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Digital comics: Why they still sucks

posted Jul 11, 2010, 8:41 AM by Vu Sleeper   [ updated Jun 25, 2011, 3:11 AM ]
From Vu

WONDER WOMAN #1 (Feb 1987)
Over the weekend, we saw a few George Perez comics available digitally - Wonder Woman #1 (Feb 1987) and the entire Infinity Gauntlet series (1991).  The later made sense because Marvel recently reissued Infinity Gauntlet in a deluxe hardcover (available in stores July 14th), so they probably already digitalized and enhanced the pages for reprint.

As I have previously mentioned, I really think the future of comics, especially for strictly reading, is digitally.  Since getting my iPad, I have been downloading comics to read - however, the main problem I have is that all the books are OLD.  Nobody wants to read Astonishing X-Men from 2004, we already own the physical comics or trades.

I also have a big problem with pricing.  The original price on Wonder Woman #1 is 75 cents, but the digital comics is 99 cents. What's wrong with that picture?  You can argue that because there are no advertisements in the digital version, that you're making up for that cost - however, I DO NOT mind advertisements if it means a lower price.  In fact, sometime I actually enjoy or appreciate advertisements as it keeps me in the loop when it comes to pop culture. 

And really: WHO HASN'T READ or OWN that issue ???  I own the original, Millennium edition, and the first Wonder Woman trade paperback.  The issue should be free as an introduction to new readers, as far as I'm concern.

(Jul 1991)
Anyway, Marvel sort of got it right, they gave the first issue of Infinity Gauntlet for free, but the rest of the series will cost you $1.99 each. If you want to read the entire epic series, it will cost you $10, well below the $25 trade paperback.  Which also brings me up to the point that I just wish they'd sell "trade"/collected bundles at a discounted price.  Twenty-four pages is much shorter than you think.

The other thing I'd like to see is a subscription model: 12 issues of the latest Batman for a discount. 

What about "Mystery" random bundle, you know $4.99 for 10 comics, what a great way for you to discover new books (since it knows what you already downloaded, you'll never get a dupe).

At the moment, both the Marvel app and DC app the Comixology engine, and as nice as it looks, it's not perfect.  Searching is still a problem, you're limited to what you can search - and you also have to drill down and know what you're searching for.  Comixology occasionally crashes, especially if you're listening to your music.  I don't like the look/design/interface. Would love to software lock the rotation to read only in vertical without having to physically lock the rotation on the iPad.  Would also like a way to organize them (like grouping all the X-Men under a folder by series or artists, instead of displaying all the books I own).  Would also love to export it to my computer or other devices.  Maybe the ability to lend or give a copy to a friend ?  You can do that with real books, you know.

Me? I still buy the floppies, but I don't always have time to stop in the comic store.  I just want to read or preview the comics, when I'm on the road.  I still prefer the printed books, so that's not really going away anytime soon for me.

Update: iPad
    Apr 7, 2010 5:30 PM
Update (05/19/10)
    May 19, 2010 5:28 AM
Update (05/14/10)
    May 14, 2010 2:50 PM
Wonder Woman #600 free 10-page preview
    Jul 2, 2010 10:05 PM