29 October 2009

Digital Comics

There are a lot of ways to read that title. What I'm talking about is viewing comic books in a digital format so that I don't have to store ungodly growing amounts of paper or pay an exorbitant prices for that habit.

I can currently get comics digitally through less than legal means, and I don't mind doing that, but I'd rather pay for my content. Getting the books isn't the issue... it is reading them. There are quite a few programs out there for just that, the best I've found being Comic Rack. It follows the iTunes model, but is still a little clunky. Also, its on my screen. There isn't a cheap way to read them on the couch, barring using a laptop. That has limited viability anyway, because you have to constantly scroll.

What we need is an affordable tablet in color, like the Kindle... or the rumored Apple Slate. I would prefer the Microsoft Courier to be anywhere close to amazing as the previews, just because I'm comfortable with the Microsoft ecosystem (Windows 7, Zune and XBox).

Sadly those things don't exist yet. And on top of that, the comic book industry seems intent on creating "Motion Comics" which annoys me. I don't want a moving video. I want a comic. I want to be able to follow the sequential art from panel to panel, page to page. I've grown up as an adult addicted to sequential, serialized story telling. Its how I've always enjoyed fiction and why I have hard times digesting long novels. I just prefer to be strung along over time and relish the idea of having to wait for an answer. And I love the sequential art model. It is an art form for story telling that is unlike any other, and adding motion lessens the impact. JM Strazynsky (butchered that) once said the hardest part of writing comics is the lack of a moving camera. Great comics come from a unique place. Great comic storytelling comes from a unique art form that is amazing for certain kinds of stories. I hate the idea that we might lose that for something that is little more than a flash motion voice over comic.

Maybe I'm a Luddite, I don't know. I just want sequential art and I want to be able to digest it digitally.

C'mon... someone make a color e-Reader that doesn't suck and is less than $500. You can do it. It can't be that hard. If I had the money and the knowledge, I would try to find a way on my own, but I don't. So I can only beg that someone does it. Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, hell Marvel or DC... I don't care who.

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