Here’s Lorena Nava Ruggero’s prescription for the comics industry:
“1) Pick good stories! This may seem along the lines of the U.S. Supreme Court’s case on obscenity, as in “I know it when I see it.” But, after seeing the changes at Tokyopop this past year, picking licenses should be about quality, not quantity. And for publishers of original content, good stories sell; it’s not about what may be most marketable.
“2) Go digital! While there’s no way companies can compete with illegal, online scanlations, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have an online comics reader available. Also, when are U.S. readers going to be able to read comics in a handheld, digital format? If I had the money AND could read comics on it, I’d buy the Kindle in a heartbeat. Same goes for reading comics on the new Google phone, the Apple iPhone or the Nintendo DS. They’ve done it in Japan; who says we couldn’t do it here?
“3) Make it cheaper! Let’s face it – we’re in the midst of a recession, people. And comic books aren’t a necessity, no matter how tough the times. But that doesn’t mean that people want to give it up completely. Now, bringing down prices on comics doesn’t mean across the board price reductions, but maybe consider discounts on a certain line of books (think Shojo Beat or Shonen Jump) or on a popular title (Naruto, anyone?). And if price reductions aren’t a possibility, how about offering paid online versions that can be downloaded before the book comes out in print? I’m pretty sure rabid fans would pay to see what happens next (at a reasonable price, of course), especially for titles that aren’t currently scanlated.
“Anyway, that’s all I have to say for now. Hopefully, “the powers that be” are listening.”