Here’s the thing – I am old fashioned. I’ll tell you that off the bat so that you can understand, before I begin on my rant, that I am obviously biased. I still have vinyl records for Pete’s sake! I like things to stay the status quo – but then again, if a great idea comes along, and it has to be Earth shattering great – iPod great – then my eyes are open and my ears are listening. Dazzle me and you have a customer for life.
That being said, I am so not dazzled by the digital comics. I know that comics did not start off as collectibles – but they have transitioned into one. One that I adore. Every week I head home from my LCS and read my small stack of comics – it used to be a lot more but the price increases over the years made me reconsider how many issues I pick up. When I am done I take a small amount of time and a whole lot of enjoyment out of bagging and boarding the issues and filing them away.
Now and then I will take certain issues out of the long boxes and memories flood my brain of the stories inside. Sure, issues nowadays aren’t worth what they once were – and most likely will not be. But remember, anyone collecting issues in the 90′s have worthless issues of Ravage #1 and others – but that’s mainly because there are hundreds of thousands – sometimes even MILLIONS of copies of each issue out there! Supply and demand says that we need a whole lot more people getting interested in comics before these issues will raise us even a nickel. But I don’t see that happening… with any of the tricks the big two are using anyways. Here’s the crazy part too – you want comics that are valuable? You can’t just buy the most popular titles. Those are the ones that become the LEAST valuable. Red Hulk #1? Yeah – unless you have any of the rare variants – and even those aren’t guaranteed to retain value – you will be picking those out of a quarter bin in a few years. Want to sell the collection? Expect to snag about a dime per issue – unless you want to go the ebay route and in that case, if you have the time to wait for the right buyer, maybe you will get a dollar for each issue you’re selling!
So why bother still collecting? Well, for some, like myself, it’s a comfort. Like listening to records – is it the best quality? No – but it makes me feel at home. So where do digital comics fit into all of this? Well, for me – they don’t. Honestly, I may get a dime for a physical issue – but try selling a digital copy… you won’t get a dime. You won’t get a penny. Because you don’t actually HAVE anything. You don’t have an issue – you have some code that’s floating around cyber space – and yes, WILL eventually end up floating around for free for hackers to spread.
Of course, this is all my opinion, I could be wrong and it will help the industry stay viable to younger readers. I doubt it – but it just may be beneficial - in ways that I am not thinking. Of course, until they start charging less for digital comics it will never really take off. Part of this industry is run by gimmicks that we, as collectors, fall for regularly! Variant covers? Who in their right mind would pay double – or even extra – for a digital variant cover? If you even considered it for a second you might need to be committed to a mental institution. It’s the same as buying digital art – anyone paying a premium for digital art is absolutely crazy – you don’t actually OWN anything! Anyways, how do you guys feel about it?