January 9, 2017 Uncategorized

    There’s lots of reasons why physical beats digital and here’s a top 10 list breaking down what makes physical comics superior to digital comic books.

1.     Experience the book as it was intended.
Comics were designed to be read in the format they’re printed.  They weren’t designed to be read on a 3 inch by 4 inch screen one panel at a time.  It’s like watching a movie on your spoon.  Technology will probably get us to that point some day while we can do this while eating our cereal, but is it a better experience?  Clearly not.  A lot of time and effort gets put into laying out a book and a page (or 2 page spread)  you don’t have to let your digital reader decide how it should be viewed, that should be up to the creator and yourself.

2.      Anytime, Anywhere.
Your comics batteries don’t run out.  As long as your eyes are working you can still read your comic, be it a bright day outside in the park (glare is not an issue), or in the middle of a 12 hour flight to Europe.  Walking Dead vol. 13 is good to go and you don’t have to stress about making sure you charged it before you left, or pissed that it died on you half way through your reading.

3.      Cheaper by the dozen.
Sure some virtual comics are cheaper than some printed comics. That’s what happens when you buy a virtual item (see Farmville, funny I still like eating real food better even if it costs more) – but just about every comic store in America has 25 cent and 50 cent bins, as well as dirt cheap comics to be found at a comic convention. Virtual comics, not so much.

4.      Cosmic Scale.
Comics are colored with printing in mind. A colorist cannot know how you’ve calibrated your monitor vs. your PSP vs. your Ipad vs. how your wife’s monitor makes greens look funny. But they can know how to calibrate their screens as close as possible to match what the printed result will look like.  When you get a printed version of a book it’s how they all look. It doesn’t vary from monitor to monitor or device to device.

5.      They have some value.
Not not every comic book appreciates in value, and some you can only re-sell to your local store for a nickel or a dime, but that’s 100% better than the complete inability for you to resell any virtual comic you buy.  And when that rare lightning strikes and you ended up with a copy of TMNT #1, it’s a great feeling that you’ll never get from a virtual product.

6.      Surprise it’s new Technology!
Technology has repeatedly made vast changes every 3 or 4 years and entire platforms are quickly abandoned to embrace the ‘new’ (i.e. resell you everything again).  With a printed comic you don’t have to worry that the new iPad HI-DEF Mark IV isn’t backward compatible with the $4,000 you just blew building a virtual comic collection.  You can always buy it all again right?  That’s what they’re hoping anyway.  I can still read my 1980’s comics, but my old 5/14 floppy discs?  Nope, don’t have a reader for those anymore.

7.      You can lend them to friends.
With your virtual comic downloads you’re buying DRM product.  (Digital Rights Media).  You’re allowed your copy, on your device.  That’s it.  One of the biggest joys I get from comics is turning others on to them, be it lending a comic or TPB.

8.      When’s the first virtual comic convention?
Again, reading comics is great but sharing the experience with others simply adds to it.  For everyone that touts how great it is to never have to leave their home, they’re missing out on the fun of talking at the local comic store with the employees or other customers, actually meeting their favorite creators at a convention (in person, not on twitter), being a collectible item is what helped stimulate the first comic conventions. 

     9.      Do as you please with them
Want to frame your favorite comic and put it on the wall, no problem.  Want to give out your extra comics on Halloween and turn kids on to comics?  No problem.  I’ve used comics to wrap birthday presents, donated my comics to shelters, I’ve lifted images off my comics with silly putty and you know why?  It’s because they’re real and I OWN THEM.  I didn’t sign away my rights to save a dollar and buy a virtual product.  

     10. The THRILL of the HUNT!
Even if my long sought after comic isn’t worth a substantial amount of money there is a lot to be said for the thrill of the hunt.  Took me years to find the first Sam & Max (fishwrap productions) comic, and it’s a book I show off to other collectors.  While not valuable, it is scarce and a comic I love. Not a whole lot of pride or joy in clicking download to a virtual item that has virtually a limitless quantity available.