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      CommentAuthorSteve Lieber
    • CommentTimeOct 20th 2010 edited
     (9067.1)
  1.  (9067.2)
    That's pretty much Comics Economy 2010 in action, innit?
  2.  (9067.3)
    Speaking as a 1998 kind of guy, it's a seriously, seriously valuable lesson.
  3.  (9067.4)
    Wow. The 2nd graph in your "Pictures Help Us Learn" post pretty much sums up all the debate and throws any doubts out of the window.
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      CommentAuthorlordmitz
    • CommentTimeOct 20th 2010
     (9067.5)
    ...hands down the best response from a creator to 4chan i've ever seen. really, really well handled, steve.
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      CommentAuthorSteve Lieber
    • CommentTimeOct 20th 2010 edited
     (9067.6)
    Thanks! The reaction has been really strange and varied. From what I've seen, the consensus is that I'm either Maria Von Trapp, or the false, fixed smile on the face of gentrification.
    (Edit-- duh. Cut myself off- here's the rest.)
    Mainly it's just felt like a good comic book convention. I talk a little about what I do and answer some questions about the industry. A bunch of enthusiastic comics readers look over my stuff, some decide to buy it. All I need is a patdown by the TSA and a sore throat at the end and the whole thing will be just like Comicon.
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      CommentAuthorSobreiro
    • CommentTimeOct 20th 2010 edited
     (9067.7)
    Add another sale to that list! Haha... What an interesting moment to witness.
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      CommentAuthorkperkins
    • CommentTimeOct 20th 2010
     (9067.8)
    I already bought the trade, and the 1st 3 issues (I couldn't find the rest locally), based on a preview that I saw somewhere (here?), I'm glad the 4chan thing worked out for you. The more eyes that see something, the more likely it is that sales will be made. That's basically what Cory Doctorow has been saying for years. What Warren (and Avatar) has been putting into action for 3 years now, and other people for various amounts of time. It's, also, something that many in the industry have been railing against, sometimes with a lot of vitriol. I hope that this might make them rethink their positions a little, and try new ways of getting their stuff out there.
  4.  (9067.9)
    I didn't even know this book existed before this was linked to on Twitter a few days ago--despite loving the work of both creators. After reading Lieber's clear, measured responses, I went out an bought a copy from Periscope's Etsy.

    I can't say that my personal experience is standard, but it certainly suggests that biggest threat against comic creators is not piracy, but being lost in the shuffle.
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      CommentAuthorDavies0010
    • CommentTimeOct 20th 2010
     (9067.10)
    I was watching the thread on 4chan as it developed, after enjoying the story-timing of Underground. And frankly, it blew my hippy noodle that you and Erika Moen actually took the time to get involved with the potentially fickle anonymous hordes of /co/, and how well things went over all. It was a pleasure to watch the banter develop, and bizarre to watch it all blow up into an actual thing, with consequences and all.

    Well, not as bizarre as 4chan can get, but still.

    Thankyou for this.
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      CommentAuthorVornaskotti
    • CommentTimeOct 20th 2010 edited
     (9067.11)
    I have to say that the situation in 4chan was handled the best possible way. That's how it goes - people are willing to pay for stuff they can get for free, as counter-intuitive as it is.

    BTW, linked the thread to our caving club's irc channel, I guess there will be a couple of purchases more in the near future.
    • CommentAuthoricelandbob
    • CommentTimeOct 20th 2010
     (9067.12)
    just read a lot of the /co/ thread.

    I agree with Vornaskotti. You were patient, handled the trolls with deft skill, actually gave some proper info and people responded to it by buying your stuff.

    as the say in 4chan, full of WIN!!

    and i will need to look into getting a copy when i gets paid....
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      CommentAuthormichaelk42
    • CommentTimeOct 20th 2010
     (9067.13)
    On top of everything else, I'm just amused at the spike difference between Boing Boing and 4Chan in that second "Pictures" graph.

    I see now who reaches the greater comics buying audience. XD
    • CommentAuthoricelandbob
    • CommentTimeOct 20th 2010
     (9067.14)
    so will we see warren gracing the forums of /co/ going "HEY KIDS! FUCKING COMICS!" then burning their house down...?
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      CommentAuthoroldhat
    • CommentTimeOct 20th 2010 edited
     (9067.15)
    And right now I have something simple to point people who think that pirates should be crushed to. An excellent example of working with the downloads and coming out on top. Makes me think of Mark Waid's keynote at the Harvey Awards.


    It’s not because people “like stealing.” It’s because the greatest societal change in the last five years is that we are entering an era of sharing. Twitter and YouTube and Facebook–they’re all about sharing. Sharing links, sharing photographs, sending some video of some cat doing something stupid–that’s the era we’re entering. And whether or not you’re sharing things that technically aren’t yours to share, whether or not you’re angry because you see this as a “generation of entitlement,” that’s not the issue–the issue is, it’s happening, and the internet’s ability to reward sharing has reignited this concept that the public domain has cultural value.

    We are the smartest, most creative medium in America. We put out ideas on a periodical basis bam, bam, bam. We don’t put out a screenplay every three years. We don’t invent a TV show every ten years. There are more ideas in one Wednesday in one comic shop than in three years of Hollywood. We're notoriously bad businessmen, but we are unmatched for creativity and inventiveness, and there are ways to make filesharing work for us rather than cower in fear that it’s going to destroy us.
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      CommentAuthorTwobyfour
    • CommentTimeOct 20th 2010
     (9067.16)
    if anything, the Freakangels experience has shown that this is a viable business model hands down. As with the record industry though, the big loser will be the distributor, and to a smaller extent, retailers.. they need the hard copies more than the creator needs them.
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      CommentAuthorSteve Lieber
    • CommentTimeOct 20th 2010 edited
     (9067.17)
    Twobyfour:
    The damage to retailers is the part that scares me the most about our digital future. A sharp retailer is a curator and when he knows your tastes, he can give you the right book at the right time and change everything you know about comics. I still remember when Jeff Yandora (the owner of Phantom of the Attic, a shop near the University of Pittsburgh) put a copy of Love and Rockets in my hand and made my teenage brain explode. And then the next week when I came in, he asked me what I thought about the comic and I just spilled out everything I'd been thinking about for the past seven days. Obviously there'll still be all the various channels for learning about new stuff online, but there's something vital about that face-to-face relationship. I'd never want to see it disappear from comics and comics stores the way it has from record stores and music.
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      CommentAuthorSteve Lieber
    • CommentTimeOct 20th 2010 edited
     (9067.18)
    Michaelk42:
    "I see now who reaches the greater comics buying audience. XD"

    To be fair, Boing Boing didn't link to me, Jeff, or Undergroundthecomic.com. The only link was to Amazon which doesn't offer any preview art. I know we sold some copies through Amazon, because it went from in stock to on-order, and a few people took the time to following links deep in the Boing Boing comment thread to find our site. But it was just a nice bump. Pushing a comic to a non comics-centric audience is never easy, particularly without any interior art.
    • CommentAuthorales kot
    • CommentTimeOct 20th 2010
     (9067.19)
    Steve Lieber:

    Love it! Smart, fast, cool. Inspiring. I'm talking about your actions, not the book. Still have to read it. Will buy soon.
  5.  (9067.20)
    One thing that you have a habit of forgetting when you're posting on a board like 4chan's /co/ is that you're in public. Sometimes it just feels like a couple of strangers sitting in a bar taking the piss, so when the creator of the book you're talking about plops down next to you, it's quite a shock. The thread's reaction is quite understandable.