Revenge of the Tactile Habit

One of the most commonly asked questions I receive, other than bathroom requests is, “Aren’t you afraid of digital comics putting you out of business?” Well, no. Actually I think digital comics conversely HELP the comic retailer. Let’s face it, the accessibility to comics in LA is awesome, however for Little Johnny in Podunk, Nowhere, his only option may be to download comics (stay with me here), also frequent travelers, commuters and the like may now carry their e-comic with them, without fear of moisture or the unholy creased corner, egad!

So, we’ve accessibility, convenience and soon a cheaper way of comic insertion.

“How in Hades does that help you though comic book retailer”? Well my comicwrinkling friend let me tell you. Be it through ANY medium, expanding the comic audience is inherently good! There will be a crossover from digital to paper. This is particularly true for the ongoing reader, because he, like me has comic ink in his veins. For decades we’ve been hardwired to read comics in there four color glory, that ink riddled tactile experience is something you will not receive from the computer screen. Try folding your laptop while grabbing a snack or beverage. Not the same right? Exposing more people thru free downloads or monthly services only serves to expand a somewhat stagnant medium. The experience of reading a PAPER comic (please, no more Floppy references) is a vastly different experience than alt keys and shift! especially when many people have already spent most of their day staring at a computer screen. Sitting down with a comic lends itself to more relaxing feelings, you can read it at your leisure, flip back a page or sneak a peak to the last page if you are so inclined (oh Marlan). Also let’s not forget the artistic merits of the paper package itself. Decisions on paper stock, color saturation, ad placement and panel position. All items that encompass any well produced comic. Hey, even the smell adds measure to the experience. Comics will always be a tactile, hands on pleasure that the cold metal contrap cannot reproduce.

Let’s embrace the e-comic, enjoy the battery powered convenience and accessibility, let its exposure and cost effective nature create new readers that can eventually experience the TRUE comic experience — sandwich in hand, comic squeezed between fingers, adventure a page turn away.

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