It could be the price point. While books on Amazon, and sometimes Barnes & Noble, become cheaper and cheaper to purchase digitally, many comics cost the same as print. No one is arguing market share and profits for comics. They’re low. However, that doesn’t change the debate that for the same price as having a bunch of “01100011 01101111 01100100 01100101″ that disappear when the company goes bankrupt one day, they can have a physical copy now. Pay to have a physical copy that you have to care for, bag, board, protect from moisture, fire, children, dogs, cats and even the absent minded husband who is looking for a place to set his drink. Do these things and you do not have to worry about renewing licensing fees at a later time to continue reading your comic.
I have personal reasons, since reading digitally gives me headaches. Not just little tiresome small headaches, but massive squint your eyes and cry headaches. Of course staring at Twitter, Tumblr and typing all day might have something to do with that. So, lets assume that’s not an issue for the majority of the comic buying public.
Just last week another company threw down the gauntlet with the announcement that they would begin their own creator owned comic line. Then today, that company, Titan Comics, announced a new series for the ultimate liberated female persona, with the title Solid State Tank Girl. It’s not shocking. Titan finished a mini-series just last summer for the seasoned yet precocious character.
For anyone out there who is not familiar with Tank Girl she drives around and lives in a tank, dates a kangaroo, and has had millions of dollars in bounty on her head. She generally represents the essessnce of the 80s punk/anarchist movement, and was created by one of the guys who would later create Gorillaz. Tank Girl falls in line with books like Cerebus; whether or not it’s to your taste everyone should read it once. SO, it’s not a matter of if you read Solid State Tank Girl, but how: digitally or physically?
If that is where you stand, than the debate is probably moot: go digital. You’re not looking to make an investment or admire the artwork on the page. You’re looking for a quick read to help familiarize yourself with a character that changed the perspective of comics for many during the 1990s. Digital can also streamline your collection by having it all in a central location, that can be called up by your computer, smartphone or tablet.
However, for those who have developed collections, need the feel of the page, and not worrying about sinking money into a license that disappears when the application company gets bought, bankrupt or defunct one day, physical is the way to go. Oh, yeah, and physical copies can appreciate in value, if cared for properly. After all, you’re tracking your collection on StashMyComics for a reason. You want to know how much those books are worth, even if you KNOW you’ll never part from them… ever.
So, how do you read comics: digital or physical? Leave your comments below. Are there some books where different rules apply? Let me know, and help me make up my own mind.