On a personal note -
Please, please, please don't download comics - this sort of thing gets me very angry. As I've dabbled in the comic industry and know a few 'names' it breaks my heart that people download comics as the artists and writers work bloody hard and keep really long hours to make these books, they are usually poorly paid with no advances etc. A lot of artists do it for the love and hope to make enough money to survive and get by in order to keep creating books. If you look around you can buy these books for a good price.
Piracy and illegal downloads are killing this industry more than any other and this would be a great shame to loose one of the last truly creative industries.
I completely agree with the spirit of your message here, and I do not want to get in a huge debate about it here. For most of the people in the world, you are totally correct, but I would like to point out one thing about it. . .
I hadn't bought a comic book since about 1994 until last year. I'd written them off totally. A friend of mine told me about Walking Dead and told me that I could download it. I'd never thought of looking for comics to download (nor could I imagine someone cutting up their comic or whatever to scan it.) I did the evil thing and downloaded the comic to read it. I read everything that was out so far of it, and was completely hooked. I totally value having a physical product in my hand over a digital copy and went out and bought EVERY SINGLE trade of TWD, as well as all the trades for Preacher, and Y, The Last Man. I currently have subscriptions going at my comic shop for four or five titles (depending on whether or not you consider Kick-Ass to actually exist anymore.) And I'm totally back in love with comics again.
I've spent several hundred on comics in the last year just from having downloaded one collection.
I just wanted to point that out, and I **FULLY** understand your position and see the harm that it does. I am the exception, not the rule, and I know it.
I manage a music store and see the effects on CD sales daily. When a CD release used to be a huge thing and we'd have hundreds of presales on a title, now it's a seriously mega-release when we have more than 20 presales on it. Downloads are affecting every aspect of the entertainment industry. I don't expect to have a job within the next 5-8 years if things keep up the way that they are.
This may be blasphemy in the comics world, but I'd like to see the publishers make digital download versions of the comics for a cheaper rate than the physical ones that you could subscribe to. It would be financially beneficial for them in that they wouldn't have printing/shipping costs for those who chose to go the digital route, and would allow for people who like to download to do so legally and legitimately. The benefit for me personally would be that I would be able to read the new comics that I buy when they release instead of the once every three weeks or so that I can get to my comics shop because I generally work around 50 hours a week plus travel time (I commute an hour each way.) I for one, would be doing the double-dip, by buying the download and reading it immediately, then buying the physical one when I can get to my comics shop. This is kind of stream of consciousness and all, just thinking it out as I type actually.
As I said, not wanting to argue or fight, just pointing out that in my case at least, it proved beneficial to the industry. =) I *am* on your side, here. lol