The fabulous online comics community Scans Daily has been shut down, one assumes by its host LiveJournal. The reason, apparently, was copyright infringement — ie. posting scans whole issues or close to whole issues of new comics on the site. Seeing some of his work there got comics writer Peter David riled, and he informed his employer Marvel Comics, but he won’t assume any responsibility, saying that the plug was pulled before anyone could have acted on his complaints. Presumably, LiveJournal have been receiving similar complaints for a while and decided that this couldn’t go on. But really, I have no idea.

Whatever the reason, this is a real pity. Scans Daily was a great resource, both for getting people stopping by excited about comics, keeping them entertained, and providing amazing new discoveries, especially of older, hard-to-find stuff. I’ve greatly enjoyed lurking there, and have linked to their posts more than once here from the Bunker. Like this poster, I hope LiveJournal or whoever is responsible will reconsider this decision.

In principle I don’t condone piracy, and posting entire issues of comics on the stands seems unnecessary, but sites like Scans Daily are emphatically not the problem in this regard. I don’t know how many readers Peter David might have lost because of the site, it’s anyone’s guess, but Scans Daily was never primarily about piracy — that would be the many torrent providers. Scans Daily offered a cultural/entertainment service that ultimately served to benefit anyone in comics. They are the wrong target for this kind of action. A straw man.

And in any case, like the music business, the comics industry needs to grow up and accept that it cannot control its content in the old ways anymore. The internet is a fact and the sooner they realise it and start providing affordable, quality online product, piracy is only going to proliferate.

Thanks to Allan Haverholm for the tip.


  1. I too lurked there from time to time, and most of my comic purchases were based on what I saw posted there. I’d get excited about comics I hadn’t even heard of due to the comments and scans people posted. I’m not sure I’ll get the same motivation to buy them now from the official preview scans alone.

  2. This is really sad. Scans Daily was usually my nightly read while in bed. I hope it gets resurrected in one form or another!

  3. i know one person that read scans daily and bought comics and 10 that read it INSTEAD of buying comics. i think people who say that scan daily getting shut down is bad for the industry probably don’t work at a comic store, draw or write comics, etc. still, i’m going to miss finding out of print batman comics from the 50s on there…

  4. This got me into some comics. My friend was introduced to Fell through Scans Daily, and bought the comic book. I saw her copy and bought a copy of my own. I’m not a big comic book fan, but now that I’m getting more involved in reading Scans Daily, I’m much more inclined to walk into a store and check out what they have. Without Scans Daily, I would’ve ignored the entire industry.

  5. Well, good to see that it’s back:

    Also, Dirk linked to this, which I think is quite good:

    In relation to the Scans Daily debacle and what it says about people’s internet use, this passage leaps out:

    “Users prefer it not just because it’s free, but because it’s more convenient. Bittorrent and YouTube have already trained a new generation of viewers that the place to watch shows is on a computer screen.”

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