Paper or Plastic… an Open Discourse of Your Opinions on the Digital Era of Comic Culture

Simple topic I hope will take Legs of its own:
What do you prefer and why. Share your opinions openly, but not at each other, Converse don’t Argue, and Let’s get to the bottom of which is truly the Better Option.
Paper Or Plastic?


4 Likes

I embrace digital, mainly for the prices from sites like Humble Bundle or Groupees or sales on Comixology. I am also a fan of being able to read back issues that would cost a pretty penny on DCUI or Marvel Unlimited. This doesn’t mean I have given up my love of physical books. I am often reading hardcovers or trade paperbacks of titles that appear on subscription services. In many ways, reading comics has a nostalgic factor for me and the physical form scratches that itch more than the digital version.

I am often envious of people that are first getting into comics right now. There are multiple digital outlets that are affordable and offer huge libraries that will satisfy all genre needs. This is the kind of thing that my friends and I dreamt about when we were all much younger. Little did we know that our dreams would be a reality a decade or two later.

There are pros and cons in both formats. The physical collection costs extra money to maintain (long or short boxes, bags, boards, shelves, etc.), and the digital library can be removed on a whim if you aren’t buying the comics from Humble Bundle or Groupees and downloading and then storing on your hard drive) or edited at a later date (see that Batman DC Black Label comic as an example).

4 Likes

Funny, I have a 0111 of “Damned” uncensored if you want a peak…
Well Said,
For me picking this up was perfect timing for my life. I have been collecting for 30+ years. This is EXACTLY what I need in my life right now. That being said, I still shop back-issues to fill holes, I buy TP’s used mostly. And I have This!
Being Such a HUGE DC fan, who is an “Adult” with a Family I can’t spend, Just as you said, on comic’s the way I did. I could drop $100 every Wed in my prime. I can’t do that anymore. But it doesn’t matter. This is all I need. DCUI is doing such a great job of filling my comic needs!
I Love my collection, but It’s cant grow anymore, I just don’t have the room. So I have DCUI and I am in COMIC HEAVEN!
I

3 Likes

^^ That being said. I still think, although DCUI is the better choice for me right now, Written Paper Comic Books will Always be coveted by me.
The Actual Issue, First Print, Condition based on Era, Tangible Creation by a team, Periodical, Art You can Read, Books you should Frame, Comic Books will ALWAYS be what I want… Call me a purist.
DCUI by a nose…

3 Likes

At the moment I’m digital. I have to explain why. Five years ago I was still living at home with my family in a small corner of the living room. I had my comic boxes, a bookshelf with my trades and the custom hardcovers I had made. For such little space, I kept buying more comics. I always said when I had my own place, I could buy more comics because I had more space. Well, sure enough, about five years ago today, I got the call that I got my first apartment. It’s a studio, but it’s bigger than what I had before.

The funny thing about having your own place is you start to look at the limited space you have. Suddenly that extra room becomes less about what comics you can buy and more about whether or not you can fit a dresser or a bookshelf.

It was around this time I saw Comixology had a sale on Justice League 3000. I’d used Comixology in the past; it wasn’t anything new to me. But after I went through that JL 3000 series, I started thinking about the benefits of going digital: if you can wait a while and get a good sale, you can rack up on twice as many single issues or trades digitally than you would physically. With digital you don’t have to buy bags and boards to store them, nor do you have to buy comic boxes and figure out where to put everything. If you want to read an older comic, you don’t have to go through expensive online sites or worse, play Jenga with the comic boxes you have just to reach one at the bottom, open up the box, find the issue, take it out of the bag and board and read it. You just click and it’s available. You also have panel-by-panel mode, which I love because in the case of the IDW Ghostbusters series, there’s so many little details the artist puts in the background you’ve probably missed. Also with panel-by-panel, you don’t have that thing where the set up to a big reveal is on the left side, but of course, your eye wanders to the page on the right and spoils it a second or two earlier than intended.

I haven’t totally abandoned physical comics. I still buy the Earth One books when they come out and I’m still collecting various single issues to go into future custom bound hardcovers, but in terms of spacing and the ease of reading, I’ve been using Comixology and DC Universe Infinite digitally.

5 Likes

Thanks! This is a common story, One I share the details of completely. This is like the Retirement Lounge for Collectors who have reached a space limit. Keep inmind that limit includes constructing a sleeping area out of Comic Boxes but there does come that point.
I Love my collection. And I believe it is complete for myself. Ive completed many of my volumes in issue form. Filled holes in Tp’s and Series. I still buy now and then but These Digital Databases are great. I would trade my collection. But i cant let it grow anymore. My wife and I joke my son won’t like comics and I’m saving them just through out. I don’t Find that Joke funny, but you know…

3 Likes

Circumstances of life have led me to move several more times than I’ve wanted to in the past 15 years. After the last move when I had to carry long box after long box up the stairs, digital became a really viable option.

5 Likes

I need to go more digital mainly because of space. Meaning my wife doesn’t have very much room to get to her closet in the back of what we call our spare room. Needs a better name. I have books and music CD’s in there to. So I still buy paper but trying/needing to go more digital.

5 Likes

That’s the consensus, Should have made this a Poll!
Space is the issue, especially when we get older and Reading it is more important than having it.
My wife would never let me block her closet with my Hoard! I have paid for a Studio for my collection for almost 5 years now.
I love DCUI because I can read whatever whenever! It keeps me up to date with the New Canon. But I still have to say. My collection is a Treasure to me. I would prefer to own a Comic Museum, but this is DEFIANTLY the next best thing!!!

3 Likes

I think physical and digital are both f-ing awesome, physical is great, because you actually own it and it’s how comics were originally supposed to be enjoyed, (and as a zoomer who missed out on all the cool stuff that classic feel is important to me)

and Digital is awesome, because with only a few searches you can find any comic you want majority of the time for free, and if you’re not sure about a book you can read it online and if you like it get the rest of it physically,

So yeah both are great and comics are awesome.

5 Likes

Hey, who you calling older! Lol I’m 53 so yes I’m older. But in my defense the closet I’m referring to is HER THIRD CLOSET! Doesn’t she have enough room in the other two! And she’s allowed to listen to my music, read my comics or books. Actually she has no interest in my comics except she said she would like to read my ‘The Orville’ comics. She would definitely vote to go digital.

3 Likes

I’ve been mostly digital for years now. Only choosen collections are bought in physical for the bookshelf. As much as i love reading a physical book… Really it comes down to money and space. Digital subscriptions like DCUI give me the opportunity to ready anything I want without going broke. And I have boxes and boxes of years and years worth of comics that just sit in my garage that I don’t even want anymore. I can’t take anymore physical floppies. I already own too much stuff.

3 Likes

They both have their positives and negatives. I had 23 long boxes that were hard to keep track of, especially since I kept my issues in a way that no one else does, chronologically, with all the universes mixed in. That many books is unwieldy.

When I started reading digitally, not having a way to put them in an order that pleases me kept a bad taste in my mouth, regardless of buying from a service, or subscribing to a service, and not having a centralized service that I could access it all is still infuriating. And if you buy something from Comixology, if the license for it switches hands, you can still access it, but you have to look through all your purchases to find it, as the search button won’t pinpoint it. I have more to say, but no time at the moment.

3 Likes

I started reading comics digitally only in the last decade. When I was growing up in the 90s, my thing was baseball cards not comics… I didn’t even think of reading anything when I was 10 years old and when i did, it was for school and then later as a teen, i started reading for fun… fiction novels. I didn’t know where to go to get comics, they weren’t in regular stores… I didn’t have alot of disposable money (still don’t ) so basically missed the 90s comic frenzy…I enjoyed Batman and Spider-man, knew of alot of the superheroes from TV but I never jumped to comics.

Then a few years ago, I started dabbling with comics online… you see the Marvel movies, the DC movies and you want more. You’re not a kid anymore so you’re not watching the cartoons as they happen after school or on a Saturday… and I had stable internet for a long period starting in 2009… quick google searches a few years later… and boom… Then I didn’t like the quality of the ‘free’ stuff and subscription services like MU started up, I had tried to go to a comic store in town, the only one still open that i knew about and I bought a trade of i think Man o war… enjoyed it but the whole comic shop experience wasn’t for me at the time… it was overwhelming and pricey if i was to dive in head first…

I found reading orders online but if I want to read those books physically i have to buy them one by one. Because of this, and way my fandom has evolved, it was never about collecting the comics… I have no idea how to store them, I have baseball cards that I keep that i know are worthless… but that’s just not what i can do with comics… besides i don’t have the space

So I jumped in digitally, with Marvel at first, then DC came along and I’m not lookng back. it helps that i don’t read currently or better that im not obessed being current. Course, I’m not spending $50 a month on comics but im spending money on them through subscriptions to enjoy.

While I’m happy this is my journey, i do wish I was more into actual comics as a kid, even if i didn’t store them properly, it would have been cool to follow my favorite characters every month, going into a comic shop… but that wasn’t my life back then. Oh My Uncle had comics, alot of X-men in my grandma’s upstairs but he wasn’t into it then and i didn’t ask him to bring me to a shop

5 Likes

I hit a point where I was just paying too much money on physical issues and I was running out of room so I stopped buying most comics and just focused on Conan and a few other titles. That kind of expanded into anything Robert E. Howard, including more-or-less spinoff Red Sonja and parody Groo, but I also have almost all of the Knights of the Dinner Table as well. But I resigned myself to not reading any Marvel or DC ever again…

Until Marvel Unlimited came around. I joined up back in 2012 and started going to town reading everything I could. I typically hit at least 2,000 per year, which means I’ve read around $10,000 worth of comics per year for the last almost ten years. That’s a substantial amount of money. I’ve read all the Marvel Superhero stuff from 1961-1980 and 1999 to the present. I read most of the X-Men titles all the way through. Everything was business as usual until I saw the Wonder Woman movie…

Then I signed up here and have buzzed through all her comics (and I’m actually reading them again because they were really good). I’m actually going to hit 3,000 this year. My free time has always been split between running/weight training and reading, and I’m getting to old to run or lift like I used to…

Anyway, I love both paper and plastic, but if I was just sticking to print I would never have read 99% of what I do read now with online books. I would still be just collecting Robert E. Howard and KoDT. I have about ten boxes of comics, some long, some drawers, and even some of the cool new ones with pictures on them. I’ll just keep buying a few in paper and devouring the rest online. It’s just fun.

6 Likes

For single issues/floppies? If it is a limited series and I am liking it, I’ll collect physical. Otherwise, I like physical collections for books I really like and digital for things I’m on the fence on. I got a 10" tablet and it only sucks reading comics on it if there are many splash pages.

3 Likes

I’m located in Juneau Alaska and I don’t have a comic shop and I can’t drive to the next town to find one (which would be Anchorage and that’s a plane ride). I LOVE print but I must say I am a total digital fan even though I never thought I’d turn out this way. I find the digital versions brighter and I like to zoom in and take screen shots of my favorite parts or read in the dark. I like not having to obsess over finger prints or crumpled pages, fiddle with plastic sleeves and box organizing. I named my iPad Kelex and got a Jim Lee Superman cover for it. I like to take a screen shot directly here to discuss in the moment. I do buy prints of my favorite stories but I find myself still doing the reading of them digitally. I do like getting hard copies of comics though especially as gifts! The old ads and letters are super fun to see and the smell of that paper just takes me places :stuck_out_tongue: I don’t think I would collect comics in print though since its become more affordable to read as much as I want digitally. Since joining this service I’ve branched out and explored many other characters that I would have skipped just because I couldn’t afford them all.

4 Likes

I now want a superhero ipad cover lol

3 Likes

Ask and you shall receive @LK3185 This is the link to the DC licensed Zazzle page where I got mine but brace yourself (and your wallet) because if you are anything like me, this could be dangerous to your budget :rofl:

https://www.zazzle.com/store/dccomics/products?qs=iPad

1 Like

I have a vinyl Star Lad decals on my laptop. Like cosplay for my gadget. It definitely makes me the biggest fanboy in the coffee shop!

2 Likes