Geek on a Budget – October 2011
Oct 13, 2011 by     3 Comments    Posted In: Columns, Geek On A Budget

Why Try Digital Comics? Since most of us have a limited amount of space we can devote to traditional print comic books, the ability to collect comics digitally saves us from potentially being put on an episode of Hoarders down the road. Now there will always be certain comics you want to have in print, but what about books that you may read once or twice and then never pull out again? Digital comics offer a convenient way to “store” books without having them physically in your home. I hear over and over again that “I want something I can hold in my hands” or “I want a pdf that I own and can read whenever and wherever I want.” While this was initially a concern of mine I decided to give digital reading and collecting a chance and so far I love the convenience. Sure my comics are being held by Comixology and I can’t actually see the files, but I can download them whenever I need them and can store as many on my tablet, for offline mode, as I want. I have actually found myself reading issues multiple times just because it’s quick and easy. This is something I’m less prone to do when I have to get up, find the physical issue, get it out of the bag and board, read it, put it back in, pick up the next issue, etc… I’m also really picky about proper lighting when I read my comics and tablet reading provides a bright and perfect reading experience for me. So for some comics fans digital comics can be a good option. Here is some basic information about digital comics you might find helpful.

Digital Devices: You can read digital comics from any computer and most smart phones, but tablet reading is ideal. You’ll want a screen size no smaller than the iPad which is 9.7 inches. I have the Asus Eee Pad Transformer and its screen size is 10.1 inches. Obviously these articles are meant to help you read comics with limited funds so going out and picking up a $400 tablet may not be a viable option for you. But when you consider the savings per issue (DC’s issues are $1.99 per issue if you wait a month after the book comes out to purchase) mixed with the fact that you don’t have to buy anymore bags, boards, and boxes, you can see how purchasing a tablet can save you money in the long run. A bigger incentive for most will be the space you save by not having single issues to store. Most of us will easily acquire a longbox or two worth of comics per year. If your life is already cluttered and you don’t have any more room for physical comics then digital comics is the ideal solution.

Digital Apps/Subscriptions: I’ve made no secret about my love for Comixology for digital comics. Their DC app is amazing and their regular app gives you access to hundreds of other publishers including Marvel, though only for iOS operating systems so far. Comixology has weekly sales and many titles can be picked up for .99 cents per issue. Many independent comics are available in multiple issues or volumes at a discounted price as well. Top Cow’s Aphrodite IX, for example, is 5.99 for issues 0-4. There are also tons of free issues for immediate download and while some are just previews, most are actually full issues. While day and date digital is a big deal for DC, paying the full $2.99 for a digital comic is a deal breaker for me. If you’re trying to watch your budget just wait a month and pick them up at the reduced $1.99 price tag and pat yourself on the back for being patient. Good things come to those who wait! Another great option is Marvel’s online subscription which is about 5 bucks a month if you pay for the full year up front. This offers unlimited reading of a ton of back issues that will keep you busy for a long time. The only downside to this service is that you have to be online to read the comics. There is no actual downloading of comics so if you’re offline you are out of luck.

Digital Convenience: While the digital comics reading experience is still in its infancy it has made great strides this year alone in making our favorite comics available to us wherever we are. Imagine being on an airplane and having access to a giant library of comics all on a relatively small device. This is where we are headed and while I love print, I also love being able to take a bunch of my comics with me without having to physically carry them all.
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3 Comments Add Comment

  • xssparksx October 13, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Marvel has their app out for android now.

  • MattB October 13, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    I know I just posted about this on the forum and I am thrilled! I wrote this article about a month ago. Looking forward to trying out some Marvel on my tablet now.

  • Nuriel December 19, 2011 at 7:42 am

    I checked out the Marvel app for Android. Pretty neat, there’s a few free issues to check wheter it suits you or not. I’m a collector, so it suits me not ;).