All the World is Sharing

So a few years ago I did an interview which wound up on the Hellboy 3-Disk DVD. The interview was pretty good (although the “examples” they showed had nothing to do with what I was saying).

Anyway, it came out, some people bought it, and from its Amazon ranking, it still sells from time to time.


Like all movies, it wound up on sharing/streaming sites. Now, when I egosurf, I see references to the piece all the time, and I know they’re all bootlegs because they’ve apparently been translated into other languages and then translated back.

Just a few of the names:

A Expeditiously Guide to Thought Comics with Scott McCloud

A Fleet Guide to Concept Comics with Scott McCloud

A Fast Guide to Belief Comics with Scott McCloud

A Hastily Guide to Conception Comics with Scott McCloud

A Lickety-split Guide to Conception Comics with Scott McCloud

A Like A Flash Guide to Notion Comics with Scott McCloud

A Mercurial Guide to Idea Comics with Scott McCloud

A Posthaste Guide to Opinion Comics with Scott McCloud

A Rapidly Guide to Idea Comics with Scott McCloud

A Snappy Guide to Plan Comics with Scott McCloud

A Speedily Guide to Idea Comics with Scott McCloud

A Swiftly Guide to Plan Comics with Scott McCloud

I’ve always held back from vilifying file-sharing like some of my peers who work in the “content” industry. I’m a boy scout myself—nearly all my songs and videos are straight from iTunes or equivalent sources—but I would rather live in a world that allows sharing and tries to build markets from willing sellers and willing buyers, than a world where the Net is so controlled that it can be effectively shut down.

Still, it’s sobering to see the scale of the phenomenon and how rarely these sessions pull up the actual name of the original segment:

A Quick Guide to Understanding Comics with Scott McCloud

Discussion (12)¬

  1. Kurt Busiek says:

    I’m not sure if I like “Speedily Guide” or “Lickety-Split Guide” better. You should bow to the will of the internet and start using both.

  2. Christy Lynn says:

    That’s hilarious! At least they got your name right! ((^_^))

  3. JubbenRobot says:

    It could have been worse, the title CouLd HavE bEen IN wEIrd CaSE ShiFtS, or w!th 5ymb0ls in5te@d of letters…

  4. Ffree says:

    It strikes me that there is no direct correspondence to UNDERSTANDING.

  5. Jacob says:

    What other movies do you appear in the extras on? I know you appear in the extras of unbreakable.

    • Scott says:

      Those and the Jeff Smith Documentary. Otherwise, just the occasional talking head in small comics documentaries.

  6. Matthew Marcus says:

    Didn’t this happen before where it said you knew something about “the art of the bullet?”

  7. Sandra says:

    Fair distribution and sustainable production of human resources (including food and housing for comics artists) is a very difficult and presently unsolved problem, but I personally don’t think that legally enforced artificial scarcity (based on copyrights or patents) is a part of the solution.

    I struggle with this because I want to make comics also.

  8. To my mind, there seems to be a clear distinction between what should be free (the digital version of everything) and what should be paid for (the physical version of everything).

    Anything downloadable falls into the realm of knowledge, learning, understanding, and therein belonging fairly to all of humanity, to further our evolution as a species. You’ve heard the truism before that “Knowledge wants to be free.”

    On the other hand, a physical product is not just knowledge, which is infinitely duplicatable, but is a lump of limited resources that is costly to produce. There can only be as many books as there are paper and glue. Besides, there are so many benefits to owning a physical product that it’s easy to see why freedom of content should exist. That’s why freedom-fighting pirates who don’t own heaps of stuff is an exception to the rule.

    Besides, aren’t we all waiting for the day when we can lean our feet up on our console like Picard and call out to our computer to provide us with whatever we need?

  9. You can only swim up the wave so far before the boat rolls over.

    I don’t know what the future of the internet will be, but there’s no way to control and restrict the flow of information. Content restriction provides jobs for many, but like whack-a-mole, for every copyright that’s ‘protected’, 50 more ‘shared’.

    Personally, I think it’s all motivated by fear and the need to make a billion dollars on every idea.

  10. Derek says:

    Um, anything digital should be free? How about this: The creator of anything digital should get to decide whether or not it’s free.