How Comixology And Marvel Are Breaking Comics At Both Ends

So on the one hand, one of Marvel’s given reasons for regular renumbering is “it makes it easier for new readers to pick up a series”, which is insulting because it suggests the reason more people aren’t reading comics is because they aren’t capable of understanding or being sold a “jumping on point” unless that “jumping on point” is also a #1.

(Also insulting because it suggests people don’t understand that the real reason Marvel do it is because #1s always sell more than other issues*. But also for a company making soap-operas, fostering a weird sort of understanding in the audience that they should only be buying books in short runs.)

Because people who are capable of reading and enjoying comics aren’t also able to understand short arcs in longer continuity, if done right.

But then apparently on the other hand, the prime reason an AWFUL LOT of people (or certainly, a loud percentage) have been buying the comics they do from Comixology isn’t because they like reading comics, or like being able to read them on their tablet, or even like reading comics specifically on Comixology’s service, but because they liked the payment process.

(I’m not talking about people who are a bit put out by the inconvenience of having to go to the browser. I’m talking about the people – apparently loads of them – who are definitively stating they won’t be able to buy from Comixology any more.)

So Marvel think the potential audience isn’t capable of understanding consistent numbering & clearly stated creative teams/arcs.
…And consumers think the reason they’re reading comics the way they’re reading comics is because they’ve been stupid-easy to pay for.

I can’t help but think that somehow, somewhere, people at both ends are missing the point of what’s actually appealing about comics.

 

*Apparently not as always as before, though.