There was a time not too long ago where if you wanted to get a comic book you had to go to the comic book store and wade through box after box of issues until you found the one you were looking for. While there’s a feeling of reality and nostalgia to think that this is how people have looked for the comics they’ve wanted for longer than you’ve been alive, the system of buying comics has grown stale. Comic book shops attract a very unique niche of people that truly love the experience.
The experience of walking through a good shop is hard to beat, and the feeling of finding that exact book you’ve been looking for is the stuff of legend, but in today’s digital age this isn’t the answer for many people. The digital revolution has disrupted just about every aspect of our lives, and comics are the next big market to be affected.
In other words, getting digital comics can be a far more direct method of obtainment that gives the reader all the power. There’s more to digital comics than going to the source however. While there’s arguments for and against digital comics and which is better, there really isn’t any argument for the need for digital comics. Check out the five reasons below to see why comics had to go digital
1. No More Long Boxes
For some people, a cellar full of long boxes is a thing of beauty. Seeing all those issues neatly stacked and organized in your own methodical system is definitely something to brag about, but while you might love it, it’s not for everybody.
Speaking for married guys and people that don’t have a lot of room to store them, keeping a large physical collection of comic books is next to impossible for many people. This has no bearing on their love of the medium, but as the generation of comic book fans grows up and get apartments and houses, keeping a physical collection isn’t easy and is sometimes impossible.
Comics had to move to digital to help these people consume the books they love. Instead of needing tons of floor space now all you need is an iPad. That dramatic shift in storage space needed is a boon for the space-challenged crowd.
2. Never Out of Print Again
If you’re a fan of comics I’m sure there’s been at least one time that you’ve tried to find that one book to complete a series and it’s out of print, making it nearly impossible to find without shelling out a small fortune to get it.
There’re also those Holy Grail books that are so rare and expensive that even if you have a copy you’ve probably never read it. With digital comics however, this isn’t a problem. For example, you can read “All Winners” #2 with Captain America and the Human Torch from 1941 in the Marvel Unlimited app for iPad and iPhone, but it’s a pretty safe bet that you wouldn’t find that in your local shop.
This means that classic books can still be read and enjoyed. Remember, it’s those classic stories that made the characters you love today, so show them some love and see where they actually came from.
3. More Approachable to a Wider Audience
We mentioned above that there are few things that are as great as an awesome comic book shop. The look, the smell, and the people make for just the right place to get your comic fix, but what if you’re new to comics and feel out of place in a comic book shop?
If the niche of people and experiences that’s in every comic shop isn’t appealing to some people, they can be left out in the cold. People that have come into comics later in life might be put off by looking through a comic shop, but searching an iPad app is easy and you don’t have to find a shop that has the books you like.
4. People Demand Libraries to be Mobile
The thought of having a library of anything today that isn’t digital and searchable seems crazy. We want our contacts in an electronic address book, our books on a Kindle, and now our comics on our tablets.
Being able to keep your entire comic book collection with you wherever you go is a huge plus to comics, and a necessary move as we go more and more digital. Besides, it makes it easier for that 40-year old businessman to read his comics while on his lunch break and not look ridiculous to his coworkers.
5. Young Audiences Demand Digital
Finally, as new generations come into loving comics, they bring with them a need for digital. Most of us still love paper comics because we’re used to the feel, sound, and even the smell of the books. Kids that are just starting to read comics today don’t have that same nostalgia.
Think of it this way, the thought of looking a phone number up in a phone book today seems insane, but your grandparents probably wouldn’t have it any other way. It probably feels better for them to physically touch and see the number before calling it.
The same goes for the generation moving into comics right now. They want to see things on their computers and iPads, which means if comics didn’t move to the new medium they run the risk of going the way of newspapers; a slow and painful death. Growth is needed or else another industry will step over the antiquated one. We don’t want comics to ever be antiquated so digital is here to save the day.
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