Geoff Boucher at the LAT (getting better all the time, by the way) reminisces about the olden days of comics as he critiques Marvel’s new Digital Comics, where they’ve taken the classics and turned them into a clickable web-based slide shows. “The Amazing Spider-Man,” “The Avengers” and “The Fantastic Four” are all there, decades-old and looking as good as new. There are even some web-bonuses, like narratives of the story arcs by writers. But as we quickly learn, the motives are not to preserve the comics for an aging fan base, but to cultivate a new one:
The glut of slick magazines and the quirky business history of comics distribution has made it hard for kids to stumble on a comic book if they aren’t looking for one. “We don’t have a natural lifestyle intersection point for kids anymore,” says Dan Buckley, president of publishing for Marvel Entertainment. “We think we can find one online.” In other words, Marvel is banking on the idea that it can catch passing youngsters somewhere near the corner of YouTube and MySpace.
Sigh. Does it always have to come down YouTube and MySpace?