Name: Rob Ford
I'm always hesitant when I hear that ____ will save _____. That sort of statement smacks of hyberbole. However, I think this editorial is ignoring some of the key advantages of digital comics - convenience and cost. As I get older and have grown my family, it becomes increasingly difficult to have longboxes of paper issues stacked up all over the place. Having digital comics that I can store on a nice compact little reader solves that problem for me.
The cost savings are also a very real advantage of digital comics. $1.99 for a digital issue may seem steep, but for myself that could be a significant savings over time. Each week I buy on average 6 issues, between $3-4 each. So over the course of the year I'm picking up ~312 issues. If they were all available digitally for $2 each, I'd be saving somewhere between $300-$600 annually. That's not chump change. (Of course, I'd probably end up just doubling up on the number of issues I buy, putting more dollars in the pockets of creators and publishers.)
Convenience and cost may not be as sexy as motion effects or other new digital capabilities, but they are real and compelling differences that could help grow/sustain comic readership.
@KickAss There is a lot to like about Marvel's Digital Comics Unlimited, particularly the selection, but I ultimately cancelled my subscription because of a lack of a mobile option. Being tied to my laptop or desktop just don't fit for my reading habits.
As for mobile readers, I do prefer PanelFly. My only complaint (and this is partially a Marvel issue) would be that they heavily promote $.99 Marvel comics, but that seems to only be for the first several issues of an arc, then they switch to $1.99. I'm not sure if $1.99 is a low enough price point for older comics, when I can find a trade with a 6 issue arc for around the same price per issue.
This is pure speculation, but I wonder if Marvel is intentionally keeping the mobile comic cost high, to make Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited seem like a better value.
Inspired by this episode I bought and burned through Warren Ellis' Stormwatch and Authority runs in about a week. Fantastic. I absolutely loved how original and just plain interesting characters like Jack Hawksmoor and Jenny Sparks were and Hitch's art is great on the whole run. Plus the Aliens/Stormwatch/Wildcats crossover was maybe the greatest inter-company crossover I've ever read.
My only disappointment was that the Ellis/Hitch team only ran 11 issues on the Authority. The 2nd trade is 1/2 Millar/Quitely and I really did not care for the direction Millar seemed to be taking the book and especially how he completely undermined the Apollo/Midnighter dynamic by making Apollo edgier and more aggressive and liberally peppering in the jokes about their relationship.