Friday, January 22, 2010

In Defense of Paper

Editor's Note: We spend a LOT of time here talking about Digital Comics. Today we change it up a bit as Caine presents his thoughts on the merits of Paper comics. - Jim

What is it about paper comics that we love so much? Why isn't the comic book industry all ready fully or largely digital?

I could go on and on, listing items about the experience of sitting down and enjoying a comic book and explaing the digital equivilant to each of those items, but I'm not going too.

The fact is, there are qualities about comics printed on paper that can not be duplicated by their digital counterparts. No matter what.

It's these qualities that keep the paper comic book industry alive and will keep that industry thriving in one capacity or another for the foreseeable future, and more than likely beyond.
What are they?

In a word: Relationships.

Think of your first memory with a comic book, for most of us it will be in our childhood. Children learn,in part, through examining tactile relationships. We touch things. We covet things of great intrest or value (and who doesn't value their copy of Amazing Spiderman 129?). We keep them with us, always handling them so they are handy and easy to get at.

Sure your comics on the iPhone are handy, easy to get at, and handled quite a bit but not in the same way.

There isn't that link between you and the comic, a link you've shared for years (possibly many, many years), with a piece of your childhood. It's relationships like those that are fused with memories that will live a lifetime. When was the last time an iPhone app infused a memory?
In no way could the situation be completely explained here by the likes of a comic blogger like my self but none the less, the tactile relationship we have with our "things" is an important one.

Regardless of how active, how amazing, how easily accessible an online forum may be there isn't one on line that could replace the experience of going down to your local comic shop, hanging out with other comic fans like your self, and discussing comics until your blue in the face.

I look forward to digital comics via Longbox, Robot Comics, Graphic.Ly, ComiXology, et al and more on my gSlate (google's follow up to the iSlate) on a national wireless network some day but it's comforting to know that if I want to I can go somewhere with my best pals (or kids) and go buy a comic that can be shared as a group.

Have a great weekend!

- Caine


Trey said...

Some much needed balance. :) Thanks, Caine.

Jim Shelley said...

Hey - who dares doubt the Fairness of the Flashback U?

Caine said...

Damn Skippy!


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