Welcome back ladies and gentlemen! This is Marvel's Corner!
Now, today I take on a formidable threat to comics, which, up until recently, I had avoided. What could this strange thing be? What could cause such a divide in opinions? The answer's simple. Digital Comics! So step on board Marvel's train of challenges and puzzles. Look at the picture, which is half way done. Look at the book, and behold the illustrations! Etc.
Today's Topic: Digital Comics
Now, as we all know, the sweet feeling that one gets when they're reading a really good comic is only matched by a couple hundred other experiences (Like the ladies!) Still, remember when you're deep into the story, and you actually want to turn the page and see what happens. That's a nice feeling, right? Getting to hold that comic in your hands? Well, what if you weren't at your comic book shop, sitting in a corner, trying to read the comic book without paying? What if you were at home, in your Stan Lee PJs, as I am now, reading the book through the internet.
Yes, madness I know. However, with all the techonogical revolution going on, it was natural that it would happen.
Of course, due to the amount of time I've spent online, chatting with FPLers, I have become very nostalgic. Comic books, although expensive, are pretty cool. After all, who wouldn't want to pay 4$ to read 22 pages of sometimes ad free stories featuring fictional characters. It's just like reading a book.
Except, you have to buy lots of comics to get the whole story, since, y'know, each comic only moves the plot a couple inches.
So yeah, how the comic book industry could be struggling is beyond me. And how anyone could turn their back to the printed comic book, the backbone of nerdery, is mind boggling! It was something I would never do. I would never turn to digital comics.
At least, not unless they offered me great savings. My semi-worship of comics is only bested by my love of money. And this opportunity arose this Cyber Monday, the Monday after Black Friday. It's very similar, except that it all takes place online, where the chances of being trampled are a lot lower.
When my wallet cried out to me, I listened. A form later, and Marvel Digital Comics was open to me.
So, after a week what is my opinion of Digital Comics?
Oh man, the selection! Over 8,000 comics. All of them, free (after paying 5$ a month for a year). There's old school comics from the sixties, and brand new ones, just from last year. Not only that, but every week, twenty something comics get added. How awesome is that? At this rate, I can't imagine ever needing to go out and buy more comics.
So, Marvel, being the comic genius that it is, thought of a brand new marketing campaign. Selling really old comics online was a good idea, but a better one was to make brand new comics, exclusively for Online viewing! Bravo!
Now, of course, these online books don't carry as much weight, or feature that important heroes, but they do have positives. They give writers more freedom.
Now, if my grammar didn't tip you off, I'm not a comic book writer. However, from what I've seen, it must be terrible to be a mainstream writer. Nowadays, you're not that well paid, you have strict deadlines, almost every marketable storyline has been used, and there's such a small space to be creative. Heck, if I was an Iron Man writer, and I wanted Iron Man to build a suit of armor made of bark and other green material because he had become aware of global warming, I couldn't do it. Why? Cause it doesn't sell comics.
No. Comics are sold when a super famous writer writes the story, when it has pictures of hot women inside, and every once in a while, because it has a good interesting story.
Having writers write comics online totally takes that pressure off them. Look at the last exclusive I read. "Galacta - Daughter of Galactus".
For the record, it was the idea that interested me in the book... The hot protagonist merely sealed the deal.
Anyways, a story like that has a small chance of getting published. There's too much risk. However, with this digital comic shop open, there's a lot more space for creativity...
60$ a year. For over 8,000 comics. I can't even get most of these where I live. This thing is a sweet deal.
1. Eye Stress:
Guys, girl (hopefully there's one out there), as cool as I seem, I do have some obvious nerdy giveaways.
Unlike my love of comics, which only my closest friends and current girlfriend know about, I can't hide the fact that I wear glasses. Naturally, I prefer the old school comics, because they don't strain my eyes.
Now, while the time spent of the Internet has probably built up a defense towards reading stuff on a computer, it's still a strain. I wouldn't recommend it to older people, or those who can't handle reading stuff online (Note: The comics do have nifty zoom tools that make even the smallest writing huge).
I can't really complain about this one.
But I will anyways.
You see, all the comics are at least six months old. This is done to prevent actual comic book shops from competing with the digital comic book shop (since digital comics would stomp them all day long... And then they'd stomp them in night as well). This makes sense, and is probably a smart thing to do business wise, but still bothersome. I can't read up to date stuff? I want to read the stuff that people are talking about! Who even remembers Secret Invasion?
Eh... On the plus side, old school comics are there in droves.
Say you're on a long car trip, and you want to have something cool and interesting to read. You go for "Earth: The Book" only to see your cousin borrowed it. Naturally, you turn to the next best thing. A Marvel comic book.
Tough break reading digital comics on the go.
Unless you're paying 3G, or plan on stopping at Starbucks for Wi-Fi, you can't read the comics. You can't even download/save them and read them later.
Well, that's cool. I mean, you have your iPhone right? You can still read those things. Right?
You see, to read comics on your iPhone, there's a whole other thing you have to use (An App). The bad thing here is that there is no Digital Comics App on the App store. Instead, you have to get a regular Comic app or a Marvel Comics app.
Well, that doesn't matter right? I mean, you can read the comics on your iPhone. After all, you did pay to read them on your computer. Why can't you online?
Oh wait, you can't. If you want to read Marvel comics on your iPhone, you have to buy every single comic for 1-2$.
Yeah. That kind of sucks if you planned on reading comics... Outside of your home.
So, what did I think at the end? Is this thing the future? Or just a cheap ploy?
Honestly, if it's done right, this could be the future. After all, its cheaper to make the comics this way, no need for printing/shipping. Marvel can reach markets that it couldn't before. The reading program works great. The selection is wonderful, and an easy way to kill tons of time. Sure, there's huge gaps in between some comics, none of them are up to date, and you can't really download them to read offline, but it's pretty good.
Score: 3 out of 5 Stan Lees
I recommend it to those who don't want to waste tons of cash keeping up with all the comic events. It has a pretty good selection, so there's definitely something for everyone.
Note: For those on the fence, there are comics that you can read on the website for free. Check it out.
That's all for today. Until next time, this is Marvel Man, signing off.
Soon... Very soon...
A new Admin interview is coming!