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Comic Culture: Going Digital “Revisited”

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With Tyler’s Digital or Bust experiment wrapping up, I thought it might be a good idea to revisit why I went digital for my monthly pulls, as well as the reasons I still love the format. For regular readers some of this may be redundant, and for that I apologize. But for all the “newbies” reading I hope I can shed some light on the digital comic platform.

It has been said numerous times by now, but the decision for me to go digital coincided directly with my wife and I buying a house. Prior to that we lived in an apartment and I was still going to the comic shop to buy books on a semi-regular basis. I didn’t have an official pull list, but I was normally going there at least once a week. Space was tight in our small one-bedroom apartment, but at that time I was still very much in the collector mentality. I wanted the physical books for my collection; so when we visited my parents I would take a stack of old floppies to their house to be filed because that’s where my collection was living at the time. It was a tedious and mundane process, but it worked for the most part.

Once we moved forward with purchasing our first home, which was nowhere near a comic shop, my mindset began to change. One would think that more space would equal a drive to buy more paper comics. Well, I’m here to say that the opposite happened. At this point in time I decided to give digital comics a try to see if it would work for me on a monthly basis. I made a decision and that decision involved less clutter, less gas and all around less hassle. The learning curve going from paper to digital is actually quite easy to get used to. And once I downloaded the comixology app and set up my account I was off to the races. Needless to say, taking the leap was more than worth it and after a week or two I didn’t miss the floppies at all.

Here’s what I quickly realized after I was a few weeks into being a digital convert:

  • I hate bagging and boarding comics. I don’t care what anyone says; it’s just all around a pain in the ass. With digital this practice DOESN’T exist. Also you don’t have to buy boxes and lug them around. And your body will thank you for that, for sure.
Boarding a comic

Ask me if I miss doing this? The answer is NO.

  • Digital comics NEVER sell out. You don’t have to worry about being at the shop when it opens to make sure you get that “hot” new series before everyone else does. And you don’t have to worry about comics being missing in your pull list at the shop either. Because with digital, you control your own pull list, and it all can be done with one finger, from the comfort of anywhere you choose.

  • If you have a smartphone and/or other digital reader you virtually have access to digital comics ALL the time. Sitting on the bus and bored, read some comics. Waiting at a restaurant for a table, read some comics. Waiting in the lobby for an appointment, read some comics. See where I’m going with this? You literally have access to your comics EVERYWHERE. How could this not be a good thing?

  • Digital comics take up NO physical space. And, everyone could use MORE space. There is ABSOLUTELY no downside to this.

Does your closet look like this? Mine used to.

Does your closet look like this? Mine used to.

  • If you wait long enough, you can get most monthly issues CHEAPER than cover price on sites like comixology. Many publishers reduce the cost of their single issues after they have been on the market for a while. So, if you can be patient, then comics at a cheaper price equals MORE money to buy MORE comics. Who doesn’t like that?

  • Excluding the cost of the digital reader, in the long run going digital is cheaper. You don’t have to pay for gas to go to the shop. You don’t have to pay for bags, boards and boxes. And, back to the topic of the digital reader, if you at base level have access to a computer you can read your digital comics on there. So, I am going to go out on a limb and say that most people have at least one computer at home; therefore, if you don’t have the money or reasons to buy a digital reader, then just read your comics on your computer. Problem solved!

Various comic e-readers.

Various comic e-readers (tablets and smartphones specifically).

There are obviously going to be cons to reading digital, but in my personal opinion these are overshadowed by the glaring positives. I must go on record and admit that, on the one hand, I am not a 100% devout digital reader. I still purchase trades and hardcovers of books and stories that I absolutely adore for my book shelf. That’s where I make the distinction. Large books are still read in paper, mainly because I prefer that format for the long form stuff (and so do my eyes). And that’s another point I really want to stress. It doesn’t have to be one way or the other. Reading a combination of digital and paper is a great option too. This way you get the best of both worlds.

So before I sign off for the week I want to be clear about one thing; I am NOT trying to convert anyone with this post. Everyone is free to read comics however they choose, whether it be digital or paper (just as long as it’s LEGAL). The more important thing is that people READ comics. Going digital has many benefits as described in detail earlier and if you are already a digital reader, bravo. But, if you are thinking about converting and taking the leap trust me, it’s not that scary. Give it a try. Maybe you’ll stay. Maybe you won’t. It’s your call. But, I think we can all agree there’s no harm in keeping an open mind. Right?

Happy reading.

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