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Saturday, August 01, 2009

Is print doomed ?

Lately I've been toying more and more with this question, is the written word becoming a dinosaur ? Newspapers and magazines are folding left and right, people prefer to use the internet to get their news and info...even when they have to pay for it.

And this kindle thingy is getting more and more popular, we can expect cheap Chinese knockoffs in a few years time and this could be the turning point for a lot of people. Reading books, magazines and yes comics in digital (and portable form) with only a select few "connoisseurs" still going after the paper version.

You might think I'm exaggerating but it's a fact that more and more people are turning to digital comics. It used to be mainly because of the price, people didn't want to pay for the issues so they turned to the warez sits and trackers to get their weekly dose, but what's happened the last few months is that people are in fact now paying for the privilege and in fact prefer the digital version to the printed one. I even know somebody who uses his Iphone to read his comics... I call him Hawkeye because that screen is T-I-N-y ...but then again I'm getting old.

But still, even when we're talking digital instead of print, it's still reading...which is fast becoming a dying art.

I didn't start this topic just to go on a tirade, being a print lover, but because I've noticed that my Youtube channel is getting more hits than my blog...a LOT more hits.
I've never really did a lot of advertising for 'nuff said, because I feel it's more like a person diary of my collecting habits and would only interest a small number of people... it's not exactly earth-shattering now is it. So I get on average about 750 hits per month..which is a lot more than I ever expected... I don't even know 75 people in total.

Now about a year ago I started posting a few videos about my collection on Youtube, first as a bit of a laugh, but then for some reason I started getting something called "subscribers". Subbies are people that actually go to the trouble of registering with your channel so they get notified every time I post a new video. At first I had two subscribers, both were long-time friends, but then I got more of them, followed by at least 50 mails a week about my collection and my videos.
As I'm writing this, I have over 60 subscribers now and the pressure is killing me.
Because I now feel I just have to post at least a video per month because all those nice people actually took the time to put my dinky little channel on their menu...

In short, my Youtube channel is getting a lot more hits and visitors than my blog...which I don't really mind, but it does pose the question is it mainly because of the medium or something else ? It's a lot easier to just follow some nice pictures on a screen than it is to actually read the words to a story/opinion and comics are of course a visual medium, so it makes sense.
But on the other hand, if everybody stops reading where does that leave comic books ?

Anyway, using the "if you can't beat them..." credo I just posted a new video on my channel. After completing my Strange Tales collection a few weeks ago I decided to yet again start a new series. Trouble is that I'm almost done...but then I remembered that even though I completed the Hulk series I always glanced over the first 6 issues that were ever published. In 1962 (before Spider-man !!) Marvel tried to launch an Incredible Hulk series, alas it wasn't popular and the series was canceled after #6... but those 6 comics remain the first 6 Hulk books ever and are very collectible. So in short I decided to go after these as well. Meanwhile here are some of my favorite (and key) issues of everyone's favorite Mean Green Machine.

Enjoy the video (but do keep reading)

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