Friday, 29 April 2016

Going (almost) fully digital.

This morning, while my family were still in bed, I was up an about doing some general tidying. This included putting away a pile of comics which were sat on my desk, taking space. However, when I attempted to do this I came across a number of problems and realised that maybe it's time I went (almost) fully digital.

At present, I have roughly 1,800 single issue comics (not a big collection but it gets me by). These floppies are currently stored within 2 longboxes, 3 short boxes (all under my desk) and three drawers of a filing cabinet which my wife bought me for just such a purpose after reading online that it could be done.

Now, the comics pile on my desk contained 10 'new' back issues of Fantastic Four I had recently acquired and, when filing them in with the rest of my collection, it resulted in a big mess where I had to move other runs to other places in order to find a home for everything.

It was then that I realised that I can't keep buying in print.

Therefore, going forward, I will be reading comics almost completely digitally. I say almost because both Lazarus and Black Magick I have already been collecting in print and, as such, don't really want to break up those collections. Besides those though, all my other comics will be bought off Comixology.

To be fair, there are many bonuses to buying digitally from where I'm sitting, besides the immense space saving. First of all, transportation of comics to read is no longer a problem for, as long as I have a wifi connection, I can download whatever I like to my iPad whenever I like. With print I'd be limited to what I could carry (that's about 20 single issues and a trade).

Then, there is actually a money saving incentive to buying online. This is because it costs me about eighty pence more to buy a comic from a shop that it does on Comixology. Now, this may not seem like much but, to me, this makes all the difference to how many comics I can buy.

And finally, there is the (rather cynical) fact that print comics aren't really worth anything to resell. Amongst my collection I have about 300 comics from early in my collecting which, when looking back, I have to ask myself 'what was I thinking?' However, getting rid of these is nigh on impossible because, as they aren't good series, people don't want them. Therefore, it would be much easier to buy digitally and not have to worry about trying to resell.

Of course, there are downsides to this plan of action, such as the fact that I wouldn't actually own a comic if I bought online. However, given that most are now able to be downloaded as a pdf/cbz file, this doesn't worry me as much any more.

No, what I consider the biggest downside to my doing this is that I'm, in some way, letting down my LCS. This is because, comic shops deserve readers support in fear that they become extinct, especially due to the reasons I myself am going fully digital. My hope is that I can offload the dead weight of my collection, free up some space and return to buying print copies, somehow creating a balance of comics between the two.

In the meantime though, I have to put myself (and by extension, my family) first by saving money and saving space.

Although hopefully I'll win the lottery and so make both of these problems moot.

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