The evil(?) of digital comics

I’ve actually been meaning to write something on this topic for over 2 years now…unfortunately I have not been able to form coherent thoughts on the matter and it keeps being delegated to “Someday Soon” pile of drafts. Fortunately that “someday” is finally here. I was inspired by the examination of the digital comics issue by Vaneta Rogers over on Newsarama.

Now, I’m not a retailer so I don’t know how this issue affects the salespeople. I’m also not in any way involved in the production of any comic book so I don’t know how the illegal piracy of digital comics or the legal one for that matter affects them. I can however speak purely from a consumer perspective, and I honestly don’t see anything wrong with digital comics…legal or otherwise.

I personally have been dl comics for coming on to 5 years now. It isn’t my only source of comics…of course. I love nothing more than to hold the actual paper version in my hands, but lack of funds and lack of availability in my area (I live in Pakistan…try finding a comic store here and we’ll discuss how travelling 45 minutes to a comic book store is a sacrifice). Anyway, I download comics. The digital piracy scene is pretty organised actually and is kind of scary for a newcomer. But it is the only way that a lot of us can read comics so those people who claim we are killing the industry should understand that not everyone lives in the US and those of us who don’t need to read comics too.

Ok…wrong track. Didn’t mean to turn this into a defensive piece. Where was I…oh yeah, now despite the fact that I download fairly regularly (I read a lot of comics!!) I treat the downloads as extended previews. If I like a book enough (like the recent Annihilation mini which I’m buying the HCs of) I’ll buy it. If I don’t (like 1001 nights of snowfall) I won’t. I get to read the content and decide what I want to buy. I have to add that I actually started buying trades a lot more regularly after I had started downloading than I did before. I want to hold the books in my hand…the really good ones anyway…and I buy them whenever I get the chance. But at the same time I don’t feel guilty for reading the crap that is being put out there because I didn’t spend money on it and I’m not supporting it. As far as I’m concerned it’s a win-win. Maybe it’s on the ethical grey-side…but so are a lot of other things…doesn’t mean we don’t do them.

I really rambled on this…and didn’t mean to. I’m also at work right now so the post is a bit incoherent I’m sure. Sorry about that. I would love to know what other people think about digital comics serving as preview pieces. Let me know in the comments!


3 responses to “The evil(?) of digital comics

  1. Nicely argued. I think your point about limited access to comics while in other countries is entirely justified. I also use digital comics as a preview of sorts. If I really like a particular story arc, I’ll more than likely buy at least the trade paperback, so in that way the digital comic has promoted a sale. No matter what anyone else says, there is a significant difference between reading a “hard copy” of a comic and a digital one. The only really good side of digital comics is one of storage. Provided you have a large anough hard drive, you can store as many as you want without taking over your spare bedroom. 🙂

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