Mike Romo writes over at iFanboy that things have changed since he purchased an iPad.

So, it’s been a little over a month since I really tried out digital comics on my iPad. Over this time, I have mentioned a few observations in my articles, and, much to my chagrin, over this time I have become a full convert to digital comics. With this article I wanted to share, hopefully one last time, some thoughts on what digital comics is bringing to fans of the medium.

Among the plusses — easier to find back issues, comics look better and…NO BENT PAGES.

There’s much murmuring and head nodding in the comments. Having recently purchased an iPad ourselves, it’s hard not to share his enthusiasm for a device which removes the need for a house full of comics boxes.

The paradigm shift is well underway.


  1. I have to agree! I downloaded a few of the first issues of DC’s new 52 this week on my iPhone (sadly I don’t own an iPad yet) and quickly fell in love with reading comics on a digital device.

    My strategy is to buy the DC comics one month after release – the digital price drops to $1.99 per issue, which is a good price point for the size of the comics. I haven’t read monthly DC comics in years (I went all trades somewhere in the early 2000s). At best, I now expect to give DC about $20 a month for new digital content.

    I’m far from being the target market for DC. I read mostly indie comics these days. But their plan worked! I’m a fan again.

  2. He’s absolutely right on all those points. However, he does write for iFanboy.com who is sponsored by graphic.ly. A digital comics distributor.

    Not that it changes the opinion piece in this scenario…

    So I’m probably being pedantic. :P

  3. I love it! I love not having to go to the comic store; I love not having to throw away comic books I don’t have a use for; I love being able to read them so easily on an iPad. I just wish more stuff was available, like Optic Nerve, Ganges, Acme Novelty, etc. And while I realize that’s a pipe dream now, hopefully some day soon it won’t be.

  4. I’m waiting until a more affordable 10-inch screen Tablet reader comes along. No WAY am I buying a $500 iPad or Galaxy just to read comics on…

  5. Plus of course, if you don’t like something you simply don’t buy it again, no hassle about having a pull list and having to cancel/add things.

  6. @AACRO Soon. The industry is nascent. There are many shakeouts coming. Apple hasn’t decided what–if anything–they’re going to do with comics yet, have they?

  7. I read more comics on my iPad than I ever bought floppies. There’s something about reading four-color art that’s illuminated from within that makes it feel poppier and more fun.

    I just wish there was a more accessible, larger, one-stop-shopping solution that used .cbr or .cbz format. And that it had a deep, consistent back catalog. There are tons of older runs I really want to read or re-read from the Big Two (especially the 80’s and early 90’s comics I grew up on and the 70’s storylines I was too young to appreciate).

    Also, can someone please start doing more value-added digital comics? I want to read Jess Nevins’s annotations as I read League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, I want a Grant Morrison curated (with essays and pop-ups) trawl through the Batman back issue bin, a set of Kirby’s Fourth World with editorial content from his collaborators.

    Want! Want! Want!

  8. Ever since I got my iPad earlier this year, I’ve been a big proponent of digital comics. With DC Comics’ “101” sales, Marvel’s Monday and Friday $0.99 sales and the occasional $0.99 Image sales, I’ve been steadily building quite the digital collection.

  9. Early issues of Batton Lash’s classic “Wolff & Byrd, Counselors of the Macabre” are now available for iPad and iPhone via iVerse’s “comics +” app: http://comicspl.us/ (under Publishers, look for Exhibit A Press)

    The first five issues are “in stock,” with many more to come. Issue 1 is free; subsequent issues are 99 cents.

    The app also carries comics from such publishers as Archie, BOOM!, IDW, Image, Marvel, and Top Shelf, as well as lots of indies.

    One of the great thing about being able to read these individual issues is that they have the original editorial, letters, and pinups, which aren’t included in the trade paperback collections. (And the issues are out of print.) I was delighted to see how sharp everything looked on my iPod Touch. We are truly in the digital age of comics!

  10. The fact that someone like digital comics actually qualifies as “news”? How sad is that?

    That smacks of some desperation on the part of the digital-or-bust crowd.

    How about this as a headline:
    “Digital Comics: 98% of the headlines; 2% of Sales”

  11. I’m a dinosaur… You’d have to give me the digital comics before I’d read ’em. And I doubt I’d even do it then. I like paper.

  12. I absolutely agree–I have an HP Touchpad, which was pretty cheap ($250), and it enables me to read anything .cbr or .cbz. It has been great for finding all kinds of rarities and having them on hand–there’s piles of old underground stuff that has never been reprinted, etc. I would happily buy new comics for it, but as far as I know, none of the Comixology’s and the like offer anything for WebOS.

    But I’m sure of it–the moment there are good tablets available regularly in the $250 range and everything’s made available for them–paper periodicals are finished. So then the interesting thing is watching how the medium develops for this new, dominant delivery system.

    Once it’s not on paper, there are a million new tools at the artist’s disposal. Which means we’re in for a lot of noisy, crappy comics with bad sound effects, etc., but it also means that we’re in for some really creative, fascinating things we’ve never seen before. I can’t wait!

  13. I was sold on digital comics as soon as I found the Comixology app. Comics are generally damn cheap, and often come with ‘first issue free’ [or at least some kind of taster].

    I’ve got into The Stuff of Legend and Atomic Robo from this.

    But, that’s only on my phone. I’m looking forward to getting a tablet to be able to read a bit better. And, like others have said: looking forward to animations/voice acting/whatever they come up with.

  14. I like digital comics but I tend to buy the equivalent of TPB or 0.99$ comics. I won’t buy a digital comic book the same price as the paper version even if it’s same-day-as-print.

    I’m really interested in how much does a digital comic-book cost to produce and how much goes into the creators’ pocket.

  15. I tried a digital comic once (on an iPad) and didn’t like it one bit… I’m sticking to the “old school” paper versions!

  16. My only complaint is that I don’t own the books. If I could actually download the comic onto my computer than load it into my iPad, like I do with my music I’d be happy. At this point I’m only renting the comic.

  17. “But I’m sure of it–the moment there are good tablets available regularly in the $250 range and everything’s made available for them–paper periodicals are finished.”

    And anyone who can’t afford $250 can go screw themselves.


  18. “And, like others have said: looking forward to animations/voice acting/whatever they come up with.”

    Which is the biggest thing of all, because animation is not comics. Voice acting is not comics. Comics as a crude version of other visual media is no more viable than what they are today. Whatever hybird replaces comics might be great, but no one should fool themselves that it won’t be radically different than actual comics.


  19. I love digital comics….reading on the iPad is awesome.

    If it wasn’t for digital i’d be out of comics. The LCS around me have become mostly Diamond pre-order only and i just want no part in that.

  20. Agreed that “animation is not comics”, but there are so many other elements to this that can advance comics as a medium. And animation may be an element of that.

    Many people argued that rap and hip hop were not music, and we all know the folk purists who screamed “Judas!” at Bob Dylan when he dared to “go electric”. Cinema changed immensely when sound was introduced. Comics changed when digital color became the norm and suddenly lines could be color holds and effects didn’t need to be expressed primarily in line.

    Again, I think there will be countless unsuccessful or partially-successful attempts at integrating these new elements, but there will also be a newer form of comics–not better, not worse–newer that will utilize new techniques. It’s inevitable, and as someone who makes comics, I’m excited to see where it goes.

    And to the idea that those who don’t have $250 are screwed–that may be true in a lot of cases, and I think it’s terrible. But there will no doubt be web-based applications, etc., for those who have laptops or desktop computers. Periodicals will exist, but the inefficiency of printing on paper (often overseas), then distributing around the country in trucks, is bound to continue to drive more and more periodicals to a digital model.

  21. The current situation is that ‘buying’ a comic is really ‘renting’ a comic. You get to access it and read it. But you are paying the price for buying it.

    Pretty smart business model, that.