I have always been a collector of things. Maybe even a little bit of a hoarder at times. I’ve gotten better and come to terms with the fact that material things aren’t the be all and end all of the world, but there are a few things I can’t seem to part with. I have tons of CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays… heck I even have some VHS tapes kicking around somewhere. I have a ton of books and I have a ton of comics. These are things that I can’t seem to get rid of and things that I can’t seem to convert over to the sole format of digital. I’ve always stood by the physical format strongly and proudly.
Lately though, my stand on material things has begun to waver. After two moves across the country in the span of a year and with another move impending, my boxes and boxes of things are starting to look like more and more of a burden. Why do I love these things so much?
I know I love the smell of a new book and the sound the spine makes when it’s being opened for the first time.
I love the feeling of opening a DVD case and carefully removing the disc without scratching it and putting it into the player to be watched.
I love that my home looks and feels like a home when everything is on a shelf and surrounding me with things I loved enough to spend my hard earned money on.
The times, however, are changing. While I will admit that the nostalgic pros to owning physical copies of things still prevails, the practicality of being able to bring along thousands of books, movies and songs is slowly overcoming all else.
Many people from my generation are in the same boat. We’re the last generation with an attachment to the physical embodiment of our entertainment. Moving onto other things is scary, but it doesn’t have to be. You really just need to be informed of some of the pros that can come along with being part of the Digital Era. So let me turn this article into a list; a list with reasons why you shouldn’t be afraid of change:
- As mentioned, converting things over to digital can make moving a HECK of a lot simpler.
- With digital comics, you don’t have to go to the store on your lunch break to buy your weekly comics. All you need is a computer to log on to a site like ComiXology to purchase your pull list for the week.
- Purchasing your comics through ComiXology allows you to access your comics from just about anywhere and on any of your devices. All Apple products have a ComiXology App you can get and once your comics have been purchased, they’re always stored in your account for download to any and/or all of your devices.*
- Want to bring thousands of comics with you on a trip or while you commute? Your back would break if you tried to fit that many comics into a backpack. With digital comics, you can bring literally, thousands of comics, books, songs and movies with you in a single device that definitely won’t break any of your limbs.
- You don’t have to worry about ruining your comic by tearing a corner, ripping a page or spilling coffee on it. Of course, spilling coffee on your device is probably not a good idea either, but at least you can buy cases to prevent accidents like that.
- This is the probably the greatest time to be in independent comics. More publishers are opting for creator-owned comics, which means we get to break away from the mold of superhero comics and the characters that have been killed and resurrected 600 times in the 50+ years they’ve been around.
- Monkeybrain Comics ONLY sell their comics digitally. If you’re not reading the comics they’re releasing, you’re seriously missing out. They have an amazing business model where the creators retain 100% of the rights, get 90% of the profits and can put out issues once they’re completed in less than a week. Chris Roberson (iZombie, Memorial) and his wife Allison Baker are creating the business model for all other digital comic companies to follow.
- This point is a bit silly, but when reading with an iPad, you can read your comics everywhere without having to worry about lighting. When I was a kid, if you didn’t have a nightlight or a booklight, you weren’t able to read. Now with iPads and other eReaders, reading anytime and anywhere is possible thanks to the backlights.
*Obviously some of the stuff concerning ComiXology has changed a bit now that Amazon has bought out the company, but the idea of the app still remain the same and at least to me, it is still my favourite place online to buy digital comics.