Where Digital Comics Fit In…

I’ve been thinking for a while about Digital Comics and since there has been a lot of focus on them since the iPhone and iPad announcements and apps have been appearing to where they fit in with the regular comic reader. Now I’m of the old guard who prefers to have a book in his hand to read comics but there are still some that I read online (Freak Angels and Tales from the Copper Age) But even with those 2 I prefer to get the books and read them again, for Freakangels only at the moment as Tales from the Copper Age hasn’t been released in a hard copy yet, but where does that put the industry.

Now I really think that we won’t see the death of issue for a long time… and I’m talking about 20-30 odd years until my generation dies off but there is a place for Digital Comics. The whole Generation Y who want everything now and to do everything on they’re phone’s, PSP’s, computers etc now have a way to get comics the way they want. And with that the companies have been realizing that which is showing a way to expand their reader base back to what it was 50 years ago when we would see a comic which gets 100,000 sales getting canceled for being too low in sales.

Digital is the way to get more readers. There is no doubt about that at all.

But then it comes down to what can get me to read digital comics when I’m generally getting the issues of all the comics that I want.

I think IDW has found the solution to get someone like me to double dip (and some times triple dipping).

Now for the record I don’t have an iPhone or iPad or i Anything apart from my iriver which I use for podcasts and recording but I do have a PSP. Late last year the PSP Comic store was opened along with the comic app for PSP which works fantastically. As most would, I installed it and downloaded all of the free comics to check it out which works really well. when you open a comic on it you can page through and it will give you an overview of the page layout and then will go down to a panel by panel view in a nice smooth motion which doesn’t take you out of the story at all.

But what IDW has done, for example with Wormwood Gentleman Corpse has had Ben Templesmith go in to record commentary for the issues that you can listen to as your reading to get further background on the creative process and insights that he has had along the way. This is what can get me coming back for a digital copy.

Instead of getting a PDF or CBR or just a scan of the comic you get a full multimedia bundle I think this is the way to get people like me buying Digital and also expanding the readership of any book.

If you want to find out more about what’s happening in the world of Digital Comics I’d recommend going over to Chris Marshall’s new sister site to Collected Comics Library, DGTL Comics which also has an upcoming podcast to go with it.

What do you think?

Leave your thoughts in the comments.

4 Responses to “Where Digital Comics Fit In…”

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  3. Jason Tudor says:

    I think you’d like digital comics, especially as they are presented on the iPad. Marvel, IDW and Comixology (through its own app) have done a fantastic job creating that experience.

    I am not a collector. I keep some comics, but mostly as artistic inspiration or if the whole package is just a huge home run (like American Flagg or Grim Jack). So, the notion of keeping the books after reading is minimal for me. However, within the app, I can order a print copy if wanted.

    I disagree that the iPhone or PSP is the way to read comics. In my review of the Comixology app, I contended that the company’s app was cool. However, my contention is that the whole comic is an experience in and of itself. It’s vertical presentation. The glossy cover. The reader’s ability to drink in more than one panel at a time. And so on. The app is a win, to be sure. But seeing a full page on the iPad is an even bigger one. I believe all the companies realize this.

    Digital delivery to consumers is the future of entertainment. It cuts material costs to almost nil. Some would argue it’s kinder to the environment. And so on. However, I’d agree with whatever the creator’s INTENT is. If the INTENT is to create a printed, colored book, then that’s the medium I want it.

    When the intent swings toward creating products that specifically take advantage of the most broadly used methods of digital delivery (e.g., television or TV shows; movie theaters for films; and so on), then creators will shift their ideas about the creation of content to accommodate and enhance the digital experience.

    Finally, you mentioned the artist/writer’s commentary included with the digital product. LOVE that idea. I do dislike motion comics (those are called ‘cartoons’ or ‘films’; so either make a film or don’t, creator). I also dislike the idea of voiceovers or anything else that takes the ability for my imagination to fill in the gaps.

    You’d like the digital medium. If you have the opportunity to buy an iPad, for this and this reason only, get one. Comics look fantastic on them.

    Geez, I should have just made this a separate post. 😉

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