Technological advances further art of comic reading


If you're a comic book person, there really isn't anything like curling up in your favorite hiding place away from worldly responsibilities and reading that crisp new edition you bought from your favorite series. Turning each page in anticipation of the next, tenderly placing your forehead to the paper in response to a particularly exciting scene. And when you've finished, having the satisfaction of closing the book of your dreams in your hands and storing it with the rest of the collection.

If you're a comic book person, you love reading comic books. Plain and simple.

Lately though, the process of how you go about skimming through your favorite stories has evolved substantially due to technological advances. Remember when you first realized you didn't actually have to leave your house to go buy a comic? Or the first time you found a website hosting downloads of your long-lost issue?

Visual storytelling has skyrocketed over the web! With just a simple click and scroll of the computer mouse, you can direct yourself across a page to wherever your heart desires. Only now are comic books asserting themselves into a new form of technology some would say is more accessible. Others would retort that the digital direction comics are going takes away from the initial pleasures of reading a comic.

With the introduction of hardware such as the Nook Color, IPod Touch, or IPad, the average Joe could take a downloaded version of his comic book anywhere he wants (to his own discretion) and read with leisure. They could even have their entire library of books all compressed into a portable little gadget to look through whenever they so please. Some of these devices even have apps where you can highlight, leave bookmarks and read one panel at a time to center your focus more adequately on the story and dialogue. The bright screen also makes it possible to see in the dark, so you can even read yourself to sleep with the lights off! What more could one ask for?!

A number of veteran readers want much more, and remain dissatisfied with the digital turn the world of comics has taken. What happened to those crisp pages? The smell of old paper from the books you pull out from long ago? The satisfaction of physically flipping through your comic while making progress in the story? There is a notable difference in the way you feel when you see a scroll screen of your collection versus gazing upon bookshelves filled with your favorite pastime. There are obviously some pleasures lost with the gain of others, and many find the sacrifice too great.

So what team are you on, the physical or digital? Of course the option of physical books will remain open to the public, but tend to be more expensive. Comics books are changing in shape and form and always have been, but is too much change taking away from some of the best appeals of visual novels?