Comic Discussions: Print vs. Digital



It wasn’t very long ago if you wanted to read a comic book you needed to either go to your local comic book shop or get on a monthly subscription and have the books mailed to your home. Now, in the age of digital media it should come as no surprise that comics can now be bought in print and in digital form. In this article I will discuss why both forms are great and will explain why the method I use is not the method I prefer. The purpose of this article is not to show which is the lesser of the two but just to explain what reading methods are out there at your grasp.

Print Media
Printed comics have been around at least the 1940s and I believe are still the best way to read comics. My first reason is simply authenticity. Just being able to hold a comic book and see the art in its true form, the way the artist meant for it to be seen. That in itself is the purest and in my opinion best way to view a comic but the positives don’t stop there. Another great reason to buy printed comics is it helps support your local comic store. Comic shops have became a dying breed with each venue being harder and harder to find. Going into the store and purchasing a comic is a great way to help the comic stores to thrive in this digitized world. Now, I am asking you to support your local comic book store but why? Well, a great thing about comic book shops is that most of the time they offer a friendly atmosphere to discuss comic books with people of various interests and they are an easy way to find back issues as along as someone has traded in said issue. Now, the final reason and probably the most convincing reason is the chance to make your money back on what you buy. Comic books from a few years ago and sometimes even newer books can be sold for more than double what you paid for them. Printed comics may be my preferred method but they are not the way I currently buy most of what I read.

Digital Media
As goes this digital world if you buy digital comics you can read them anywhere as opposed to print comics where if you read them around you have to carry them and since the comics are a thin paper they can tear easily. This allows you to read one and not worry about tearing it. The second reason to go digital is involves Backlog issues. If you go to a comic book store to buy backlog issues you may run into the problem of not finding what you want. I will confess I only buy Marvel Comics so I do not know how DC or Indie publishers handle backlog books but Marvel is consistently adding older comics to their online store which means you will most likely be able to find what you want and not have to worry about them running out. Something else Marvel does that make it easy to buy backlog issues is the digital only 99 cent sales they have where they have quite a few older and some recent nooks on sale for 99 cents. This is a great way to start buying past issues to see if you would be interested in collecting the rest of the series. The final benefit of buying digital comics is if you don’t live near a comic book store than buying digital saves you on buying gas if you have to go out of your way to drive to a store. This is obviously a great money saver but optional if you can get to one fairly easily. In short I buy digital comics because it saves time and money if I do not go to a shop and I can buy what I want when I purchase older comics.

In conclusion both mediums are great ways to buy and both have their pros and cons. There is no real right or wrong choice. The entire purpose of this was to present the two options and let you know what your options are if you choose to buy a comic book. Now, you can ask “Has Digital Media Ruined Buying Comic Books?” and that is a question to be answered at a later date. If you would like to know when that question gets answered feel free to “like” Comic Conversations on Facebook.

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