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Digital or Bust: Part 1

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Happy New Year o’ ye comic faithful! The time has finally come to switch my weekly pull list from physical to digital and let me tell you that the January 1st pull was… well, it wasn’t a very good look at switching to digital. If you have no idea what I’m rambling about, check out the two part prologue found here and here. In total, I think I had four comics come out that I regularly pull (Superior Foes, Manhattan Projects, New Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy) and I still ended up going to my comic shop on Tuesday because I got off work early and I’m really deep into the Grant Morrison Batman run right now (thanks to Derek and Joey, those bastards) and needed more trades.

Now, even though I went anyway, I really didn’t have to go to my shop—or two other shops to try and find those Morrison Batman trades—it was still nice to roll over Tuesday morning and flick on the old iPad and just download my books. Granted, at 6:00 AM only one was available for download because it was a Tuesday and New Years really screwed up New Comic Book Day but still, that was nice.

I can see where downloading five, six, seven books at a time in the morning while you’re just getting up can be appealing. Roll out of bed, hit download, get dressed and then take your iPad to work for some lunch time comic book reading. The idea of that rocks and I can’t wait to get more than four comics—and also not go to my shop, which is part of this experiment—and just bring the iPad to work and read some comics at lunch.

Funny story though, the guys that work at Phoenix Comics NW (the best shop in Calgary, Alberta, Canada) knew I was doing a “Digital January” experiment so when I showed up on Tuesday I, of course, got a few shots. Stuff like, “come to smell the new comics, then go off and read them digitally?” and something along the lines of “bottling up” the new comic smell and taking it home to release it as I read off the iPad. Funny stuff, but don’t think I wasn’t trying to figure out how to get a “New Comic Book Smell” car freshener to hang around my neck while I read the iPad. New comics, be it single or a new trade/collection, smell fantastic. Ask any reader. Next time you get a new trade, crack it open and give it a good sniff. It’s not weird, it’s normal. Shut up and try it before you judge.

i-like-smelling-new-books

Anyway, my point kind of got away from me there. My point is that week one and I already miss the smell of new comics. Thankfully I had some trades to keep the withdrawals at bay.  All in all, this was kind of a bust week (pun not intended) as far as really sinking my teeth into the digital “lifestyle”. The potential is there, but I’m far from convinced at this point. But, hey, there’s always next week. So, until then: read comics.

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  • Good luck on your endeavor!

    I’m fully digital (except for one or two volumes) for a few months, and the guided view works wonderfully on my Nexus 7 but I think I’d be better served with a bigger screen. In time I’ll migrate to a retina iPad Air…

    Anyway, thanks for sharing this experiment!

    • Thanks for the comment, João! The iPad 2 I currently use definitely seems to be about the right size, but that iPad Air is pretty great.