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December 1, 2012

The Online Comic Book Revolution - Comixology

In keeping with yesterday's newspaper comics post, how about comic books?

A couple of years ago, I mentioned how I was always a big comic book fan, but that I had fallen away from it both from the story point of view but also because I just ran out of space and was getting tired of making room for them. I was thrilled to see that both Marvel and DC comics had online services now that offered comics for their readers who wanted digital versions.

The problem was that all of the comics on the apps were old. I lamented the fact that you couldn't get your monthly subscriptions as digital downloads.

Fast forward a few months, and that's no longer true.

Yes, I am a comics reader again, though nowhere near to the extent I used to be.

Thanks to Comixology.

Comixology is a service (and an app too, which I love on my iPad) that offers thousands of comics for digital download. In addition, comics are now almost universally "same day as print" available on the site, so you never have to be behind again. (To be fair, I believe both the Marvel and DC Comics apps also now have same day as print, but why tie yourself to one or two specific companies when Comixology offers everything?)

I started my sojourn into modern comics-buying with the Merc with a Mouth, Deadpool (Marvel). Decided that would be the only one I was going to follow religiously. Of course, that quickly jumped to two with Hellblazer (DC: Vertigo) and now is up to four with the new Invincible Iron Man (Marvel) and I am all caught up on the Walking Dead comic (Image). I read through all 104 issues in almost a week in order to be caught up, so now I'm going to be getting it monthly.

Comixology also offers sales on older titles to get you started. Maybe a Captain America sale, or Witchblade or whatever. There are sales going on all the time. I did take advantage of a couple of them to try out new books, but none of them grabbed me. I'm waiting for some collections to go on sale to catch up.

I understand those who like the tactile feel of books and magazines and comics in their hands. I would like nothing better with mine too. But comics take up so much space, and I'm a collector. I like to be able to re-read them sometimes, or maybe read an entire 6-issue story once it's complete. It's not like re-reading books, which can take a while if you're a slower reader. Comics go by fairly quickly. And to me, it's not worth the space they take up.

Getting them online like this is a dream. I'm not going to go as hogwild as I did in the past (I used to buy something like 20 comics a month), but I am enjoying what I'm reading.

It helps that we've been finding iTunes gift cards at discounted prices, paying $80 for a $100 card for example. That makes things even cheaper.

So if your a comic book fan, do you prefer paper or digital? And if you used to be a fan, would you consider coming back now that you can do it digitally? There are so many possibilities out there for a broad range of tastes, from Walking Dead (seeing what inspired the TV show) to superheroes to secret agents to history even!

It's good to be back in the fold.


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