Donny Cates' Twitter Rant Uncovers the Real Problem in the Comic Industry

by Lindsey Winsemius - Posted 1 year ago

There’s been a heated conversation on Twitter recently about pirating comic books. Comic book author Donny Cates of well-known works from Venom, Guardians of the Galaxy, to Gods Country, was at the center of this discussion that got rather heated.

Comic Book Piracy Donnie Cates

I’ve been on both sides of this argument, as an Indie Writer that has discovered pirated copies of my books around the web, and as someone who hates paying $7.99 or more for a paperback / ebook. 

Are authors/creators just greedy capitalists trying to wrest an entire hours wage from the disenfranchised? 

Consider a book that is sold for $7.99. How much do you think the author gets of that, after the publisher, the printer, and the distributor take their cut? A good author is lucky to see even $.50 of that. Indie authors like me? I am lucky to get $.10 for a book, and I am doing all my own marketing, paying for editing, etc. Do you know how many books I’d need to sell to even MAKE MINIMUM WAGE? (Way more than I’m selling, believe me.)

If you need to pick a bad guy in this story, it shouldn’t be the authors or creators of comic books who are lucky to see a small percentage from the sales of their books, if they’re even lucky to sell them at all. You can probably figure out for yourself who is pocketing the real profits, and who is still working a second job to support their passion for being a comic book creator (or in my case, book author).

I won’t address the discussion of piracy here. We’re all adults. We know it’s illegal. And Donny Cates seems to be doing a good job of arguing this on his own. Donny Cates: Don't Pirate My @#$%ing Books Dude

But I do feel compelled to talk about the underlying issues that some comic book creators and the people who purchase them touch on in this heated Twitter debate.  These issues come up over and over in the comic book industry. And because CryptoComics was CREATED to solve this very problem.

What "underlying issues" am I talking about?

Issue 1: Comic books are expensive and inaccessible for some readers.

Comic Book Piracy Debate: Donnie Cates

The comic book readers who can’t afford to pay premium prices for the comics they love, and resort to pirating the works. Or, those who don’t have a local comic book store and limited online options choosing questionable download sites.  Both these issues were raised as reasons for why comic book readers acquire pirated copies of comic books instead of purchasing a legitimate copy.

Issue 2: Creators work hard for very little compensation.

Comic Book Piracy Argument: Michael Rosenburg

And on other side, is the struggling writer, artists, or creator who invests every free moment of time and bit of extra money towards turning their concept into a published work. Whose passion is to create comic books, but who are subject to the whim and power of the few large comic book publishers that control the industry.

Even the few who successfully sell their works are still governed by the stringent standards of the publishers, limiting their creativity. They only receive a small portion of each issue that is sold, making each sale a valuable part of their livelihood.

As passionate collectors and creators, we’ve seen the struggle in this industry. The restrictions placed on creators. The struggle to keep creating while working a second job and learning how to market their comics.

The difficulty in finding comic books that are fresh and new. In being able to afford to collect the comics we love while supporting the creators that are writing them. THIS is the issue I want to talk about.

Comic Book Meme

CryptoComics is a Marketplace AND a Movement

CryptoComics was born to become more than just a marketplace. It is a movement. A revolution.

What if I told you that you could purchase AFFORDABLE comic books, that held DIGITAL VALUE, that could be resold, and support the CREATORS YOU LOVE, not some big publisher?

That is what we’ve built. A publishing platform and marketplace for creators and collectors to directly connect. To use new tech to turn issues into digital assets, tracked individually through each sale and resale. Creators get 90% from sales, and collectors and creators get a percentage of resales.

That’s right. Collectors can make money selling digital comic books, too. Because with the right technology (blockchain: read more about how it works), we are now able to track EACH ISSUE throughout sales and resales, just like a print issue.

No one has ever done it quite like this before. It certainly isn’t perfect – not yet – but we’re working with creators and collectors to get it right.

Right now, things are still fresh and new. A little rough around the edges. But with the help of passionate people who genuinely love comic books, we hope we can help solve this issue – both for people who loves comics with low purchasing power, and for the creators who work so hard to design and publish their works. 

There will always be people who pirate books, or movies, or comic books, and feel justified in doing so. Or never even realize the harm their actions cause.

But for collectors who genuinely love comics; Who care about fostering continued creativity, ingenuity, and the hard work of creators… we hope Cryptocomics can be a place they can find ACCESSIBLE, AFFORDABLE COMIC BOOKS that they can collect or read and resell.

And for creators, we want to give them a place to publish THEIR VISION, not a highly edited or censored version the big publishers want. And actually make a decent share of profits from their vision, not the pittance paid by the industry.

Have an opinion about comic book piracy, Donny Cates, or comic books in general? Drop it in the comments below.