I have been hyping the fact that digital comics will become the norm in the coming years. I spoke about stuff like the iPad and with that size screen and an easy access to new books for $1 or even $2 perhaps fans might flock to it for economic reasons if nothing else. If history has taught us nothing else, money makes the world go round. If recent history has taught us nothing else digital trumps everything. The need to own the actual thing has become less and less of an imperative. I got my wife a Kindle and she was never as big of a reader as she is now that she can )download a book whenever and wherever. So enough of the praises of digital and this column I will stop preaching my new mantra about how the digital comics need to utilize the full capabilities of the digital world and stop being a print comic on the compute, let’s go to why I hate digital comics.
1 I’m programmed to read pages. The tactile feeling of a page is more satisfying then the cold screen of a computer.
2) Comics are more fun when shared. I don’t believe in keeping my floppy comics. It never made sense to own a collection in boxes that no one sees and after selling my books that were true collector items, today’s books will never be that type of rarity. Every Monday I pack up stuff and give it off to USPS and send my books to Florida, New Jersey and France. I can’t share a digital book.
3) I can’t read it the way I want to read it. The computer screen likes to rotate stuff to make the orientation correct for how it is being held, sometimes I like to change the perspective of a panel and the computer will fight me.
4) The impact of the two page spread is gone. The computer screen size never changes, not so the comic page. Oversize books, golden age formats, two page spreads are all taken away by the computer screen which dictates the size I will see my comics in.
5) I will never own a hot book again. I had sent Mouse Guard to my daughter Gwen and the book got super hot. She sold the first three issues for a $100. I’m guessing I can’t resell my digital book on e-bay.
6) The end of the comic book store and my ability to just scan what I may want. I’m not 100% locked into my list for that week. Some books are game day decisions or I have a lighter week and want to try something different. A computer can give me previews, but nothing like looking over a rack of new books all at once. I know some stores will survive, but think about how many stores still sell CDs and you will understand our choices will be limited.
7) Not really an issue for me, but for many fans, no more long boxes and big collections. When I had a big collection often a joy would be to go into the boxes and peruse what I had or be looking for something and then distracted to a different story. Owning an object still holds a lot value and comfort for many of us. Heck my need to own was just transferred from the comic to the hard cover collections.
Everything changes and with pluses come minuses. These are some of the minuses I see with the advent of digital comics. I’m sure there are more. I’m also sure that the digital comic is here to stay, while I believe motion comics are probably a passing fad like 3D from the fifties, it may come back but it needs to be better than just a gimmick.
To conclude Digital Comics Suck, of course with the right price point, sign me up.