• May 2012
    S M T W T F S
  • On Facebook

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Comic Blog Elite

    Comic Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

Falling for Digital Comics

comixologyatomicrobo001It’s taken me awhile, but I do believe I’ve largely “come around” to a certain acceptance of digital comics. I have not wholly EMBRACED digital, but I’ve come to see some definite perks to “going digital.”

A few months ago, I decided to try the nook app on my phone for reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest and found that I loved being able to read prose on my phone. Rather than lugging around this large hardback, I could simply read from my phone’s screen, and since I always carry my phone, I’d always have my book on-hand as well without having to adjust for (physical) space.

dccomixologyappbatwingComics have been a much different thing for me, given the tiny size of this phone’s screen. So I’ve been resistant, occasionally downloading a freebie “just to have it” on the phone, but never purchasing any comics. I did purchase several issues of Batwing digitally, to try out the format, though I’m almost certain as of this typing that I’ve yet to read beyond #2 and quit buying after #7 (hey, once I catch up on the reading, the later issues’ll still be there!).

But a few weeks back, I jumped on the Batman sale from Comixology to purchase the single issues of A Death in the Family, for the sheer principle of having (in SOME form) the individual issues of this story after all these years. $4 for the set when a single issue of anything new is the same price…it was like paying for one comic, and these are in my phone so I can read ’em or refer to ’em whenever…and conveniently.

dccomixologyappsupermanShortly after, Comixology had a sale on DC’s 1994 Zero Hour: Crisis in Time event with most of the ZH tie-ins and zero issues. I took the opportunity to purchase digitally the four Superman #0 books as well as the #0s for Green Lantern, Robin, and Zero Hour itself; also bought the Robin Zero Hour tie-in, and would have bought the Superman: The Man of Steel tie-in as well had it been available as part of the Zero Hour stuff (and probably also the other 3 Superman books then to go with it).

Last week I bought X-O Manowar (1993) #0 for the convenience of getting to re-read the issue; and I believe it must’ve been last weekend I bought the Thy Kingdom Come: Superman issue from the JSA sale. Tonight I bought the Heroes Return (Kurt Busiek) relaunch of Avengers #1 just for the amusement of having #1 handy.

comixologyavxI also recently redeemed my digital codes for Avengers vs. X-Men issues 1-3 which allowed me to easily read #3 at work without fumbling with a comic while eating lunch.

Now, these are all issues that I already own and have SOMEWHERE in the many longboxes of comics I own. But $.99 to read them again NOW and withOUT the hassle of digging through all these boxes…sure thing! (I already do that with bargain bins–many 25-cent and 50-cent comics I buy are dupes, but I buy again for the immediate gratification and eye toward eventually donating a bunch of comics somewhere).

The other day, I was randomly poking through other comics on Comixology, and discovered Atomic Robo vol. 1 (6 issues!) was $3.99. For the price of a single Marvel–and I’ve already temporarily “given in” on the price point for the AvX tie-ins–I could purchase the content of all 6 issues. After downloading that, I happened to look, and found the other volumes similarly priced, and wound up spending about $15 to purchase digital editions of the contents of 4 Atomic Robo volumes.

comixologyatomicrobovol1Back to the size of the screen issue: this is not my preferred format. But the convenience of having the issues handy is great, and as I’ve been watching for the 99-cent sales, the price is right. Maybe I can get some of these in a quarter-bin, maybe a dollar-bin…but sure canNOT beat the CONVENIENCE factor. In the mood to read a comic? If it’s on Comixology and I have a 3G or wireless connection, I can snag the issue and be reading within minutes. I actually forced myself to NOT purchase X-Men: Alpha the other day because I know darned well I have the entire Age of Apocalypse saga in singles in this very room, just can’t remember which box I stuck ’em in.

There’s also the fact that I have high intentions of getting a tablet within the next year or so (I’m planning on an iPad but at this point the availability of Comixology’s app is going to be a very important contributing factor to any non-Apple tablet I’d “settle” for). Since I know these Comixology digital comics can be accessed across devices, even though reading the issues on my iPhone is not ideal…I know that I’ll have these issues available when I get a tablet, which will (for me) lend a bit of an “edge” to the psychological value of the tablet initially.

dccomixologyappjsaDevices and convenience aside…the price point is the other huge factor for me.

I won’t say that I’ll never pay “full print price” for a comic digitally…but on principle alone I have very little intention of ever doing so, except perhaps in a pinch. I did it for Avengers vs. X-Men #0 for the coupon (which I forgot to use, and had not realized the print edition of AvX #0 came with a code FOR the digital version) and since then am extra-wary.

Because it is a digital file, I feel that what I pay digitally should reflect the fact that I’m NOT getting something physical/tangible to keep. I’ve only slightly waded into DC digital for Batwing, waiting a month for the issues to be $1 cheaper, which I find to be an acceptable compromise. But I find that $1.99 is more than I’m willing to pay for “back issues,” particularly older back issues. It’s not bad for say, X-Men Alpha/Omega/Prime as those were $4 books. But I’m much more comfortable with a “standard” $.99 to $1.29 (using Apple’s music pricing). Heck, have older (Golden/silver age?) issues for $.69 (as I’ve noticed Apple does with some albums).

I’d be much happier with a pricing model that had standard price being $.99, or ideally a bit less if cover price was less than $.99. As I’ve been bitten by this “digital bug,” I’d be much more inclined to buy more at the lower price. And single-issue-priced collections of entire arcs suck me in all the more.

comixologyatomicroboandxoI’d also like to see “all” comics (specifically looking at DC and Marvel) come with “free” digital codes. I may or may not read the issue in digital form, but contrary to my original expectation, I do have a feeling of “extra value” to my $3.99 having the digital edition to go along with the print comic. I can read the print edition, but later if I remember something I want to go back and look at and I don’t have a stack of my new/recent comics handy, I can go to the digital version. I refuse to pay an extra $1 for DC’s “combo pack” editions, though.

I also think that where I’d be hesitant to purchase a print edition at full price for an unknown comic, something available for $1 or so would make me a lot more willing to check something out. It would also make an interesting sort of “convention special” if creators could hand out a card with a code for a free download of an entire issue. That would save them having to have a bunch of print copies to give out while still allowing someone to check out an entire issue’s worth of their work, and could likely even point one to further issues. And if this code were on a business card, I’d also have contact/website info to find the creator’s blog/twitter/tumblr/deviantart presence online.

comixologyatomicrobo004In talking with a friend about the Atomic Robo digital find, I put to words what had been in the back of my mind for awhile: I still especially dislike comics as PDFs on my computer screen. Strips are fine–those work remarkably well on my computer screen, even. But as far as digital editions…at least Comixology has the “guided view” aspect to (as much as possible) make the comics readable on my phone. The times I’ve tried to read comics as PDFs I’ve found myself quite frustrated by the time I’m through just a few pages, and given up reading. I can’t bookmark my spot in the PDFs (or at least, I don’t know how and have never bothered to try to learn due to expectations of such functions not being available in the free Adobe Reader).

So, I’ll read print comics, or I’ll read ’em on my phone, but still hold to little interest in reading full-sized comics on my computer screen.

Despite all of this typed rambling on the subject…my views and thoughts may change in a week, or month, or next year. But for now…this is where I’m at on “going digital.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: