I definitely understand the want to own physical. When I first started collecting and trying my best to research all the great stories out there, I would go on Craigslist and then fill tubs of comics. I probably have around a 1000 physical copies at this point. And while I liked being able to read them and hold them, now that I have read a lot they just take up far too much space. It frustrates me to have all these comics laying around, taking up space I could use, not being read. I’m currently looking to donate a lot of them to a place that I think could use them, but that’s besides the point.
Anyways, this nuisance of owning physical copies has made me a huge supporter of digital comics. Besides just saving me space; it saves me money, allows me to read on the go far more easily, and is probably going to be what saves the comic industry.
So, how does it save me money? Well, obviously great services like DC Universe and Marvel Unlimited allows me to to have thousands of great stories available for the price of a couple physical comics a month. I’ve been reading WAY more with these services and finally got the chance to read the great arcs like Kingdom Come I’ve been dying to get my hands on. And when it comes to buying new, single issue comics, it’s also cheaper to purchase one digitally than physically now.
How does it make it easier to read? Well I feel like this one is pretty obvious. Now I’m able to carry entire arcs in my pocket on the go with me. I used to literally put like 5-6 comics in my backpack at the beginning of the day so I could read. Now I just open an app and read all the stories I want.
Finally, how does it save the comic industry? I think most comic fans are pretty aware of the financial pressure that even the big comic guys are facing; and this pandemic certainly isn’t doing them any favors. Printing and shipping comics can be expensive nowadays because how high quality all of the aspects of a comic are. Now, I don’t think physical prints will go away completely. You’ll always be able to pick up the big characters physically (ie. Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, etc.), but for the smaller characters with smaller audiences (like the Terrifics) they might just need to make that sacrifice to digital for the sake of the overall company.
Obviously holding a physical comic is an experience that’s pretty much impossible to replace digitally. But at the end of the day, the pros GREATLY outweigh the cons here. That’s just my opinion though!