Thursday, July 14, 2011

Digital Obsession


I’m a lover of digital uptake in all media forms of entertainment.

While the LP vs CD vs MP3 discussions seem to have played out for the most part, the battle of Theatre vs Disc vs Streaming rages on. The biggest battle that most people I know discuss is Local TV Scheduling vs Web Accessible TV, and how lifting region locks would see a rise in both ratings and profits for shows willing to put themselves in a worldwide buyer’s market.

A Worldwide Buyer’s Market.

That’s the thing that a lot of media formats are failing to realise is key to minimising piracy and attracting new fans. People that like your style of entertainment will keep coming back to be entertained by you, again and again, and the easier you make it for them to access your product the more they appreciate you beyond your work, and the more loyal they become.

One area of entertainment that seems to be going the old LP vs CD argument is Books vs eBooks. For the most part Books vs eBooks is exactly like LP vs CD; Analogue vs Digital; Old School vs New. Where it seems to heat up the most at the moment though is in discussions of comics.

I have a massive collection of comics. I recently looked through the entire collection (looked through, not read) over a couple of months and fell in love with them all over again. Seeing the cover art, skimming through issues here and there, and recalling the storylines that took my imagination on amazing adventures throughout the years was absolutely brilliant. I have more comics than I do room to house them, even with having a dedicated library in my home, but I love them just the same. Yet I am a huge supporter of digital comics, digital books, and those that produce them.

The ease of buying digitally, the reduction in storage needs, the ability to discover new products online from all over the world, most that would never see the light of day locally, and then experience them shortly afterwards, is absolute gold to me. My “Local” Comic Shop is two hours away by car, but as I don’t drive that makes it three hours by public transport *IF* the trains are all running on time. Oh, and there’s no public transport on weekends here, so I can only go during the week, and only during the selected hours that the local transport matches up. Digital products are, without a doubt, my saviour when it comes to getting the entertainment I want.

I practically live on my iPad, with small jaunts to the laptop mixed in. Most of my work is in the digital realm and even when I travel to work “in the real world” I end up with the results digitally anyway. Why wouldn't I want to experience a vast majority of my entertainment via the digital format too?

Now, I believe requesting individuals and companies to back digital production and distribution isn't enough, you've got to show your support by paying for the products and promoting the things you enjoy to others.

I read my books on iBooks, my comics on comiXology, and my PDFs on Good Reader. I have re-purchased every CD I own via iTunes (except the few that are unavailable here and unlikely to ever get released due to the bands folding) and all my VHS are now Blu-Ray, and if I could access decent streaming capabilities more often locally, I’d go that route too.

My old media formats have been mostly given away to those that still like their entertainment that way, while I happily pay out for the ease and convenience of immediate digital satisfaction. While many are bemoaning the death of the LCS, I thrill at the idea that I can get my comics on the same day and date as the physical release, and I can do it without a six hour travelling odyssey.

Here are the last few digital purchases I've made:

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Chris Eliopoulos is selling PDFs of his two Misery Loves Sherman books for only $2 each!

You can grab yourself a copy of each at http://chriseliopoulos.com

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Greg Pak is giving away his amazing graphic novel, Vision Machine, everywhere!

You can get it from www.visionmachine.net, through comiXology (in the three individual issues), or even on G+!

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Jimmy Palmiotti has a Kickstarter project underway for his graphic novel, Queen Crab.

Head to http://kck.st/jwSoPJ where a PDF copy starts as low as $5 and the more you give to support the work, the more nifty bonuses you get as a thank you!

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If you’re interested in supporting digital uptake in comics, spread the word far and wide, pay the very small amounts asked for such hard work from talented people, and celebrate the benefits that embracing technology offers.

Please, let me know of any other nifty digital comics out there that you think I might like! I'm always interested in new and exciting adventures :)

~ Rogue