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Comics: Buy Pile Delays, Mark Waid and Christos Gage

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As I’ve mentioned before, Diamond Comics Distributors is a vile, heartless monopoly that’s likely squeezing the life out of the industry. According to the evidence I have on hand, when there’s a Monday holiday, they say “screw you, we’re gonna sleep off the hangover,” and ship comics a day later than normal, on Thursday.

This used to be a problem for me on the basis of money — I hosted a Thursday night karaoke show that bordered on being legendary (and it did help the bar win the title of “Best Bar in the South Bay” for 2009 from the Daily Breeze) and I simply could not go to the comics shop for three or so hours on a Thursday night, let alone write and do production for my Buy Pile comics review column (yeah, normally I place the images and what not too) and “rock the party and say turn your body out.” I hosted a show on Friday too, so I couldn’t even get to my favorite comics shop until Saturday.

Now, it’s a less stringent but equally challenging reason. As a father of two, my newborn needs care into the night and my six-year-old needs my presence at home. Saturday is an “off day” from my day gig at MIMCO (long story) and I can find the time to do some of the stuff during the weekend rush.

All that to say that The Buy Pile will not publish Thursday, but likely over the weekend or maybe even on Monday, thanks to Diamond. We all have lives to lead, and one thing leads to another, apologies to The Fixx.

To tide you over, here’s two comics related things I noted …

- I am enjoying Christos Gage’s work on Avengers Academy and have liked some of his work in the past, but he is blatantly wrong about something. He tweeted, “… if you illegally download a comic, especially a low or mid seller, you are voting for it to END.”

I think that’s crap. I don’t download comics — not due to any overwhelming ideological opposition to the practice, but because I don’t have time and haven’t researched how to do it — but I have a very different perspective on comic books, since I read a lot of them. A low or mid-selling comic book isn’t penetrating its core demographic — mainly white males between the ages of 24-39 who have disposable income. I’m an outlier there, in terms of ethnicity at least, but still. I come from the world of journalism, where many say, “it’s all good publicity as long as they spell your name right.” Gaining more mindshare in any way you can is not a bad thing.

Moreover, and I speak as a fan long before I perfected this as a method of reviewing comics, it’s no different from the practice some call Byrne-stealing (which is also fair, as I do it in Borders with novels or listen to songs in the iTunes store or at a Barnes & Nobles). It’s window shopping. If your income is based on people buying things sight unseen (*cough*shrink wrapped issues of Wizard*cough*), you’re likely in more trouble than you can handle. That’s more an issue of marketing and creative choices than of crime and punishment. Step your game up. Piracy has always existed and … hang on, actually that leads to my next point.

- When I read about Mark Waid’s speech and dust up, I wrote about it on my mobile exclusive blog and honestly, I agree. It’s about offering options, not complaints. Sure, there’s people “stealing” — how do you work around it? Totally on Waid’s side here.

That’s all for now. In any case, thanks for checking for me, and make sure you keep your eye on the linkroll for the column and its attendant commentary track.

Playing (Music): “Let It Whip” by the Dazz Band

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