February 16, 2013
FFF Results Post #324—Print Vs. Web
On Friday, CR
readers were asked to "Name Two Things You Like About Digital Comics, Two Things You Like ABout Print Comics, And Then Break The Tie With The One Thing That In The End Makes You Like One More Than The Other." This is how they responded.
1. No Physical Storage
2. Ease Of Access
3. Beautiful Art Direction
4. Tactile Quality
5. With The Onset Of On-Line Comics, Print Comics Are Now Obsolete In A Way They Weren't Before, Which Gives Them A Doomed, Romantic Quality I Can't Resist
1. We're Only Begining To Explore All The New Technical Creative Possibilities
2. Nothing Will Ever Be Lost To Time Again
3. Goofy Ads
4. For Me, Every Silver Age Marvel Or Warren Magazine Is A Trip Back To Summer Camp 1966
5. Literally Anybody Can Do A Digital Comic If They Have Access To The Internet And MS Paint
1. They're (almost always) free
2. Easier to share than a printed work
3. The excitement of holding a lovingly handmade object
4. Going into a comic store
5. Printed comics look fantastic in an old time spinner rack
1. It's waaay easier to try unfamiliar cartoonists for free
2. Yeah, the obvious problem of heaving bookshelves
3. The gorgeous book design that's flourished since the start of the current gn/reprint boom, especially by Jacob Covey and Peter Mendelsund
4. As a flipside to (1), it's way easier for me to compensate cartoonists for their hard work, just by buying a physical copy of their book, than it would be if I were reading online. Obviously I could do it by buying digital copies, or paypalling or whatever, but I'm lazy
5. Precisely because there's so many great digital comics out there, I prefer print. It's hard enough catching up on 100 years of comics plus keeping across new print releases; if I started really getting into digital, I'd never leave the house.
1. No sell outs or "we don't carry it"
2. High resolution colors
3. Despite #1, the joy of hunting for specific books, sometimes for years
4. Formal innovation brought on by format limitations
5. Given my particular bugaboos about kids getting comics, I still say print comics have greater accessibility for children. Particularly low income kids. Not every fourth grader is given an iPad at Christmas, but nearly all of them can buy a volume of Naruto at the Scholastic Book Fair.
Ryan Cecil Smith
1. Easy to carry around lots of volumes/graphic novels in one little device
2. If I can find it online/an app store/etc., then that means anyone can find it so I can talk to people about it, recommend it, and others can find it easily.
3. For me, usually comics are easier and cheaper (if used) to find physically.
4. I like "owning" a "thing." (perhaps I should suppress this impulse though).
5. You can see it better, you can look at spreads, you can look up close without staring at a rectangle.
Sean T. Collins
1. Outrageously lopsided barriers-to-publishing-to-potential-size-of-audience ratio
2. Continuous scrolling
3. I like owning objects
4. The experience of sitting or standing in my library, unable to resist picking a book off the shelf and reading it then and there despite having other stuff to do
5. Totally effortless near-daily exposure to new work by the post-alternative cartoonists with whom I feel the most affinity, for at least the last couple years and counting
1) I love being able to login to my Comixology account from whatever digital device is nearest to me at any given time.
2) I love that Comixology does NOT give you a digital download. I don't want to download anything.
3) I can read paper comics for hours without eye fatigue but digital wears me out.
4) Over 30 plus years, my mind has programmed itself to be able to thumb through a box and pull out a comic I've not looked at in over a decade and turn to the exact panel I wanted to look at.
5) They do not yet have an app that will make a digital screen smell like 20 year old newsprint.
1. Instant access to pretty much anything. No car trips in the rain, no waiting for reorders, just any comic you want, whenever you want it.
2. The way digitally made art looks in its native format. I read an awful lot of Top Cow comics for research for their recent talent hunt contest via Comixology, and I was positively drooling over Stjepan Sejic's digital painting. Yowza.
3. Coming home with a big stack of comics and going through the ritual of organizing them, cataloging them, and sorting the new recruits into the "to read" box.
4. The sense of pacing that only comes from having the comic in your hand and being able to feel that you're running out of pages.
5. Having a big stack of comics on the nightstand and peeling one after another off the pile before going to sleep.
2. Reading a "sample" before buying without getting the stink eye.
3. Works during a power outage
4. Print us just so pretty.
5. Devices are expensive and libraries are free.
1. You took the best one already -- not having to have thirteen cardboard boxes (that I have to specially purchase for more than what I think cardboard should cost) to hold them all. And not having to store those boxes. And to not have the looks from my wife when we're organizing the house about where they go, when that closet could be used for something more important. Digital comics are no longer prized collectibles, which I always hated about paper comics.
2. The hope that a viable market for foreign comics will grow from the relative ease of releasing translated editions of niche books in a digital format.
3. Buying copies of All-Star Squadron from a quarter-bin, in which the previous owner has drawn photo-realistic nipples on every Wally Wood illustrated picture of Power Girl in the book.
4. Charlton Comics will never have a slot on Comixology.
5. DRM and proprietary formats make it hard to lend a copy of the comics I really like and want to share with others.
1. The ability to zoom in and read without putting on my damn glasses. (I'm not all that old. I swear.)
2. Storage in "the cloud" or on a six-ounce removable hard drive. (I have moved six times in the last 12 years. Comics weigh a lot.)
3. Possessions that are inexorably linked to certain times in my life. (I remember where I bought them and what was going on when I read them.)
4. The thrill of the hunt. (Rarity = fun.)
5. Resale value. (Well, theoretically.)
1. Instant gratification, no driving to the comic shop.
2. Infinite re-reads with no risk of damage; they're always "mint."
3. True sense of possession. I would never claim to have every issue of Amazing Spider-Man or every New Direction EC Comic, even though I do, digitally.
4. I'm in love with the physical and emotional responses generated in me by truly top-quality reproduction. I'll never forget how "It's A Good Life If You Don't Weaken" felt in my hands the first time I opened it.
5. Digital feels temporary, no matter how many backups I have; print feels permanent, catastrophes aside. I suppose this is closely related to #3, but feels different somehow.
1. Instant downloading
2. Easy to try a book and just delete it should it not be to your liking
3. Seeing a whole page without having to zoom or shrink the screenview
4. The tactile/visual qualities of different types of paper
5. Digging through a back issue bin holds the potential for joy, discovery, bemusement, and disappointment
1. My iPad Maintains a Vibrant Luminosity Under Virtually Any Lighting Condition.
2. My iPad Allows Me to Travel Virtually Anywhere in the World with Thousands of Comics (Books, Magazines, etc.).
3. Print Comics Allow for a Practically Unlimited Variety of Sizes, Shapes, Structures, etc.
4. My Love Affair with Print Comics has Lasted Sixty Years (and Counting).
5. My iPad Won't Let Me Turn My Comics Pages Upside-Down.
1. More Ready To Read Some Of The Times I Want To Read A Comic
2. Less Likely To Misplace An Issue In An Overall Story
3. Two-Page Spreads
4. Easy To Lend
5. An Issue Of A Print Comic Is Less Vulnerable To Supported File Format And IP Ownership Changes That Could Make It Unreadable As You Continue To Be Able To Possess It Or Pass It Along Over The Decades
1. Infinite Canvas.
4. J.H. Williams III.
5. Place pad on shelf.
1. Affordable and easy access to archives of work.
2. Convenience of transportability.
3. The ability to share a physical book or comic.
4. The beauty of a crowded bookcase.
5. As folks' preference moves to digital and they sell off collections it's a great time to pick up paper comics REAL CHEAP.
1. Carry entire collection in my bag.
2. Most comics are created digitally, so it makes sense to view them that way.
3. The feel of a brand-new comic and the feel of a well-used old favorite, and all that lies between, and all that that implies.
4. I'm much more comfortable making print comics than digital. I like the smell of ink and the feel of a real brush in my hand.
5. Plain old nostalgia makes print the winner for me.
1. Easer and cheeper to produce.
2. Potentially anyone can see your work.
3. You can make ,at least some, money with print.
4. Print still has a greater perceived legitimacy than webcomics.
5. A print comic is more likely to be bought and read. A digital comic, if seen at all, is more likely to get a two second glance, "liked" and dismissed.
1. Can read 'em anywhere.
2. More likely to test out new series
3. Appreciate the full page much better.
4. Old comic smell. Mmmm.
5. Analog comics just read better in the bathroom.
1. They look really nice on my big monitor
2. Quick to get, which leads to impulse reading
3. Easier to read a big chunk of comics at once
4. You don't need to worry about battery life or be near a plug to read them.
5. Outside of a floor, fire or theft. I know my print comics are mine to keep.
1. Ease Of publishing, and in theory distribution.
2. Eye popping color and line contrast.
3. Does not need batteries or to be booted up.
4. The page turn, the double page spread, the reveal. All much more powerful in print somehow for me.
5. Ultimately i think i enjoy reading books more than screens still. Hold my attention better.*
* But I don't own an Ipad or proper light weight and responsive tablet, only tried others or read things on my hybrid HP tablet laptop. Kind of heavy and sluggish. Not sure if an Ipad would change my answer.
1. Online lets anybody publish without flooding shelf space.
2. I can look at lots of free comics online on Comixology.
3. Real comics can be stacked on top of each other and ploughed through, something satisfying in its own way the English language needs a word for it.
4. Old newsprint comics and the quality of the paper have been my friends for a long time.
5. You can trade or resell old comics -- how do you hand around something bought online that's tied to a specific platform for access? Digital is for consumers and readers comics are for COLLECTORS.
1. No practical or sentimental need to keep old copies around
2. I can zoom in to admire the art
3. People can see what I'm reading and start conversations
4. Still enjoy owning a rare, hard-to-find issue
5. I really like the people at my local comic store and don't want to put them out of business.
1. digital's lower publishing costs = more content, wider variety
2. digital's more efficient for discovering new talent
3. print's better for eye health than staring in to a monitor/phone screen
4. print enjoys better "captive audience" rate, fewer distractions
5. old newsprint smells and/or new fresh print smells = print wins! yay
1. Fingertip Zoom To Examine Panels Closely
2. Price Point
3. Paper: The Original PDF
4. Physical Product Feeds The Urge To Collect Stuff
5. Anticipation While Driving Home With A Bag Of Comics Beats That Of Waiting For Downloads To Complete
1. Lots of good stuff for free
2. No storage
3. Pleasure of ownership
4. Reading paper comics gets me away from a screen
5. More different ways to acquire print comics makes process more interesting
1. They are bringing people who don't have storage space back to comics (or so I have been told by several people).
2. They defy the 'collector' mentality, which I personally don't like.
3. Their potential as art/boutique objects, whose physical form can be manipulated in almost infinite ways. (Can something be almost infinite?)
4. The act of going to a comic shop to buy them mostly prompts a pleasant human interaction.
5. Print, as I can throw them across the room when exasperated by their contents.
Derik A. Badman
1. My shelves are already too full
2. I can take a lot with me, so I don't need to decide what to pack on trips
3. A better and real sense of scale (especially for larger works)
4. The aesthetics of the book/pamphlet as an object
5. I can still get more comics I want to read in print than digitally
I deleted a couple for format and a couple for equivocating on #5; I know it sounds stupid, but doing 320 or so of these has hammered into me the wisdom of keeping responses on point or we quickly get to a riff-fest and a lot of e-mails complaining that "XXX was allowed to answer that way" and I want to kill myself; if you take these responses as some sort of gauntlet thrown at one sort of comics or another, you're reading it wrong -- I would assume other sites would have a wildly different weight to their answers; seriously, not everything is Superman Vs. Hulk
topic by Chris Duffy; thanks, Chris
posted 11:00 pm PST
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