In week three of my digital versus physical experiment, I actually learned a lot. Well, maybe experienced a lot is more accurate. First off, yes, the issue of only a few issues being available Wednesday morning is still… well, an issue. This week I had two whole books, since DC/Vertigo was not heavy in week three, to download before I headed off to work. That sucks. Thankfully I had to do a few things and only managed to get time to read two issues so… I guess it worked out this week. I definitely wanted to read other books before Astro City and Superman/Wonder Woman though—not that there’s anything wrong with them, they were both really good, but there was just other stuff I’d want to read first.
So here’s a story for you: the other night I had just purchased and downloaded the Lights Out arc that ran through the various Green Lantern-related titles to get caught up because as much as I dislike most of what DC is doing right now, I still love Green Lantern. Plus, they were mostly $1.99—we’ll get to that later—so I went for it. The last two issues, while downloading, suddenly had some sort of error and stopped downloading. Then, basically, Comixology crashed. I was logged out, couldn’t get back in and Comixology Support was working on it, but it seemed like there wasn’t a lot they could do.
Needless to say, being the not-so-patient person that I am I was super annoyed that I couldn’t read my god damn stories before I went to bed. Then another negative aspect about relying on digital hit me: if it’s down, you’re out of luck. Especially when, you know, Mac (rightfully) refuses to use Flash so I can’t even read them on my iPad or iMac. Then a second thing hit me: it was a cat toy and I had to shoo my stupid cat away from my desk. But then I came to the realization that while I couldn’t read at that particular moment, and it took a half hour or so to start working again, I also couldn’t have purchased those issues, especially for that price, on a whim like I did.
“Son of a bitch!” I said as I retired to the bedroom to wait out the Comixology issues. You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Before I decided to give digital a try, I think I had four or five DC Comics series on my regular pull list. Now? I have seven. Three more series wiggled their way on to my list for the exact same reason that made me catch up on some Green Lantern stories, specifically New Guardians. What was that reason? It was cheaper and it was there. I could do it while I browsed casually on Comixology. I added Earth 2, which I caught up on since Tom Taylor took over, New Guardians, which absolutely rocks and I regret not getting back on when Justin Jordan and Brad Walker took over, and Actions Comics which also was added after the discovery that new creative team Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder were awesome on a Superman book.
It’s like the old saying about beer that it’s the “cause and solution to all of life’s problems.” Or, at least, that’s the connection my brain is making as I type this. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that Comixology opens the door for tons of series you might not be reading/have read and it makes it ridiculously easy to buy whatever you little heart desires in that second. Until you see your iTunes bill, you just don’t keep track of it like you would with cash/debit at a comic shop. In the same paragraph, literally, you’re also, generally speaking, getting a lot of those back issues for cheaper than walking into a shop or two or three and hunting them down.
So if you’re keeping score at home that puts this Digital vs. Physical score at, what? 3 to 3? Granted, some of these points weight heavier than others and we’ll break it all down as this experiment wraps up at the end of the month, but for all intents and purposes we’re still tied. There’s good and there’s bad. It can be good for your wallet and it can be bad. You can discover new series but then you generally add them to your pull list which, obviously, costs more money each month. The verdict is still out on a digital weekly pull list, O’ ye comic faithful, so until next time read those comics any way you can.