Online Comics: The Wave Of The Future?

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Posted by inferiorego (23102 posts) - - Show Bio

The Way of the Dinosaur (I Hope Not)

When I graduated college, I was excited. I wanted to write movie reviews, and my degree in critical film analysis made me a shoe-in for that job. I spent hours looking online for jobs at different local papers only to find not only were most newspapers not hiring, but many were going out of business. Many local newspapers had completely gone to the online world. What a shame. I noticed over the next two years that it wasn’t just newspapers. Everything was slowly going online classes, shopping, and television. It’s weird to me. I didn’t have the internet growing up. I had Oregon Trail and a NES, and I couldn’t play the NES whenever I wanted. I had to ask my parents, since we all used the same television. So everything becoming digitized is a little scary for me. Now things have gotten weirder/worse in my humble opinion. Comic books are starting to go online. Not web-comics though, the mainstream ones. For $5 a month, I can peruse over 5,000 issues at alone. DC doesn’t seem to be on top of this verging technology yet, but maybe it’s a good thing?

At some point in the near future, you’ll be able to read all of your comics online, this will happen without a doubt. Hopefully, at the same time, you’ll still be able to buy actual copies of them. The number one reason this will happen, cost cutting. You cut out the printers, then you cut out the vast majority of the cost to publish the comic. The publishers will save money, but the printers will go out of business. Also, you’ll never have to worry about your comics getting ruined. You’ll always have pristine conditions saved to your personal computer. On top of that, you’ll have a whole lot more room around the house. No more long boxes taking up space. No more comics sitting on top of the toilet, and no more scattered on the floor. However, by putting everything online, what do we lose?

Anyone else go to their comic book store, pick up the new releases off of the shelf, buy the books, and then put them all in order… You know… the order you’re going to read them? Or how about that feeling of holding way too many books in your hand, knowing it’s going to cost a pretty penny, even with your frequent customer discount? With comics online that is gone. What about collectors? Those who collect books thinking in the future they’ll be worth some money. A whole sub-culture of people will be endangered. Let us not forget the most important part of comics going online… Comic book stores. When everything goes online, comic book stores will become endangered too. I’m sure a few will stick around due to the few collectors still around. That, in turn, will make comic conventions a lot smaller. Wizard World Chicago is made up of quite a few retailers; many of them will be gone. What then? A bigger Artist Alley? The biggest problem I have, and this relates entirely to my generation and prior, where do you go to talk about comics? Sure, there are some great places like (PLUG!) and others I won’t mention, but when I was growing up, if you wanted to talk about comic books, you went to the comic book store. Everything you see happening in the forums, happened in that store, the same store I actually work at today. I can’t tell you how many times the rumor mill got turning when I walked in. Which movie is coming out? Who is drawing the new book? Who’d win in a fight, Han Solo or Indiana Jones? (By the way, the answer is Indy) These conversations were all happening in the store, and while I can have these conversations all online, I still spend three hours on a Wednesday or Saturday in the shop, when I’m not working there, coming up with theories of who the next Black Lantern is or why One More Day really “grinds my gears”.

All-in-all, times are changing, moving forward. And although everything may eventually move online, I really don’t think actual copies of comics will stop being printed. I love the feeling of a comic book in my hand. Reading something online is too cold and distant to me. It may be something I’ll never understand, why you would spend money on something you don’t technically own, but it’s just a generational gap some of us can’t understand.

I’ve been great,
Judas AKA InferiorEgo
#1 Posted by reaper2923 (2863 posts) - - Show Bio


#2 Posted by csimon (2207 posts) - - Show Bio

it's a good thing and a bad thing all in one

#3 Posted by camodude (211 posts) - - Show Bio

comics on paper and comics online is  the equelibrium they balence each other out. both are needed like yin and yang

#4 Posted by Kurrent (14272 posts) - - Show Bio

The comic book store process is an experience for me. Going to the store, chatting it up with the people that work there or getting into a debate  with a complete stranger when they over hear you saying something. You can spend hours in a comic store an leave with a smile on your face.

Personally I would hate if comics went digital. It would take a lot away from what comics are all about.

#5 Posted by sora_thekey (8688 posts) - - Show Bio

I like to be able to touch the paper.....

I don't even like reading electronic books!!!!

#6 Posted by Vindellavon (451 posts) - - Show Bio

It's a shame, really.

#7 Posted by Asymmetrical (23748 posts) - - Show Bio

the thought of comics solely being files on a computer makes me afraid of what the future may hold =/

#8 Posted by LastSon1027 (518 posts) - - Show Bio

Even if DC went digital and I could read Supes online I would still go out and buy the book every month. I think and sincerely hope there are enough of us out there that share my opinion that would keep the books in print.

#9 Posted by goldenkey (3033 posts) - - Show Bio

It probebly works best with people in my position who have a lot of down time at work and don't really want to bring a bunch of comic books to thier work place they can read them online.  I haven't done this yet but was wondering, how quickly is an issue sold in a store compared to when it is ready to read online?

#10 Posted by inferiorego (23102 posts) - - Show Bio

My ex-room mate read everything online, and he was a thief. He gave me, or sent me, Captain America 25, because I couldn't get to the store that day, to read. I hated it, I wanted to manually turn pages, but everything was "click this" and "click that". It was my least favorite comic book moment, and no not because Steve died, because I felt so detached from my hobby.

#11 Posted by inferiorego (23102 posts) - - Show Bio
goldenkey said:
It probebly works best with people in my position who have a lot of down time at work and don't ... [more]
Every Wednesday, aside from today, I actually bring in a stack of books. My coworkers used to laugh, until I made fun of them for talking about MLA formatting all day everyday.
#12 Posted by Crazy Pan (766 posts) - - Show Bio

Reminds me of how newspapers are dying in favor of online/TV news...

#13 Posted by The Englander (1188 posts) - - Show Bio

No more printed comics? I pray not, I hate web comics.

#14 Posted by thatoneguy (21 posts) - - Show Bio

This is an across the board future for print media. Its not a surprise that this may happen with comics as well. I personally prefer holding written materials in my hands rather than reading on my computer.

#15 Posted by inferiorego (23102 posts) - - Show Bio
#16 Posted by Bergquist (794 posts) - - Show Bio


#17 Posted by Bergquist (794 posts) - - Show Bio


#18 Posted by The Psyentist (19551 posts) - - Show Bio

I like both. I'd be so sad if paper comics died. :(

#19 Posted by danhimself (21305 posts) - - Show Bio

I really enjoy paper, there's nothing better than having that book right in your hands, but at the same time I'm a tech nerd and I can't wait for the day when I can have a device that holds my entire collection and I can carry it where ever I want and pull up any book I want within seconds

#20 Posted by inferiorego (23102 posts) - - Show Bio
danhimself said:
I really enjoy paper, there's nothing better than having that book right in your hands, but at the same time ... [more]
Unless that device can put out the smell of a silver age comic, I am NOT on board.
#21 Posted by danhimself (21305 posts) - - Show Bio
inferiorego said:
danhimself said: I really enjoy paper, there's nothing better than having that book right in your hands, but at the ... [more]

what if it could put out that smell?
#22 Posted by Watch Dog (840 posts) - - Show Bio

Reading a comic online just plain sucks from my experience. I was very interested in it(for back issues only) until I tried to read one and it was crap I didn't even finish the issue the enjoyment just wasn't there if comics go completely digital I will stop reading them.

#23 Posted by inferiorego (23102 posts) - - Show Bio
danhimself said:
inferiorego said: danhimself said: I really enjoy paper, there's nothing better than having that book right in your hands, but ... [more]
That would be different...

Here's a little continuation on the article:
Comics, for me, are a sensory ordeal. You see the art, touch the pages, hear them as you turn each page, and smell the books. You don't really smell them, but you get a whiff, and please don't taste the work. We lose all but sight when they go online. That's where the distance comes into mind for me. Maybe the new generation will love it though. They won't miss it because they never had it ordeal. I now know how the War Generation felt when they saw me with a blue mohawk and plaid pants in 1999: Angry, confused, and belittled.
#24 Edited by Decept-O (7765 posts) - - Show Bio

Comic books and graphic novels, like paper back and hard back books, are very tactile.  People like to touch and feel things, for the reasons you mentioned, flipping through the pages manually, seeing what the next page will bring.   That joy seems to be removed if reading something online.

This harkens a bit to Sci-Fi author Isaac Asimov, who, in his Foundation Trilogy and Robot novels, came up with the concept of the computer notebook and books being electronic.  This was during the 1950's & '60's, mind you.  These are for the most part a reality now.  I mention this because in those stories, the characters still have "antiques", i.e., actual hard back books, something not many people wanted to part with, and these stories take place several thousand years into the future.

Can a comic book go "offline" if the power goes out, a computer crashes, etc.? can at least still read a comic book with a flashlight.  

I think with the advent of technology of late, computers in general, that online comics will probablystick  around, but not take over the market.  One advantage of the computer, though, is being able to archive issues,  that is helpful, but online comics....I'm not reading them.  

#25 Posted by danhimself (21305 posts) - - Show Bio

see for me I enjoy reading no matter what the medium is....if it's a huge novel, a comic book, or on my 56" flat screen then I'll read and I'll enjoy it

#26 Posted by inferiorego (23102 posts) - - Show Bio
@Decept-O: I used to love Encyclopedias, and physically writing my essays in elementary and junior high school.... I don't do those things anymore, the internet and technology destroyed that for me.
#27 Posted by danhimself (21305 posts) - - Show Bio

the only thing I've found that's crappy about online comics is that it's harder to read on the toilet...crappy/toilet...HAHAHAHAHA!!!! get it?

#28 Posted by inferiorego (23102 posts) - - Show Bio
danhimself said:
the only thing I've found that's crappy about online comics is that it's harder to read on the toilet...crappy/toilet...HAHAHAHAHA!!!! get ... [more]
I'm not bringing my laptop on the crapper
#29 Posted by Neuron (105 posts) - - Show Bio

Change is change...  Are any of us typing on typewriters right now?  Probably not.  Do any of us mail letters - paper letters - to our friends?  Unlikely.  This is just another change.  You can embrace it and find different things to like about it (or even love), or you can shake your fist at the kids on your lawn.  I'm not saying "be happy with it or be left behind", but I am saying that a generation from now, people won't even consider that comics are all online.  They'll just be reading them, like we do now.  Hopefully by then there will be a Matrix (benevolent, of course) and in that Matrix there will be comic shops.  And we can all gather there and trade news.  ;-)

#30 Edited by Jamiracles (354 posts) - - Show Bio

I truthfully dont see comics entirely turning over to the digital realm.

 I mean, logically as things are all ready going that way, I dont think very many people actually like reading books on their computers because they cant curl up anywhere, even with a laptop.

Maybe when carry-away notebooks become popular where you can pretty much carry some sort of digital pad that has all the pages at touchpen access will comic books die, but I dont see that technology around much at all and highly doubt people would resort to such a portable device to pass up visiting the comic shop and bullshitting for a few hours about geek stuff.

I just really don't see it happening, even considering how nostalgia-based the comic book audience tends to be.

#31 Posted by danhimself (21305 posts) - - Show Bio
inferiorego said:
danhimself said: the only thing I've found that's crappy about online comics is that it's harder to read on the ... [more]

yeah i wouldn't recommend it ....i've tried and it didn't work out that well
#32 Posted by inferiorego (23102 posts) - - Show Bio
danhimself said:
inferiorego said: danhimself said: the only thing I've found that's crappy about online comics is that it's harder to read ... [more]
#33 Posted by danhimself (21305 posts) - - Show Bio
inferiorego said:
danhimself said: inferiorego said: danhimself said: the only thing I've found that's crappy about online comics is that it's harder ... [more]

not so know how the bottom of your laptop gets really hot when it's been on for awhile? well imagine that heat on your naked lap
#34 Posted by AirDave817 (1167 posts) - - Show Bio

I've tried to figure out in my head how I would explain to my wife the idea of spending the money to read Marvel comics online. All I hear in my head is her laughing. 

As cool as this Kindle is an online-digital comics, I enjoy having the actual, physical comic book in my hand, whether I've gone to the comic book store or maybe ordered it by mail. I like going through my longboxes. And I've thought of getting one of those Marvel DVD/CD collections of 40 YEARS of X-Men, Fantastic Four, The Avengers or Spider-Man. 

I guess it's the difference between Golden Age Radio and the Television boom of the '50's. Or the shift from silent movies to talkies. Or from the LP and 45 to 8-track or to cassette or to CD or to iTunes. I'm still trying to figure out what the big deal is over Blu-Ray...   

#35 Edited by Dr. Maxwell (676 posts) - - Show Bio
danhimself said:
I really enjoy paper, there's nothing better than having that book right in your hands, but at the same time ... [more]
The device you are referring to is a Laptop

I'll admit I've "read" alot of comics online, and I dont really mind it, although you just cant beat holding the book in your hands, especially with splash pages n such. It'd be a sad day to see everything go digital.

The same argument could be said about CDs eventually dying out, hate mp3s myself, but its only a matter of time
#36 Posted by inferiorego (23102 posts) - - Show Bio
@AirDave817: I don't back buying things and not physically owning them.... I'm looking at you itunes
#37 Posted by speedlgt (2138 posts) - - Show Bio

I have a basic answer to this issue.

And that is a compromise yet a total reorganization of the comic industry.
i think that floppys are a total wast of time space and money. I can tell you all that in the past 3 years that I have come back to comics I have bought enough trades to catch up and be able to go into a store pick up a floppy. Now that I can do that I can honestly say that I have not read a single (well maybe 1 and really mean 1) floppy issue that after reading it made me feel a sense of satisfaction. Most of us call this a payoff, and for me it seems that the format of the monthly comic is old out of date and providing little to NO payoff to fans. After I read a floppy all I think about is BUYING the next issue which I have to wait awhole month for...or in some cases longer (old man logan) and at that point I care less and less with each day that passes.

Think about  it we read a floppy in like less than 10 min and marvel wants us to pay 3.99 for 10 min of entertainment that will little to no payoff other than the classic BUY NEXT MONTHS ISSUE! to see what happens!!!
Now in contrast after every trade I have ever read (good or bad) I did feel a sense of stastification and payoff at least I got a whole story arc and it took longer to read it. Overall I felt that everytime I buy a trade its worth my money and in the case of floppys that just not the case.

Now with all the digtial comics I feel that basically all publishers should release digtal comics every week along with the floppys BUT charge a lot less for the download. And by less I mean 1 dollar! and no thats no too cheap itunes did it for years and made money and marvel can do the same. This way a kid with yard job can drop a measly 10 bucks and 10 great digtal books that month and keep up with everything! hell they could even keep up with DC too. and lets be real kids are stealing this stuff left and right and there is no one really to blame but Marvel & DC for rasing prices too high and printing collections for 100 dollars! just cause its old.....come on Joe if you want people to jack your books all day then just keep raping them for 5.99 a book (cap 600)

Now dont forget the collectors keep them happy with with the floppys. But nowadays I feel that alot of people are seeing the light about collecting and that is its for the most point pointless. we buy and buy and buy and in the end we get too much stuff that it takes over our homes and we end up parting with our collections on ebay for less than what we bought it for! yet if there are still collectors that have to have thier floppys by all means go for it.

interms of what we loose? I dont know I think we gain more than loose comics gain in not having to spend soo much and since there will always be a collectors market comic shops will still be around just maybe not as many.  And btw i have never really meet comic guys in the store that were really cool. Most of the sellers were real jerks always talking smack about this writer or arist or character I guess no one ever told them to make a SALE you should talk bad about the product......DUH

#38 Posted by Anderson: Agent of SMITH (245 posts) - - Show Bio

I think the thing of it is that the digital comics are rearely up to date. That may change in the next five years, but right now, if you want to know what's going on, you have to get out to the store. If you want to read a comic from the silver age, then you can spend a bunch of time and money trying to find it, or you can just pull it up instantly read it online for a lot less. If you want to catch up on a series that you're interested in reading, then chances are that you can find it online. But you won't be able to find the latest issue unless you download illegally (which is your problem, not mine).

Now if you're a collector, then you're going to collect it anyway. But if you just want to read a comic for the story, so that you know what's going on, then it works great. The point of it is to maximize readership. Why don't we jump into series in the middle of the run? Well, it could just be a crappy series or we are just not interested. But one of the other big reasons, I'd imagine, is that we don't know what's going on. It's hard to watch an episode of Lost near the end of the Second season if we haven't seen any of the episodes before it. That's why Hulu exists. Th more people who get exposed to a series, the more people you will have following it. 

I hope that digital comics continue to remain inconsistent, because that'll be a win-win situation. The publishers (I would think) get more money, because it costs more in the shop than on the web, and now we're potentially getting exposed to more series; the shops make some money for themselves; and we get to enjoy the feel and whatnot of the individual issues, while still being able to do some extra reading if we want.

#39 Posted by WonderBoy1132 (313 posts) - - Show Bio

I like paper. ; )

k thanks

#40 Posted by HaloKing343 (1355 posts) - - Show Bio

I greatly prefur to use the paper comics, because it just is easier to use when I physically read something. I don't get "into" online comics the way that l get "into" reading comics. Often times, you can analyze the artwork better through paper comics too. I don't usually take as much time to admire the art on online comics. Therefore, I prefur to just read the paper copies. Not to mention, that as you keep them, they get more valuable. There isn't any value to an online file. When you keep a paper copy, you can sell it or keep it for value.

All in all, l greatly prefur paper comics, and you wont' see an online transition from me.

#41 Posted by Green ankh (1077 posts) - - Show Bio

Change isnt always good. I want a real book in my hands. I do not like reading on a screen.

And some how it dosent feel like you have it when it is a file someplace. I feel the same about music. I like to hold the LP or CD in my hands and see it on a shelf and look at the art. I have a few mp3 "cd"s on the work PC but i dont get that feeling of ownership.

#42 Posted by HaloKing343 (1355 posts) - - Show Bio
inferiorego said:
I'm surprised no one has pointed out that I have a Hate Monger issue of F4... First appearance of Sue ... [more]
#43 Posted by DMC (2004 posts) - - Show Bio

yet another step in making computers (and the net) the center of our lives....though it might be for some, and I'm not too far behind. 

I'm sure a lot of us look forward to our Wednesday trip to the comic store.

#44 Posted by inferiorego (23102 posts) - - Show Bio

I can't wait until someone turns the tides and sets an EMP bomb off.... At least I'll still have my comics then

#45 Posted by The Crimson Nutcase (845 posts) - - Show Bio

I rather buy my comics at a comic book store instead of online, but hey thats just me.
Then it'll be less computer storage the way i buy comics.

#46 Posted by Media_Master (2189 posts) - - Show Bio

It's not a big deal, they having stopped making books...yet

#47 Posted by Psychotime (821 posts) - - Show Bio

I really hope not. I hate reading books online, regardless if it's pure text or comic form.

#48 Posted by Mutant X (1584 posts) - - Show Bio

This blows!!!! They better not stop printing comics!!!! That would SUCK so bad!!!!! Online comics just aren't the same as going into a comic book store and smelling that familiar smell that we all know and love!!! I hope so bad that this doesn't happen.

#49 Posted by SirSparkington (344 posts) - - Show Bio

Another issue I'm surprised that isn't brought up is getting people into comics. If someone wants to get into say Batman, I'm pretty sure they'd rather go to a store a get a single issue or perhaps a trade instead of signing up for some online thing. 

Online comics also take away a chunk of the social aspect of comic book culture. I love talking to other patrons and the employees of my local store (Heroes Comics in London Ontario ftw) about stuff. I also like having a physical copy of the thing I spent 3-4 bucks on.

#50 Posted by Hawk (16130 posts) - - Show Bio

Twitter told me to come here.

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