There is talk of comic books going fully digital in the future, though many doubt it will ever go fully digital. Owner of Heroes and Villains, Micheal Camp has admitted that it is easier to lure in new customers by going digital. Many will find that the price is generally the same as the paper version. Individuals are generally confused by this, because many are under the impression there is less production cost. This, however, is not true. They have to take the printer version of the comic, and re-output per the digital format specs. This is because the computer, iPad, or phone requires it to be in high-resolution.
This is an easier way to bring in a whole new generation of comic book lovers. People who have never had any interest in comic books may suddenly try it out. As some comic book writers have admitted, their numbers are not growing. They are just trying to survive. There is an app that offers many current comic books that are currently going digital called Comixology. It has over 40,000 comic books to choose from and over 75 publishers. It is easy to search for specific comic books and publishers, as well. There are several comic books through this app that are exclusively digital.
Some local comic book stores, though, are pushing for windowing digital comic books, which means that the paper copy would come out before the digital copy. While this is a nice idea, it is not realistic. If someone wants to get their hands on a digital copy early it is not difficult to do so. All they have to do is scan the paper copy into their computer and save it as a JPEG file, and it can be put on illegal downloading sites. In the long run this will cost companies like Marvel money. Most experts agree, though, that the panic over comic books going digital should stop, as it has not affected the sales of paper copies, so far. Many comic book stores are providing a place for their customers to read their digital copies, which also helps with the physical copy sales, as well.
Since the number of digital comics have risen, so has the interest in the comic book world. It is not the end of comic books as some individuals may believe, but it is opening up the world for others. Many will continue to purchase the paper copy, as many are collectors as well as readers. Rare physical copies are worth millions and the price will keep climbing as the years progress. The argument of whether to go digital versus paper will probably forever be in play, as long as both exist. The only downfall of digital is it is hard to share a digital copy. Currently, Image Comics is the only one who offers this service. If an individual likes to share with a buddy, digital may not be the right decision. This is not the end of comic books, but the beginning. This may just be the kick-start the comic industry needs to get people reading their comics, and with so many movies based on comic books as of late, it is the perfect time to introduce them to a whole new audience. Comic books going digital are having the same issues paper books had with going digital. It really does not matter if an individual comes by digital or physical copy, what matters is the love people share of comics.
Opinion by Heather Tillman