Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: Are Print's Days Numbered?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Are Print's Days Numbered?

New York magazine had a very sobering and discomfiting article about the New York publishing industry (and by "New York publishing industry," I mean publishing books in the United States, of course). It's optimistically titled, "The End."

[P]retty much every aspect of the business seems to be in turmoil. There’s the floundering of the few remaining semi-independent midsize publishers; the ouster of two powerful CEOs—one who inspired editors and one who at least let them be; the desperate race to evolve into e-book producers; the dire state of Borders, the only real competitor to Barnes & Noble; the feeling that outrageous money is being wasted on mediocre books; and Amazon .com, which many publishers look upon as a power-hungry monster bent on cornering the whole business.

The whole article is not that stark, fortunately, but it does describe how the publishing business is going to have to change (although precisely how it will change remains to be seen).

Meanwhile, Todd Allen reads into a whole different portent about the death of print. It's not a pretty picture.

Speaking of not pretty pictures, for no particular reason, here's the cover to the first issue of a not-quite-successful-enough humor comic book from 35 years ago. I believe this is the first time I became aware of Basil Wolverton's art (although I discovered some of his early Mad magazine covers at about the same time). Yes, this is a fairly typical example of his work.


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