Digital Comics Are They a Good or Bad Thing?

We are now in a digital age; ages where we consume all our information electronically whether it is music on an Ipod, reading books on a Kindle, reading the New York Times on the Internet or watching a movie through an internet stream. So now whether you love it or hate it the world of comics is getting that same digital treatment.

I read or rather I watched the Watchmen motion comic, it came with my Watchmen: Ultimate Collection DVD and was by far the best part of the package, I watched it and thought that it was pretty cool. Originally hesitant to watch it I found that it was actually quite entertaining with its limited animation and only having one person play every character. The whole experience made me really appreciate how good a writer Alan Moor is, the dialogue of the whole thing was amazing so amazing in fact that parts of it were used as lines for the characters in the movie.

After watching the Watchmen motion comic I checked out the Spider-woman digital comic on the Marvel comics website. Now, at this point my expectations were riding pretty high on this whole motion/digital comic thing. I found myself however slightly disappointed with the Spider-woman digital comic. Perhaps it was the fact that I had just finished watching the Watchmen, which obviously sets the bar pretty high, but I found that my expectations of what a digital comic would be was slightly different. I was expecting that limited animation and so on.

I don’t want to take anything away from Spider-woman because I never actually finished it. In fact I think it was probably going to turn out to be something pretty good, but if digital comics are going to follow the format of Spider-woman then I think I would rather just stick to a printed copy.

I have to give credit to Marvel though for spearheading digital comics they are taking every precaution if the print copies of their titles decide to disappear with fans waning interests in anything print. However, I would like to point out that Marvel is not the first digital comic, in fact I am not sure if it is the first but it is certainly the first that I remember Toonami on Cartoon Network had a Blue Falcon and Dino-mutt digital comic on their website.

So what exactly defines a digital/motion comic? Is it a comic that is on a computer like a CBR file from a torrent, or is it web comic like PvP or Penny Arcade, or is it the sort of thing Marvel is doing with limited motion (I mean really limited) and some dialogue?

If a digital comic is a CBR file then I guess I am a fan, but all of my CBR files were once in print and were scanned into a computer. If it is a web comic, well, I really don’t follow those too much. Finally if it is like Marvel’s Spider-woman then I really don’t know how to feel. I enjoy sitting on my bed and holding something in my hand flipping from one page to the next but at the same time those sorts of comics are the same thing except they read and flip the pages for me.

I really am sparring on this subject, because I love having trades to display on my bookshelf and the allure of the what’s going to happen next from page to page. At the same time I like things in digital format I like how the Internet is a one-stop source for all information and media. I feel though that the more that things become digital (like Spider-woman) that things become more like cartoons.

I love cartoons but when I want a comic I want a comic and not some cartoon, I feel like people who make these things are going to try and keep adding things to each new one trying to stump the next guy. I’m afraid there is going to be Michael Bay style explosions happening on my computer screen, and that is something I don’t want. I would rather have explosions and special effects penciled in by the artist and words to accompany those SFX like Bam, Bif, and Pow.

I don’t want comics to be something that dry up and disappear and have all the super heroes and what not owned by movie studios and television networks. I am usually a fan of all things digital but when it comes to comics I become slightly frightened. Don’t call me Shirley but am I alone on this one?

I mean maybe I haven’t given enough of them a chance because I am basing my only experience on only two of them and one was the Watchmen, which was something I already liked. I don’t know, love it or hate it I suppose this is the direction things are going in.


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