Coming from the previous age, I value the print more than the digital, perhaps it was because of Napster early on in my life or something else, but I just don’t value megabytes over print, or the thing in my hand. I want that stuff at a lower cost. I think this is a good debate to have, because it helps us focus on something that is becoming less and less commonplace, and questions what we value.
I feel like I haven’t written about anything in ages, so Dave here got me out of my cave with his well-reasoned writing.
The age-old question of the $3.99 22-page comic. Really, in this case it’s the not-really-age-old question of the $3.99 22-page digital comic. I’ve written at length about my abhorrence of that price for that amount of content. It makes me want to throw up all over my desk right now. Forever. Forever throwing up on my desk.
I actually cannot remember the last time I paid $3.99 for a 22-page comic. I even stopped buying Wolverine monthly. Mainly because it wasn’t good anymore. Double-shipping really knocked that book on it’s ass, sadly. (Save us, Cho!) The stuff I buy without hesitation are all $2.99 or less. Invincible, The Walking Dead, Manhattan Projects, Legends of the Dark Knight, Double Barrel, pretty much everything from Monkey Brain even thought I haven’t read them all, Atomic Robo, Harvest, Hawkeye, Captain Marvel, Think Tank, etc. In fact, those last two Marvel books that were $2.99 I’m 90% sure I bought them due in LARGE part BECAUSE they were $2.99 and not $3.99. It was my own little mental way of sticking it to the Man by giving the Man my money anyway.
Odd how that works. I’ll readily buy at $2.99 as a way to support that price, and the Monkey Brain stuff I buy near instantly to also support their pricing and the teams as whole. Whether or not I even read them! Silliness.
My whole thing of the $3.99 doesn’t relate in any way to the print vs. digital, I just am not emotionally ready to pay that much for a comic whatever format it’s in. You can argue that digital has no value, but Dave already segued nicely into the value of the creative work debate. I was all ready to be like, “nuh-uh, Dave, it’s not just megabites you’re paying for, it’s the work toooooooo!!!”.
Not enough is said about the entire platform of digital, and comiXology as well. Sure, for some publishers your paying the same price as the print counterpart, but you’re also buying into the fact that you can download that whenever you want. Wherever you want. I just moved into this apartment and had to lug my long boxes up two flights of stairs. Forget about it, homie. I carry my iPad with me on the train and I have thousands of books at my whim.
Top Shelf is doing some really fantastic stuff that nobody seems to be noticing. Underwater Welder was $$9.99 digitally a good month before the print book even dropped at, what, $20? I snatched that shit up like nobodies business and have gifted that sucker to SEVERAL friends. There’s a buy-in for you. Would I have gifted that book to friends if it were $20 bucks? No way. Would I have lent the print copy to friends for free? Sure.
And don’t get me started on Double Barrel. It’s the best deal going in comics right now. Hands down. I would pay $1.99 just for their intro to each issue.
Not that Dave asked me, but I would recommend the Nexus or the new iPad for your reading. The screen is pretty silly on the Nexus, but not as good as the new iPad and those HD books. Though, iA Writer syncing over your devices and your Mac is pretty swell. (Maybe I wrote this in iA Writer on my Mac.)
Back to the cave.