Thursday, November 15, 2007

Superheroes Online

It’s the increasingly classic story of old media trying to reach out to a new media world – only this time the characters have capes and spandex.

Marvel Comics – they of Spider-Man, the X-Men and Captain America – this week announced thousands of its old comics would be made available online. Just $59.88 annually will get you into the archive.

So why are you reading about this on a business blog?

Because comics are big business these days. The Marvel movie “Spider-Man 3” pulled in $885 million at the world-wide box office, according to The X-Men franchise has also pulled in a few hundred million dollars for the company. The death of Captain America earlier this year was front-page news across the country. Front page news – for the death of a fictional character.

Brad Meltzer, author of novels and assorted comic books, says the Web site is what the industry needs right now, according to a Washington Post story:

"They're building the next generation of readers; they're creating geeks as we speak," Meltzer said. "This is how you, potentially, save comics in a world where kids just want to sit in front of a glowing computer.

Personally, I think it’s just a great way to re-live some of my pre-teen geekdom. What do you think? Will online comics – or online versions of any popular print medium – ever replace paper and ink?

-JOE BACCHUS, Web Specialist

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