Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

December 30, 2013

Go, Read: Something Everyone In Comics Already Knew

The portentous nature of an article a) declaring something as obvious as the attention to physical, art-directed craft on certain books as its own thing in late 2013; b) slapping a year on when this became The Year It Happened, well that really is sort of hilarious, but it's always a point worth making, and the angle here is a pretty good one. While some books have been embracing their physicality as objects, the author notes that many e-book strategies have involved stripping things down to their bare minimum. You've seen something similar in comics with serial comics versus trades versus deluxe editions, and the e-book part of the equation adds to that overall landscape. The implications are obvious in terms of which forms might serve which kinds of consumption.

Put another way: I am in no way a natural consumer of electronic books and magazines and even I have started to prefer getting things like books-about comics, superhero comics and periodical-style industry news concerning comics in electronic form. It's the superhero part of that that may be most surprising but certainly shouldn't be in terms of how such books operate. So much of what superhero comics do these days are less about the experience of reading them and more about their insight into the incremental changes to the overall storyline -- finding the most convenient way to do that seems like it's going to be a thing. After all, some folks eschew the works entirely and "keep track" in reflected form on-line, so an approximation of the actual form is going to have some appeal if cheap enough and easy to access. I have friends that were totally out of buying superhero comics now back in via binge-buying through sales at comiXology and Marvel's "unlimited" approach of getting dozens to hundreds for a flat price. As far as I know, none of them are looking for an enhanced experience.
posted 1:35 am PST | Permalink

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