In the latest of our ‘Why I Love Digital Comics’ series Tim West, founder of UK digital comics storefront Comicsy, tells us why he loves his digital collection more than print.
I’ve not bought a floppy for years, focusing instead on trades and graphic novels, my physical comic collection is a modest pair of small shelves. Nothing to shout about but it’s something I’m proud of. It’s mostly the classics and a collection of indie comics which I’m happy to buy at comic conventions because I like to show my support for the enthusiastic creative types who pour the heart and soul in to producing their own comics. The classics are there for a purpose – should any unsuspecting non-comic friend show a mild interest in the medium, I can lure them to my shelving and attempt to proffer some of the finer examples of our beloved medium in to their unenlightened hands.
I have a second collection of comics of which I am equally proud. My digital collection, which I started as soon as the digi revolution began. One of the naysayers’ main opposition to the movement towards digital is that it wouldn’t be popular with those who enjoy collecting comics. Sure, there are some who’ll never make the switch. If you’ve got a storage room rammed full of categorized, indexed, bagged and boxed comics, you’ll probably will to stick with it. For people like myself being able to store a large comic collection in the ether is superior in every way.
I still gaze lovingly at my physical collection but all I’m really staring at is a bunch of spines. Yes, the spines do have pretty colours and it’s nice to see them in numerical order but, if we’re being honest, they’re not much to look at. Covers are where all the action is at! With digital, using one of the many apps available, when deciding what to read, you can browse through the covers of your comic collection in their full colour glory. It is a thing of beauty!
“When deciding what to read, you can browse through the covers of your comic collection in their full colour glory. It is a thing of beauty!”
Maybe, I could try the same thing with my physical collection. If I were to dedicate a room in my house, glue transparent poly-pockets to the walls and insert my comics inside, I might achieve a similar visual high. But there’s a word for people who do that – divorcees!
Having unlimited space to store my digital comic encouraged me to start buying single issue. So, I signed up to receive a weekly dose of 2000AD digitally. Accessing the comic via the iPad is easy. I can see the pretty covers, categorized and attractively arranged in a grid format. It looks awesome. Not only does it allow me to see what I’ve bought, it shows me the graphic novels, specials and back issues that are available to buy. There’s a figure underneath displaying how many issues I’ve purchased and how many are available. When I buy something new from the store, the figure goes up. It feels like a power-up, like completing a side mission on a console game, or like adding a magical weapon to my character’s inventory. For the collector in me it tweaks all the right buttons.
We all know people who are proud of their vast iTunes collection. Pirate downloaders hoard movies, accessing them via specifically designed software that allows them to categorize and rate their illegal treasures. Sites like Pinterest allow users to catalogue images on the web and categorize them according to their tastes. Everyone’s hoarding information, squirelling data in easily accessible chunks to save time. Digital is highly collectable and digital comics are doing it the right way. That’s why I love digital comics.
If you’ve still not tried digital comics head on over to www.comicsy.co.uk where there’s a great selection of downloads from the UK and Irish indie comic scene.