Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Digital vs Printed Comic Books

When I started reading and collecting comic books in the 90's, all comic books were printed. Today, comic books also come in digital format and I'm not sure how I feel about them.

I can see the advantage of collecting digital comic books over printed ones since they virtually take up no space at all. Plus, you're able to carry your whole comic book library with you on your smartphone or tablet. It's basically the same argument made in support of buying music in digital format versus buying them from a music store (Do they still have music stores???).

As for me, I prefer reading and collecting the print version of a comic book. To me, reading a comic book isn't just simply reading a comic book. It's a whole physical experience that involves your eyes, your hands, your nose, and your mind. I pretty much enjoy the feeling of comic books in my hand and the smell of the ink on the pages. As the story entertains me, I observe the visual art of the artists. Their choice of drawing style, colors, and layout all converging to relay a scene. Skilled comic book artist are able to evoke movement, sound, temperature, and emotion in to their art. One needs to truly appreciate these things if one is to truly appreciate comic books.

Digital comics to me seem to lack soul. It's like looking a postcard of Pensacola Beach versus actually sinking your toes in the beach's white sand. It doesn't have the same full effect. It lacks a certain dimension of touch and smell that is unique to printed comic books. Sure, the art is visually there, but it's not quite the same.

I recognize that there are some who see comic books as just periodicals that are to be read and then disposed/recycled afterwards, but I am not one of those men. Comic books to me are pieces of contemporary art and I try to treat them with the respect it deserves. Personally, I want to get the whole experience with comic books.

Do you read or collect comic books? What do you prefer printed or digital versions? Let me know what you think.

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