industry nor the creators, in his book, and even his anxiety over Batman’s and Robin’s perceived homosexual subtexts was aimed at the welfare of a child introduced to that sort of family unit, not on some a priori immorality or sinfulness to such a lifestyle.Will Brooker also points out in Batman Unmasked: Analyzing a Cultural Icon that Wertham’s notorious reading of Batman and Robin as a homosexual couple was not of his own invention, but was suggested to him by homosexual males whom he interviewed.


The fame of Seduction of the Innocent added to Wertham’s previous celebrity as an expert witness and made him an obvious choice to appear before the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency led by anti-crime crusader Estes Kefauver. In extensive testimony before the committee, Wertham restated arguments from his book and pointed to comics as a major cause of juvenile crime. The committee’s questioning of their next witness, EC publisher William Gaines, focused on violent scenes of the type Wertham had decried. Though the committee’s final report did not blame comics for crime, it recommended that the comics industry tone down its content voluntarily. Possibly taking this as a veiled threat of potential censorship, publishers developed the Comics Code Authority to censor their own content. The new code not only banned violent images, but entire words and concepts (e.g. “terror” and “zombies”), and dictated that criminals must always be punished. This destroyed most EC-style titles, leaving a sanitized subset of superhero comics as the chief remaining genre. Wertham nevertheless considered the Comics Code inadequate to protect youth.

Among comic-book collectors any comic book with a story or panel referred to in Seduction of the Innocent is known as a “Seduction issue”, and is usually more valued than other issues in the same run of a title. Seduction of the Innocent is one of the few non-illustrative works to be listed in the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide as a collectible in its own right.


The Caption Box 28: Jamal Igle’s Molly Danger and KickStarter

Rob Base and Juan Pineda sit down and talk with Jamal Igle about his new creator own project Molly Danger and how he is using Kick Starter to get the job done!

Check out Molly’s site http://mollydanger.com/

blip.tv video

Molly’s Kick Starter video

Follow us on Twitter @AltMindz @JuanCPineda and @JAMALIGLE



Comics Corner #17

Welcome to the Comics Corner! This week features a little bit of everything for the big cross-over events with Avengers vs. X-Men #9 and Ultimate Spider-Man #13, super heroics in Peter Parker, Spider Man #156.1, World Finest #4 and Earth2 #4. And finally we stray away from the world of the superhero with Sweet Tooth #36, Mondo #3 and Double Jumpers #2! There’s only one way to find out who made to the Top of the Stack and it’s here, inside the Comics Corner!