Trying Out: E-Comics (Week Forty-Five)
Yep. More comics talk.
I am old fashioned. I like the feel of paper it pushes against my finger while I hear it scrape against my skin as I turn the page. I like seeing a mass of pages to the left of me as the pile of paper to the right gets smaller and smaller. I like physical books
Regardless, I do not think that digital comics are the be-all, end-all. I downloaded one for free. It was a sample, it ran about seven pages, and it was in black and white. It was created for the medium and it worked fine.
Now, publishers and adapters have tried to make a square-sized peg fit into a round-shaped hole. Typical tablets are, what, seven inches tall? It is not unusual for a comic to be eleven inches tall. DC’s Absolute line is over a foot tall so you can appreciate the art. (This is especially useful when folks put in lots of detail in painted art, lots of captions, or write captions in lowercase.)
The tablet-solution? They want you to zoom in a read panel by panel.
<insert sound of blogger’s head slowly catching on fire, spewing liquid magma, and eventually exploding>
That is not how comics are meant to be read. Panel by panel? No. The artist lays out there panels a certain way for a reason. There is a flow to each page. They are trying to guide you this way and that. Sometimes, go figure, they might even use panels that are irregular in shape. Diagonals! Head-shaped! Broken borders. All of those are rather common.
I understand the appeal for massive storage of simple text. My Miriam Webster application makes me happy because I do not want to carry around a book that can stand on its own, but I embrace the utility of having a dictionary at hand. I wanted to read the uncut version of The Stand, and I was glad when I did not have to carry around a hardcover novel with one thousand, three hundred and eleven pages.
But comics? Art digitized, miniaturized, and re-formatted?
I could not get past it.
Until I found out that one can check out Archie collections from the library
Archie Comics are originally printed in standard comic book size. However, as anyone who has gone to a grocery store can verify, they are reprinted into digest size. The art can be shrunk to that size without any real loss of quality. The writers and artists know that their work will eventually be put in that size. They adapt.
This year has been a bit of a pill. Having humor on hand was helpful. So that one thousand page digest full of Archie humor made for a nice little sanity-break. I caved. When I finished, I went online and purchased two. Now I have two thousand pages of mirth at my ready disposal.
So yes, I have now bought a digital comic.
However, I maintain that this should be the exception, not the rule. Ninety-nine percent of comics need the room to breathe. They thrive off the physicality of a real page. I have nothing against those that publish e-comics. (Battle Pug is pretty great.)
Yet after all is said and done, I will always default to physical comics. They simply fit better.