3 comments on “Back Matter #5.NOW — Rose City Comic Con

  1. Your discussion with Patrick of distribution issues was fascinating to me — not least because it seems the comic book industry is running into many of the same roadblocks as the SF magazines did. Most notable, the liquidation of the American News Company in 1957 was what spelled the doom of the pulp magazines. By then the most respectable of the SF magazines were appearing in digest format, and they (plus a couple of crime magazines) managed to keep going on that basis for a few more decades. But digests were never very visible on the newsstands, and in the 1970s even regular SF readers started buying paperback anthologies instead of magazines, figuring that the paperbacks either got better stories to begin with (because their rates were higher) or that the best of the magazine stories would be reprinted in paperbacks.

    Could the same thing happen to comics? Could the graphic novel format completely squeeze out the monthly issues? And how stupid is it for an entire industry to be dependent on its distribution model?

    And there was also the previous pulp magazine bust, which was a result of World War II paper shortages. Could something equivalent happen again? If we stop clear-cutting our forests, will dead tree books become economically nonviable? Will electronic distribution be the only option — and where would that leave the up-close-and-personal model of comic stores?

    Too damn many questions, but somebody needs to start thinking about them.

  2. 15 minutes in and nothing but awkward SJW pandering. First episode I had to turn off. Sorry, but I come here for discussions about comic books and not politics.

    • Sorry you didn’t care for our discussion, Bob. It’s a subject we take very seriously here at VftG, given the direct and visceral way in which it affects our close friends and co-hosts. You are of course welcome to your own perspective. If this sort of conversation offends your palette, you’re welcome to stick to our regular episodes where comics are the primary focus.

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