Wayne’s Worlds: Can We Go Digital in 2022?

The Holiday Season is upon us again, so maybe we should be thinking about giving digital comics in 2022?


digital, Spider-ManFirst things first—I need to give my yearly reminder that the best way to give comics is to sending gift cards to his or her favorite local comics shop! Believe me, they’ll thank you for it!

Now, the topic at hand—Is it time to buy digital AND paper comics?

These days, I’ve been noticing something that a lot of people have been pointing out to me, that many of us have our heads buried in digital devices if we are travelling or if we are just reading or playing games.

For instance, I was at a restaurant yesterday, and everyone was sitting with their favorite or not-so-favorite someone, and they were busily reading a digital device. Some of them were even reading them to each other!

I had to wonder—What if even a fraction of them were reading digital comics? That could transform the industry!

So, for this year, I’m also recommending that, if you have a friend who is into comics (or it is you yourself), we should consider digital comics as well as a gift card.

I know, I know—I talk about this subject every so often. I have wondered out loud if digital comics were going to wipe out local comics shops. Obviously, that hasn’t happened yet. And as time goes on, I’m more and more convinced that it will NOT take place.

That makes me wonder if the comics industry shouldn’t try to capture at least SOME of the digital screens around us. If we could get people reading comics instead of, say, your local or national news apps, maybe we could help the industry we love!

A lot of people who work in publications and related industries are familiar with PDFs and other digital formats that work. That fan and creator knowledge could help the industry improve!


digital, DC, justice leagueNow, I want to hastily point out that I am NOT advocating wiping out local comics shops. That is the LAST thing I want! I want to be able to continue my weekly trip to the store I frequent for years and years ahead.

But I think there is a huge market out there that comics are not reaching that we could be accessing. Really!

I see younger digital device users playing games, even against each other at times. What if we could sneak a digital comic in there based on the same videogame? And what if they actually LIKED the comic? We might see them, after their trip to the local videogame shop, go by the local comics shop. And if they started making that a habit, maybe one visit they might have some extra money, so they would try out a comic they had heard about, maybe based on a big-screen adventure they had gone to see? They might pick up the latest issue featuring that character. And they might like that one, too! And they might end up setting up a subscription there so they wouldn’t miss any issues!

It could happen! And it would seriously benefit the whole industry if just a fraction of the digital device users started doing that!


digital, Iron ManThere are actually a lot of digital comics services around these days. Of course, there’s comiXology, which I consider the granddaddy of them all. But there’s also Drive Thru Comics, which refers to itself as the “first” download comic shop. Or you could go to Amazon.com, as a lot of people do these days, and check out their comics offerings.

And that’s just scratching the surface! If you go to the website for just about EVERY comics producing company, I bet you’ll find a way to either buy paper copies or digital comics from them. For instance, Marvel has Marvel Unlimited, and DC has DC Universe Infinite. There are also Indie comic websites that sell digital versions of various Indie comics. If you Google that, I bet you’ll find a lot of them, more than I could mention here!

I’ve talked about it before when I delve into this subject, but a lot of computer fans just LOVE the way comics are translated into the digital format. Screens, they tell me, can capture a lot more color nuance than any kind of paper can, so they love to just look at them, never mind read the stories!

One way I’ve been trying to get my gaming friends to try out digital comics is to point out that many of the major motion pictures featuring comics characters actually WERE in comics before they appear on the big screen! You want to get in on the ground floor? Read the comics first!

Now, if you have a goodly amount of money to spend, you could sign up your friend with his or her own account and give them your credit card! If not, you could give them the links to the various sites. I bet if you were picking up a gift card at that person’s favorite local comics shop, they could tell you what services that person might actually prefer based on the books they subscribe to!

I haven’t come across it yet, but I bet there are ways to buy something like a gift card for various digital services. The only one I’d heard of was eGift Cards from comiXology, although that has ended. The way it’s worded there, it sounds like some people may have been trying to refund them for cash! That defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? Maybe they’ll come up with a new and better way to offer that service!

Ask your local shop if they know more than I do! It could be that we could improve both paper issue sales and get more people buying digital comics! Oh, and Happy Holidays!

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