Not since the creation of the direct market in the early 70s has the comic publishing industry faced a major change on this level. Some see this shift as inevitable given the proliferation of PDAs, netbooks, and portable reading devices such as the Kindle and iPad. And there are others who see it as the potential end of the monthly print versions of comics which could consequently spell the end of many comic book shops worldwide.
Now, some thoughts from me!
I have always thought that the digital medium can act in tandem to the print medium. My reasons for getting into digital comics was always about location. I haven’t had a comic shop near me for over 20 years – and would have to drive (until recently) about an hour away to get some comics. Now digital comics were readily available to my hand that it couldn’t be any simpler.
But they have never stopped me from enjoying a physical copy.
For example, I have a Marvel Digital subscription. On a whim I tried out Warren Ellis’s Nextwave series – the 2 collections now grace my ever growing trade collections. The same could be said by many of my titles!
Without digital, I never would have enjoyed the likes of Invincible, Fell, Kill Shakespeare, Planetary or Ultimate Thor!
In this way, new readers can be driven into the comic shops. I have spoken to people who loved the Hellboy movies – but never knew it was based on a comic! Soon they were on their iPhones, downloading the Dark Horse Comics
“Hey, whats ‘The Umbrella Acadamy’?” is what I next heard!
Another convert, another person who may go into Waterstones, log on to Amazon or find a comic shop to buy something!
The digital medium has also brought new creators into the fray – from Zuda competitors to web comicers. The likes of Box 13 brought to us by Comixology or the success of Cyanide & Happiness as an app is proof of that.
Publishers need to up their game – there was talk of codes in print for digital downloads – this is one way to go. Another way areÂ incentivesÂ one way or another- either to drive people towards digital or the other way around!
The Digital Comics News article has some very good points, there is no iTunes for comics yet, and it seems that the main players have theirr own ways. Comixology, Graphic.Ly and iVerse are leading the way in this new medium and it my belief that anything that improves the availability of comics is a good thing – and it has never been easier to get comics than it is now!