Last week, as part of the Comics Writers Vs Artists social media meetup recorded by Bleeding Cool, Yeti comic tweeted “OK, if the talk is writer versus artist now, that means next week should be… comic book piracy?” They only had to wait two days. Because four days ago a 16 year old kid tweeted the following “you have to stop shaming people for watching movies and reading comics on illegal sites” and ended up with 16 000 likes, 1600 retweets and 400 quote tweets. And the attention of the comic book industry.

  • David Pose: 16K likes. Comic book makers deserve to be able to make a living, and instead we get radioactive plugs like this. If you can’t afford to buy books or go to ComiXology, PLEASE ask your library to stock them. Thank you.
  • Minor Matt: the people who make comics barely make a rent.
  • Chris Shehan: Weird that you want people to understand being a “broke student”, but you don’t want to understand that you are stealing broke performers who barely pay their bills. Why are you asking people to sympathize with you when you can’t sympathize with who you steal?
  • Dave Scheidt: If you want to read comics for free, you can read them on Hoopla through your local library. Comics are a VERY small industry and every little sale counts. Books are canceled because of sales figures all the time. Every little support counts. Our careers are on the line… FYI, today’s comedic hacking talk was started by a 16 year old kid, so try not to go crazy like always.
  • Christoph Bogacs: A few thousand sales can be the difference between a comic failing or being successful in the direct market. What you PURCHASE really matters.
  • Erik Larsen: The hacking debate seems to have resurfaced. Here is my opinion, there is no debate. It is criminal behavior. People struggle to make a living and you take what they create without giving them any compensation. There is no justification for this. My biggest problem, honestly, is the excuses and high moral standards that thieves concoct. This moral height does not exist. There is no moral justification for theft. If you hack comics, books, movies, or music, you are a pest. Don’t try to justify it, I don’t care about your excuse. Own.
  • Ned Hartley: Hacking in the comics is only acceptable in the Watchmen and not even then.
  • Adam Messinger: So it’s not a popular thought, but I’m all for comic book piracy under certain conditions. 1.) The person’s country does not have access to it. These places are there. 2.) So the self-published people are in their book being out there.
  • PJ Holden: It’s been a while since Twitter comics had a debate about hacking. Nature heals.
  • Kenny Keil: When you hack a comic, you are robbing creators. And that’s the job of the comic book industry. So technically you steal 2 things
  • Michael deforge: if you’re a comic book creator more concerned with “comic book piracy” than the damage that companies like Amazon (and its subsidiary Comixology) do to our industry, or the predatory contracts that have always been the norm for comic book publishers you are a sucker … it’s hard to make a living in comics but i assure you that someone who hacks your book isn’t even in the top 500 in terms of shit on which you should actually focus your anger
  • Frank Gogol: Just to get a feel for all this comic book piracy stuff… The contract on my latest creator-owned book (from a small / medium-sized publisher) earned me $ 0.48 per unit ordered, which is actually really good compared to some editors. This is one of the best deals I have seen. I don’t have an exact number on hand, but this 4 issue miniseries, conservatively, cost $ 10,000 to make (it was definitely more) – it all came out of my pocket. $ 10,000 is a good round number (but definitely low), so let’s go. Doing a little math with the royalties per unit, I would need 20,833 units sold across the series to break even. I can tell you that issues 1-4 did not sell a total of 20,833 units, even though the book was considered a financial success for an independent title. So at the end of the day, I lost money on a freelance book that was considered a financial (and critical) success. Or in other words, I didn’t make any income from this book. A quick search of some of the best torrent sites shows that the book in question has been illegally downloaded at least 42,000 times. And I say “at least” because I’ve only looked at two sites – and there are many, many more. Doing a little math with the per unit royalties, the illegal piracy of this series amounted to (at least) $ 20,160 in lost revenue. Combined with what I received in royalties this would have been a pretty good result even after tax on an independent book but in reality I made a LOT less than that and lost money (for the third project consecutive) because 42,000+ believed they had a right to profit from my hard work / investment with blatant disregard for the people who created the content and their financial health. Let me be perfectly clear on something: no one has a right to my art. When you hack my (or my friends) comics, you are robbing us, our families… and yourself. If creators / publishers keep losing money, how many more comics do you think will be produced?
  • Augie De Blieck Jr: I should have known Twitter would be coming back to the comic book hack. After all, we’ve had a recent surge of writers versus artists. Check out the Comic Strip Circle discussion checklist to see which topics are next: Floppy disks are dead Digital will kill printing What is mainstream?
  • Fraser Campbell: If you’re going to hack comics, do it right. Wear an eye patch. Brandish a cutlass. Shout “Arrrr!” and call me “warm me”. Damn it, come over to my house like this, I’ll give you a long box with you.
  • Rachel Stott: I think the problem is when people steal comics they see it as “content” from a business. But literally a handful of people did. One person wrote it, one person colored it, drew it. Throw them some supporting coins, please. It really means more than you might think. Yeah yeah, we work for big companies. But that’s the slightest difference in number between a canceled book or not. Maybe we won’t see a pay raise, but maybe we can work on something we love a little longer. Imagine spending a MONTH drawing something and then someone uploads it. It might break your heart a bit, wouldn’t it? You could even do better and if you threw out a few coins you could donate them to a comic book store? Many of them are small independent and LGBTQ + positive retailers. Maybe give them the money when you buy these books. It would REALLY help them. AND the creators. Sometimes I think it would be nice to install a live stream on my desk for a month, like they do in bird nests, so people get a feel for how much sitting and drawing that is going on. get into these things.
  • Zoe Thorogood: The basic lack of empathy is that this community is shocking. Artists who struggle to make ends meet are allowed to be upset that their stuff is hacked hundreds of thousands of times, IN ADDITION to having conversations about how people without the means to access the comics should be able to do so. I really don’t believe that the majority of piracy is committed by people who don’t have access to libraries or can’t afford to buy comics. I don’t think anyone who says piracy hurts the industry is saying the poor are screwed either. Almost like that, it’s a complex topic that doesn’t suit Twitter :))))
  • Gleb Melnikov: I feel like the fuss talk and the comic book piracy talk should intersect at some point, that would be fun
  • Kevin Panetta: I don’t know what the hacking conversation is right now but if you are rich: don’t steal my comics if you are poor: steal my comics
  • Sarah Horrocks: My contribution to the comic book piracy discourse is that every time I post an image of a pirated comic book on my feed, I can feel Zack Davisson’s judgment on me like the eye of the sauron.
  • David Gallher: Don’t hack the comics
  • Matthew Dow Smith: Every time people who hack comics take the rounds, I come back to the same thing – there is no argument that will convince someone who hacks comics that they shouldn’t, and they don’t. There is no justification for what people who survive making comics will accept. The end.
  • Quinn Croft: When I first got into comics, I was a kid with literally pennies to spend. Hacking helped me discover the wonders of the medium. Shaming people who hack, often because they can’t afford it, is not a good idea … Maybe putting that anger into campaigning for ways to improve people’s lives so that they have disposable income to spend on comics. Because everyone I’ve told about this pirate stuff said if they could afford to buy it legally, they would.
  • Roman Villalobos: Not sure if you were really about this comedic life if you didn’t have a .cbr drive at some point.

If I had to add anything to the mix, when it comes to day and date piracy, comic book publishers have in their arsenal the ability to tag and track digitally pirated comics and take action against a. handful of writers responsible for the majority of comics. pirating books these days. It would be surprisingly easy, hardly an inconvenience. So why not them? Answers on a digital postcard, please.

Posted in: Comics, Image | Tagged: Comics, piracy

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