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December 13, 2008


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Spike Gomes

Comic book stores, mostly. I basically relied on the kismet factor of the indie comic bookshelves and Diamond distributor backpages to find really obscure gems that have print runs of less than 2,000-3,000. I figure they'll survive, they have a more vital and relevant audience than the spandex books, and most of the folks doing them ain't in it to make a living. It'll just be harder to find new stuff *outside* the blogger sequentialist critics echo chamber.

Doug M.

Yeah, but where will they be sold?

Doug M.

Nora Bombay

I think the comics will be made, but more more on the lines of the webcomics you see now. The stores?

Mostly I'm not going to miss them.

Usenet. Gave that up, as better tech for the same thing emerged- livejournal replaced it for me.

Of all of these: I think the table top RPG's may last longest, as a super niche product. At least for a bit longer until the tech for the create your own video games gets a little better.

But of the lot, it is the newspapers I will miss- even if I haven't subscribed to one in print for years...

Spike Gomes

Doug. M:

The more popular ones are already in the bookstores in graphic novel form. You can get your Adrian Tomine, Dan Clowes, Joann Sfar and Alison Bechdel fix there pretty easily.

The smaller stuff? Mostly direct order from the smaller print houses or the artists themselves, with most things of note being reviewed on blogs or the The Comics Journal (which is healthy mass of dead trees and pretension for reasons I don't really know).

The other stuff, I'm really going to have to dig around zine and minicomic distro logs (yes, that scene is still around, amazingly enough, and there's actually some good stuff coming out of it).

I expect sequential art to be around for awhile, though I'm dubious as to webcomics becoming the ecological niche for it, considering the low priority placed on draftsmanship and illustrative prowess and/or elan within the subgenre. I'm not a big fan of it in general and think most of it has devolved into "Garfield with a Playstation and sex jokes complete with cussing." Even the ones I do like, such as Achewood and Cat and Girl aren't exactly working the visual medium as its focus.

But yeah, the big question is what dies next after the scifi pulp mags croak? The spandex boys or the dice rollers? My money is on the dice rollers, they don't have cinematic venues to make them zombie cash and idea cows.


If D&D/sci-fi/comics cease to exist all the Alpha Males won't have any nerds to ridicule.


I love paper newspapers. I love flipping through the pages and reading things that catch my eye. Not necessarily stuff I'd bother to go to from a headline, but will read and learn if it is in front of me. When paper newspapers go, I'll miss that. And my knowledge of news will be less expansive.

Dennis Brennan

I already miss the mom & pop neighborhood video store. I also miss the possibility of being inaccessible while on vacation (damn you, blackberry).

The thing that I miss about usenet is the institutional memory lasting for, well nearly _decades_. I was about to say that I miss usenet culture, but then I realized that that would be like being nostalgic about having grown up in the circus.


It hasn't been officially announced yet, but there is reason to believe that the two jointly operated Detroit newspapers (the News and the Free Press) will be cutting home delivery to just three days a week.


I can't imagine starting my day at breakfast reading the NY Times on a computer. I love to spread out the newsprint and peruse the various sections for my favorite features each day of the week. I also like the convenience of carrying my paper with me and opening it when I have a spare moment, especially in waiting rooms where a laptop internet connection is currently impossible or at least impractical.

Noel Maurer

I agree with Christine about newspapers. I also agree with Doug. And I'm not so sure that they will die.

Am I contradicting myself? Not really, I don't think. Time permitting, I skim the New York Times and the Financial Times, cover-to-cover, reading most of stories and glancing at the rest. As Christine says, I learn a lot that way, more than I do when I don't have access to the paper versions.

But I almost never bother to read the local Boston papers. Neither the Globe nor the Herald. Yet I am very well informed. The difference? The unexpected stories in a local newspaper tend to be either stuff that I know I want to know about and can seek out elsewhere, or eminently forgettable.

Local papers are probably doomed. Will newspapers survive? That depends on two things:

(1) Is it possible to browse an electronic information device with the same chance of serendipity?


(2) Can professional information providers come up with a decent revenue model that includes a revenue-generating print sideline?

My guess is "no" and "yes," and thus national and international print papers will survive.

Rest, dunno.

Bernard Guerrero

"My guess is "no" and "yes," and thus national and international print papers will survive."

Interesting, that flies precisely in the face of the "we need more local reporting" crowd.

Noel Maurer

Wouldn't it be possible to both believe that we need more local reporting and believe that the economics of the media mean that we are unlikely to get it? Or am I misunderstanding you?

Bernard Guerrero

By "we need more local reporting" crowd, I meant to say "we need more local reporting to save newspapers" crowd. Hometown paper nostalgists. I think your prediction precludes such an outcome.

Will Baird

My uncle is an editor at a local NorCal paper (Press Democrat). They are dying and he's 100% convinced in 5 years they'll be gone.

Most local papers' revenue stream was through the classified ad section, according to Bruce, and that is nigh on dead due to Craig's List. His POV is that people won't pay for what they can get free (ads) and without those the local papers are completely toast.

Noel Maurer

Bernard: gotcha. Yes, if I'm representative, then the local papers are probably doomed. Have you started reading the local papers in Texas?

I don't know if that's a good result; I can imagine a bad outcomes if there are no longer any paid professionals investigating and publishing stories about local events or local politics.

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