Happy Halloween, Freaks and Pirates!

Oct.

12, 2011

6

A message and a Halloween gift!

Some of you know I’ve been fairly vocal about piracy. I’m not going to preach here, but I would like to present you with some basic facts before we get on to the fun stuff.

Years back I did a one-shot comic called PIECES FOR MOM with artist Andrew Ritchie. Rob Mattison helped adapt the prose story and old message board buddy Jason Hanley lettered. Image Comics published.

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I don’t remember the numbers we got back, maybe 5k issues ordered, definitely under 10k. We sold enough to pay for the book, but not enough to justify doing more. I was always bummed because I thought Andrew Ritchie’s art was the creepiest shit I’d seen since Ben Templesmith. But with low orders, and no money made we couldn’t afford to do anymore.

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Last week my girlfriend showed me one RapidShare site where they had PIECES FOR MOM available for free, illegal download.

It had been downloaded almost 20 thousand times.

Pfm
And that was just one site. I didn’t look at the other four or five she found.

So, the book HAD been successful. Unfortunately for Andrew and I though, we saw nothing for it.

This has been my biggest fear and now I know for certain the same theft that obliterated the music industry will affect comics. Heard any good bands lately? Yeah, me neither. I hope thieves enjoy nothing but corporate music, comics and films because that is the road they are paving. Or put more simply, I hope you like the few deciding what all of us will read, watch and listen to.

Aaaaaand, I totally lied. Sorry for preaching there a bit.

Now, the reason for all of this…

Here is a FREE Bloody Pulp PDF download of PIECES FOR MOM. It’s one little self-contained story. It’s a TAD violent. Be warned.

Download PiecesForMom-SteveNiles.pdf (13927.1K)

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I’ve also added a DONATE button below. Pay a penny, pay nothing. These are tough times and I’d like you to read the comic. If you do donate, ALL money will be divided evenly among the creators…except the letterer. Fuck him. 

 Most of all…just enjoy the comic and have a safe and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

-Steve

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Hey Steve, I'm just wondering how long ago this book was released? When you write 'years back' I immediately wonder if it was prior to the advent of torrents? Also wondering over what period of time the book took to make 20K downloads?

I mention these things purely because it highlights an issue that I believe is often overlooked, that of 'instant success'. It seems to me in comics that if a book doesn't immediately pull big numbers, then it's a failure and put out to pasture.

Imagine if they did that with any other entertainment media? One month to achieve the same relative success that comics are judged by...

I don't say this to excuse piracy, but to highlight another point of view.

Thanks for the new piece,so to speak. I absolutely love the original Pieces For Mom, it's a great Mother's Day book. I connected with the little boy, because my dad also took off and forgot about me. My mom raised my late brother & I alone. I explained the plot to my mom & told her I would do the same for her. She was touched. She wouldn't read it, but she thought the sentiment was sweet. The only comic I've ever been able to get her to read was The Lonely Tombstone, she thought it was cute.

I wrote my post before I downloaded the story. I thought it was a sequel that's why I said "new piece" and "original" I should have read the article more closely. I still have my old copy of Pieces. It's just one of my favorites.

It was the same case with Xombi. The sales numbers were really low so issue #6 was it. I don't know the numbers but within hours of any issue hitting the stores there were at least ten file share sites making it available for free and a lot of people openly admitting this was how they were reading it. It killed me because this was a project that was near and dear to me that I was thrilled to have the opportunity to return to after so long, and it was getting overwhelming rave reviews, but piracy was so prevalent because of all the buzz that it killed it. It also meant I had to find work to replace it. So, yes, piracy is not a victimless crime. It impacted on my ability to earn a living.

This is awesome Steve. Thanks for the Trick or Treat goodie. It would be awesome if we gave the costumed kids that came to our doors comic books for Halloween. As a creator that finances my work out of pocket I stand by you 100% on these piracy issues. But when you use the comparison to the music industry, I have to answer, yes- I hear good new music all the time... and it's all Indie stuff. Just the other morning on GMA it was announced that the numbers for the music industry are up due to Indie bands pushing their own material on the web. If this can work for the music industry, it can work for comics. The bad part about comics is the lack of availability and an audience that doesn't know what's all available. I have to drive 45 minutes to the nearest comic store and hope they get my pull list right because the books I want aren't going to be on the shelf (When I added '30 Days' recently, the store didn't even know it was starting up). When selling my own comic, I peddle it from the trunk of my car just to pay for printing costs. We need to find new means to new audiences while adapting to a changing industry. Indie books are the last bastion for originality in the comic book world and I want to thank you for spreading awareness on how important originality is. I hope you and your family have a great week.

On a side note - Yes, I have heard some good bands lately. Tons of them. They're using the same technology you vilify to get their music distributed worldwide without needing to kowtow to the mainstream corporate media you think this technology benefits. Today, without the necessity of a major label contract, bands can get their music before an audience and make a profit from legal downloads. Turn off your mainstram radio, which is controlled by corporate media (and that includes Pandora) and discover the new music revolution.

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Briefly About Steve

I'm a writer. I write comics, novels and films. I like reading, writing and watching Horror.

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Featured Books at My Store

30 Days of Night Omnibus

A Glimpse of Crime and Terror Steve Niles & Scott Morse

Criminal Macabre Omnibus, Volume 1

Remains - Special Movie Issue Trade Paperback.