Comic Culture: Digital or Bust?
This week I really want to spark some conversation on Comic Culture. While I don’t believe it will ever reach this point, I want to hear your opinions on something specific. There is clearly an emphasis on digital media (music, TV, movies, etc.) in today’s mass market with our “on-the go” mentality. And, within the last few years, the comic medium has started to really blossom in this genre as well thanks to services like Comixology (which I have made it clear I am a HUGE fan of). There also seems to be strides in the DRM free marketplace with books like Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin’s The Private Eye and Image’s new push to buy directly from them instead of using secondary sources.
If you look at the numbers, it is clear that digital is here to stay and that readers, as well as publishers, are seeing the benefits of the endless capabilities of this mode of reading. This technology allows creatives to get their work to the farthest reaches of the globe, where comic shops probably don’t exist. I for one am a huge proponent of digital comics, and read them on my iPad regularly. I still love to read my paper graphic novels, but the ease and portability of reading comics anywhere and at anytime without having to lug your books around is in one word: priceless. Being fully aware that I am essentially “renting” my comics from Comixology doesn’t bother me because I have reached the point where I merely want to read the stories; I no longer have that collector mentality and that works for me. I used to purchase my monthly books, read them once, bag and board them and then file them away. Once they were filed out of sight I would never look at them or think of them again. They would remain buried in a box in the closet collecting dust. There’s nothing to say that I read my digital monthlies more than once, but at least they aren’t taking up space in my closet that could go to better use.
So, now that I’m off my soap box, I want to pose my question for the week. And this is specifically aimed at all you die-hard paper readers.
If it ever reached the point where comics became strictly digital, would you make the jump or would you merely give it all up?
I would love to hear what you all think about the whole subject. Feel free to leave a comment here, or start a conversation with me on Twitter. And in the meantime, enjoy your “paper” or “digital” books.