Let’s Get Digital…Comics!
If you’re reading this, you either really want to try digital comics or are shouting at your screen that this article is some sort of blasphemy against the ‘true’ comic book. If you are one the comic book purist that believe the only true way to experience a comic is to hold it in your hands while inhaling the smell of ink off freshly printed pages, be calmed my friend. This article is for you too. As with any industry, in order to grow, it must change and adapt. The comic book industry knows this and are trying to reach a new generation of readers who grew up in a world where cellphones and tablets always existed.
Let’s get straight to the most obvious point: an online digital comic book library is much easier to take with you and share than a storage box. Even you hardcore collectors have to agree with that. This is where having a wealth of comics in your hand has its advantages. And here is where we will induct you newbies and try to enlighten you purists into the wondrous world of digital comics.
First, what is a digital comic?
I know right?! I felt like a fool just writing that. Well, the term digital comics covers things like print versions that have been scanned and uploaded such as issues from the Golden, Silver, Bronze age and Modern Age. The term also includes comics made and published entirely and exclusively in digital format.
OK, so how do you read these magically digital comics?
Quite honestly, the best way to read digital is on a tablet since they are close in size to an actual comic book. You can always use a web-based browser to get all industrial sized, or of course use your smart phone.
So which publishers let you get your digital groove on?
Glad you asked Skippy, because the answer is quite a few. Of course all the big hitters like Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Image, Vertigo, IDW and other small publishers as well as Amazon.
What kinda selection are we talking about?
Are looking for a series? An entire story arc? The truth is if you want something further back than five years or so, you’re most likely out of luck. The selection is still pretty decent though. As time goes on, we may see more of the missing pieces of your collection in digital format.
Alright, so how much is all this ‘amazing’ gonna cost you?
A newly release digital copy of a comic will cost you about the same as a physical copy, about $1.99 to $3.99. The reason is that the publishers don’t want to undercut themselves or their real world dealers. Also keep in mind they have to staff a group of people who are specifically dedicated to converting and scanning print copies to digital. Which in all honesty is fair.
With that in mind some digital collections can be cheaper to buy. Many publishers will have sales that will mark down a book to $0.99 a issue or just give away some other content for free. Also some physical comics will actually give you a code to redeem for a free digital copy of that issue.
Another good place to get digital comics is…the library. Yup. You read that right. Many libraries have partnerships with digital providers that allow you to get access to otherwise pricey items for free. If your library is partnered with Overdrive or Hoopla you can access entire collections like Hellboy or the Sandman. Keep in mind these are libraries, so you will have to return them. However you will have access to them at any time. Plus there is also a place to recommend new comics to the buyers and they generally pick them up within the week.
Wrap it up!
This is what you need to know about access digital comics in a nutshell. There may come a day where owning a comic book will be the equivalent of owning a vinyl record. If that day comes, here’s hoping this will help you navigate in the digital world.
EXTRA! For those of you who want to see stuff work with your own eyeballs first, check out the video below.
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