The Death of Comic Books!

I’ve read a few discussions and articles lately that are talking about doing away with “floppys” and going totally digital. You have read some articles and comments on this site. Here is another example.

I hate the name floppys. They’re not floppys . They are comic books. Now I know that digital comics have a place in the world and they may even become the dominant way comic books are read in the future. But to me that would be a sad day for our hobby. I hope it doesn’t happen.

galloway park 4_Page_22Now I am sure I will be accused of being a dinosaur (check), old school (check) behind the times or whatever, but I would rather look at and hold the real deal, in my hands, with the scent of the acid and paper adding to the tactile experience.

I don’t mind waiting a month for the next issue, or that a story arc takes several months to complete. That is part of the act of collecting a labour of love by a creative team that works hard to produce those pages and therefore you may have to wait a while.

Long Boxes full of my favorite runs, piled up in my comicdenn, and original artwork all over my walls. That is not a problem either. I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed taking a several issue story arc out of one of my long boxes and over the course of a few sittings rereading a favorite story line.

Yes you would be able to probably purchase more books via digital download but would that not help to drive the cost of actual comic books even higher. Kind of like going to a concert today cost $200 or more for seats because artists don’t sell a million or more copies of an album because everybody is either stealing the creative content or downloading single “hot” songs of the week.

So for me, I’ll stick with the actual comic book, thank you very much. I’ll read the occasional item digitally but it will never hold the same place in my heart as the one, the only, the original…comic book!

Happy Collecting!

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Dennis De Pues

Dennis is an admitted "Son of the Silver Age", having grown up with the influences of Silver Age greats: Kirby, Colan, Romita and Buscema.Three decades later, he is the creator of Crash!! and Galloway Park. More is definitely on the way.

Articles: 260


  1. I agree with you so much here Dennis. I’d rather be acquainted with the arcane arts than a techno-wizard. This is directly analogous to the tension between those who love vinyl music and those who prefer digital. I’ll never let go of my LPs and 45s and the warmth of their output and the tactile pleasure of their sleeves and the artwork and the information on them. But does that label us as “purists,” or “dinosaurs,” or “obsolescence junkies,” or just “honest.” Don’t get me wrong, I revel in aspects of modern technology, but more as a “steampunk” than anything else.

  2. The Michael Kozlowski article is a “fluff” piece and I wouldn’t put to much stock in what he’s saying. We’ve had plenty of discussions about digital comics and I don’t believe they are the answer… not in it’s current form. Current digital is just a scanned print and doesn’t take advantage of the medium. As well, at it’s current price, I rather buy the print, which doesn’t rely on a device or browser to read. It’s more likely that comics are not meaningfully purchased at Chapters or Barnes & Noble and are being returned. So the spin is that Marvel is cutting floppys to focus on digital? Maybe someday but the digital battle ground is not with us but with young kids who don’t have set habits yet. But the bigger challenge here is that comics are not even on their radar… which, again has more to do with having a succession plan.

    Retail book stores have their own struggles and I doubt that Michael Kozlowski has intimate knowledge about comics to offer a deeper analysis. I’m not sure who would buy comics at a Chapters… most comic stores offer a discount and/or use US pricing, the books are in better condition and are easier to find due to how they are organized… not to mention the whole community aspect. I personally don’t know anyone who buys comics at Chapters… and that’s not a knock against them cause I love the stores and buy other stuff, just not comics.

  3. Ivan, I too revel in the technology out there .I own tablets , Bluray, 3D Home theatre with 7.2 Surround.But I love vinyl, original art and still love my comic books!It will be very difficult for artists and writers to have after market sales I think if everything goes digital.I became so disillusioned with digital sound that I returned to vinyl and have once again fell in love with actually listening to an album instead of the compressed crappy , no sound field and intrusive bottom end that is todays answer to music.That is pretty well how I see the garish colours and hyper digitized images of many of todays comics as well.

  4. Hey Charlie, I just used that article as an example of what is out there.I too love Chapters but other than an impulse buy of a grahic novel or compilation book, I don’t see them as a comic retailer. I agree totally that there is no succession plan. Will any kids reading something digitally be motivated to buy the actual hard copy for collecting purposes? Will they have as deep a connection to a digital story as we all did to the physical , tactile experience? I don’t know. But one thing I do know , is that if you have something physical, you have to take care of it which makes it a more emotional asset.

  5. Lots of the experience for me is the smell and feel of comics. I love walking into a comic shop with a lot of back issues…the smell starts the experience for me. Then digging through the long boxes for back issues of my favorite runs and coming across yet to be discovered gems. When I get an old book off ebay or from one of the many shops on the net I open the box and the excitement as the smell comes out of the box and then the feel of the books and the colors that jump out at you, Yes, digital is good…but it will never ever replace the thing that is the entire comic reading/collecting experience.

  6. Mike I find the same thing evident when you get a box of slabbed comics from Comiclink or Heritage as well.The excitement is in getting the package but it soon diminishes once you look at the front cover and the back cover and the knowledge that you have that particular book you covet … and then it’s gone because of the reasons you so eloquently describe.

  7. I have a love hate relationship with slabbed comics…I only have about 60 of them. Some do cause me a little bit of stress…I have never read DD#2…Tomb of Dracula #1…Marvel Spotlight #2….Werewolf by Night #1…and others…all because they are slabbed. They do look good in the cases, but you do lose a lot of the appeal. You can’t smell, feel and most of all read the comics! I know I could break them out of the cases, but we all know that I won’t. I hardly ever buy slabbed comics for that reason. The ones that I have bought have been because the price was too good to say no. Although I have sent some away to be slabbed…high grade keys that get obnoxious prices if they are 9.8. Cases in point NYX #3 9.8 and Walking Dead #1 9.8.

  8. Sometimes I will pick up 8.0 -9.0 slabbed books which are usually quite reasonable as the price really takes the big leaps in the 9.9-9.8 level , but 8.0 -9.0 can be cracked and enjoyed both at the same time.Quality at a fair price.And most of all a beauty to read!

  9. When I was growing up there were 6 nostalgia shops that sold comics. Later they became comic book stores. The books were pulled in stacks on the floor, hunting for a gem, that issue you were missing took weeks and you found oh so many more books that were cool you didn’t get what you came in for but left satisfied anyway. That’s gone now.
    As to story line arcs: they are terrible today because they have to be resolved in 6 or 12 issues so as to fit the TP. I can get the missing issue in a TP, a second print out digital. My collection had devalued because it’s not hard too find a copy some where.

    I miss the two or three panels in every issue of amazing Spider-Man that had no relevance to the current story BUT we’re building up too a later, larger story. Those two panels tantelized you like a movie trailer…you wondered all month to the following Thursday ( yes release day was on Thursday as the drug stores & 5&10s needed it that way) who that villain was. Some of these two panel arcs took 24 issues to be fully resolved. You just don’t get that kind of thing today with the exception of marvel cinema. That’s why I don’t buy many today. My must list are The Unwritten, Fables, Superman out of habit, Justice league,

    This h has nothing to do with digital but…
    I’ve been collecting since 1967, I’m 50 now. I like having a series on my phone for convenience, its easier to whoop out my Note 3 than ruining a book in the back pocket. I like that DC made a radical leap with 52. I thought I would quit DC & just buy marvel but it was the reverse. 52 was fresh and coherent. I don’t understand Marvel Now, don’t understand the contuity or my favorite character CAPTAIN AMERICA, so I no longer purchase him.That’s sad.

  10. Mark, I can picture your experience clearly in my mind.There was a store next to the drug store in Port Rowan On. that was a little bit of everything.Most of the stuff in there held no interest to me but on the floor in the first aisle was a ton of comics that had the titles removed , so they were all defaced but sometimes you found some issues that were really cool.I think they sold them 2 for ten cents.I too remember sitting on the floor looking for treasures.

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