Monday, October 31, 2011

Paper Comics Walking DeadWatch

This weekend I was shocked as my Sister-in-law, who has not set foot in a comics shop in over 25 years, explained to me how the Comixology website works! Here's what the deal was:

She's been watching Walking Dead on TV
Gina (my wife) loaned her the first Walking Dead Graphic novel.
A friend on facebook (someone from her high school days who still reads comics) told her how to get more issues on Comixology

Since then she's bought over 80 issues of the series from the website and is currently caught up on the entire run.

AND because she was buying her comics from the site, she found out about the DC Relaunch and is now buying Aquaman, Justice League, Animal Man, Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps.
She asked me to recommend some other titles, so I suggested Y, The Last Man and the new Wonder Woman.

I mention all this because whenever I post one of my sidewalk rants about how paper comics are going to practically disappear soon, my critics always like to counter by suggesting that the process will be a slow, steady decline which might take decades. What those naysayers always forget is that sometimes things happen, like a Walking Dead television show, that causes a huge tidal wave of interest in digital comics. These unexpected (by my critics at least) paradigm shifts in turn cause other jumps in the process (like DC making a Y, the Last Man movie) which perpetuates the accelerated decline.

That may seem like an awful lot to extrapolate from the random buying habits of my Sister-in-law, but as card games go, Marvel/Disney have yet to make a grand play, so let's keep watching.

With that, I present today's Halloween themed Free Comic:

Weird Terror!

- Enjoy!


Sphinx Magoo said...

One thing that WALKING DEAD has in its favor are reasonably priced collections which are cheaper than getting the individual series. Marvel and DC are still waking up to this idea. Plus they're still trying to charge print prices for digital books, even for classic books with original cover prices 90 percent less than what they're charging. Red Circle has the right idea on pricing and I wish more companies followed their lead; the Atomic Robo books are at an excellent price point for individual books and for collections. It also helps that those books are satisfyingly fun!

MattComix said...

I think there may be a sustained period of co-existence between print and digital comics.

I say this because I have often read that when television came out people were trumpeting the death of movies and yet here we are today all these years later and movies have not disappeared. They even manage to feed off each other.

That's not to say that I think the death of the print comic is impossible. Far from it. The sheer practicality of publishing digitally by itself may be enough to ultimately tip the glass over. Perhaps sooner than later because any comic company starting out would be insane to have print as their primary model.

However speaking as someone working at a bookstore where we feature a digital e-reader device, I still have a ton of people every Sunday morning willing to wait outside our door in all kinds of weather before we open to get their newspaper even though they could read the damn thing in their pajamas online or with our device.


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