Scans No Longer Daily

March 8th, 2009 by |

Scans_Daily, the livejournal community that used to regularly post pages from comic books, is no more.

I’ve mentioned scans_daily in at least one entry, so it’s no secret that I knew the place, and although I didn’t check in as religiously as I did when I first started reading comics, I’m sorry to see it go.  Obviously it was plagued with the same things that blight most internet communities – warring cliques, random trolls, dog-piling, off-topic ranting, and the occasional full-blown crazy person. 

At the same time, it was the perfect resource for the new, enthusiastic comics reader.  The journal format made it easy to have back-and-forth conversations without having to scroll through eighty pages of random remarks.  All sorts of people frequented the community, so discussion topics ranged from superhero crushes to continuity details to creator gossip.  With over nine-thousand members, it was also the perfect place to find out more about anything you were interested in.  If you needed an issue number or a costume variation, all you had to do was ask and wait. 

Still, I can’t say I’m surprised that it was shut down.  Post scans, especially a lot of them, and you can expect trouble sooner or later.

I don’t want to get into the drama of the shut down.  I’m sure it’s googleable.  And I don’t want an onset of internet lawyers, talking about fair use and creator rights.

What I would like to hear, from anyone here who has an opinion, is whether or not this was a victory or a setback for comics marketing. 

As I said, I frequented the community, especially in the early days, and it really expanded my reading list.  Nightwing, Birds of Prey, The Blue Beetle, Secret Six, The Ultimates, and Green Arrow are a few I can list off the top of my head.  There are also countless back-issues, mini-series, and one-shots that I picked up because I saw something I liked on scans_daily, and got into a conversation with someone who told me about other issues that I would like even more.

At the same time, look at my list again.  Three out of those six titles are currently cancelled.  And I distinctly remember picking up a trade at a booth at WonderCon, flipping through it, and thinking, “I’m not buying this.  There are only a few pages I’m interested in and I know they’re on scans_daily.”  Of course, for a few pages out of a whole trade, the vendor would have had to offer a hell of a discount for me to have bought it.  And I don’t think the book would have caught my eye in the first place if it weren’t for seeing those few pages on scans_daily.  But in an industry where every sale counts, is this a significant dent?  Of course there are a ton of torrent sites, but how many people look at a book and think, “Why shell out three dollars when the pages I most want are on scans_daily?”

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11 comments to “Scans No Longer Daily”

  1. They, er, relocated.


  2. If people are similar to me,shutting down a scans site is a very bad move by the comics industry. In the past 2 years, I’ve only bought about 2 comics that I didn’t see scans/reviews of online. I also read reviews on other sites, but by its sheer magnitude Scans_Daily was responcible for putting a lot of stuff on my wishlist.

    I do think it would be a good move to change the amount of comic allowed to be posted from 1/2 the book to something less (at least for recently published material). When I see 4 or 5 cool pages from a comic, I might pick it up. But if half the story is posted and the other half explained in the notes, I have to keep myself from reading that post, ’cause I’m less inclined to pick up a book if I already know everything that happens in it. (Once I’ve jumped onto a book, I pretty much stop reading all posts about it on S_D). And of course, less scans means less chance of trouble with the law.

  3. It’s not a big loss because there are many other communities where readers, new and old, can get recommendations and learn about comics they may like. I’ve checked out titles based on the recommendations of people on messageboards or bloggers.

    I don’t quite buy the argument that the members of S_D were somehow different from members of other messageboard communities because there seemed to be more similarities than differences.

  4. I don’t think it’s a real setback, because the audience – while 8,000 registered members strong – was a small subset and face it, just LOOK at comics visually… they’re not that concerned with female or gay readers to begin with. If a tight ass in a union suit isn’t enough to make you feel catered to, too bad! Unfortunately. And if you’d like to crack jokes about subtext and never get some some self-righteous ‘comics are to be read like THIS not like THAT’ type in your face… well yes, that’s gone too. Community fosters discussion fosters recommendation and widens the range of titles people consider.

    It did get me to commit to a Never Pay For Marvel stance, though, because even though the site is down, Marvel’s *still* sending out C&D’s to people who had posts up there. Hey it’s a down economy anyway, I can use that money for other things. And torrent sites, which actively distribute whole runs of comics (looking for The Boys 1-24 all in one easy bundle?) are still free.

  5. For me, it was a huge loss. I don’t do DC under any circumstances, and marvel spews out so much crap mixed up with their good stuff, and some times, crap turns good (fantastic four) or good turns into crap (spider-man) and I just can’t aford the money to sponsor mistakes and gamble on quality. I read, what I like, gains my atention, what I love, I buy.

  6. I have to say, scans_daily was probably the very worst comic community on the web, so while I can entertain a debate on whether or not what they were doing was acceptable, I am certainly not sad t see it go

  7. For my personal dollar, it works out to a loss – I purchased quite a few singles and trades based on a handful of scans, and that resource is no longer available (long-time reader, never a member). I’m aware of company-sanctioned preview pages, but as a marketing tool they’re ineffecive to me, and s_d functioned more like word-of-mouth advertising*. IMHO, anyway. It had a great deal of value beyond that, as well – in addition to old, classic scans and the random works that I’d never have looked at otherwise, it functioned as a hodgepodge library I could refer to in answering spontaneous geek questions. I wouldn’t buy an “Invasion!” or “Inferno”** trade to satisfy my curiosity about a partiular character’s actions in issue x, and the wiki’s kind of dry. The community may have had a lot to be desired, but in my experience, most passionate communities are lacking in some graces, and have a handful of crazies.

    * I have three non/sporadic comic-reading friends still asking me if the rest of Hitman has been collected in trade yet, thanks to linking to s_d in a drunken stupor.

    ** I have the full run of “Inferno”. I’m not digging through my storage area for a particular comic or two. With s_d gone, it’s now easier to find the torrent of the full run. Sad, but true. As an aside, is it still illegal to download those if I have the original issues, or do I have to scan them myself?

  8. Ooooooh. Good range of responses.

    @kwaku: I do argue that the format was better than message boards. Much, much better. And the ability to post scans was a better conversation kick off than written questions. The whole ‘picture is worth a thousand words’ thing does prove true. I don’t think it had worthier members or a higher standard of conversation, but there were a few practical things that made it popular.

    @ACK: Again, not getting into the drama, but there is the twist that closing a community can create resentment.

    @Banhammer: It also helped me when I hit the back-issue to monthly issue wall. If I couldn’t discuss comics in between the once a month times when they come out, I don’t think I’d stay interested.

  9. I’ll speak for what I’m sure was some portion of the S_D community and say that I pretty much stopped picking up comics after I discovered it. They covered so many of the major arcs and posted so many scans from them, it honestly didn’t feel necessary to purchase any. I’m a rather casual comic book fan, and my desire to read comic books doesn’t outweigh my reluctance to actually purchase them. With S_D gone, I’ll probably start picking up trades again.

    I can understand Marvel’s stance on the matter. I followed Civil War, Planet Hulk, the Skrull Invasion, and the Dark Avengers saga without once purchase. At the same time, I think it also speaks of the need for them to come up with a better distribution method for their product than what they’re currently doing.

    Finally, I do understand that I’m an asshole for being what’s exactly wrong w/ a community like Scans_Daily, but I think this ties in to the rather existential question, “why buy the cow when the milk is free?”

  10. I feel its a loss. It’s a rather overwhelming feeling to try and get into this little comic book realm. Any tool such as this that would soften the blow caused by this intimidation is a good thing in my eyes.

  11. I’m a regular reader, sometime poster to the comm. I’m kinda sad to see it go (haven’t joined the new community yet and stuck with noscans_daily on LJ), but I do feel that this would have no large discernable impact on comics marketing whatsoever.

    Scans are still available… just because one community was shut down doesn’t mean it’s not found on the internet some other place.