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Digital comics

Level 03: Titles from other publishers, comic books in general and anything comic-related that doesn't fit into any of the other forums.
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Nu-D
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Digital comics

Post by Nu-D » 26 Sep 2019, 01:23

Is there such a thing as a subscription to a online comic service that gives access to new marvel comics when they’re released? One where you pay a monthly fee, and then don’t have to buy each issue individually?

Seems like I’m going to be keeping up with Hickman’s run, but I’d rather not be spending $5 per issue if I can subscribe to a better deal.
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Anna Raven
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Re: Digital comics

Post by Anna Raven » 26 Sep 2019, 04:54

Nope, Marvel Unlimited has a delay of 6 months but it's the closest thing to what you want. Comixology Unlimited doesn't have brand new titles either in fact it's probably got an even more limited selection, there is hardly any X-Men at all that counts for the unlimited subscription. Members do get 15% off purchased digital comics though, so if you were going to use the service for something else it would be a way to get them slightly cheaper. Tbh though my LCS gives me 10% off just for having a pull box so if you ask me it's not really worth it.
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Re: Digital comics

Post by Nu-D » 26 Sep 2019, 11:23

*sigh*

I would pay $10/mo for a Netflix-like subscription where I get access to all of the new books when they're released, but not the back catalogue. Books could rotate out of the subscription after 12-months, so that whole story arcs are available for re-read when they've finished.

Probably they've looked into it and the economics don't support it. If every new-comic buyer pays $10/mo instead of $4/issue, that won't support the creation of new content. I'm probably an edge case, where more than $10/mo might keep me out of the market; most of you are probably paying closer to $30-$50/mo on comics.
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Spectral Knight
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Re: Digital comics

Post by Spectral Knight » 26 Sep 2019, 11:45

I spend cash on comics in a really weird way. I buy as TPBs, but not necessarily committed to specific titles, which means I can pop into my LCS and easily put down £70 to £80 in a single visit, but then not pick up anything for another month or two. It's really sporadic as to how much I spend and when, and also a little dependent on birthday/Christmas gifts.

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Re: Digital comics

Post by Nu-D » 26 Sep 2019, 11:53

Spectral Knight wrote:
26 Sep 2019, 11:45
I spend cash on comics in a really weird way. I buy as TPBs, but not necessarily committed to specific titles, which means I can pop into my LCS and easily put down £70 to £80 in a single visit, but then not pick up anything for another month or two. It's really sporadic as to how much I spend and when, and also a little dependent on birthday/Christmas gifts.
Yeah, I've been exclusively a TPB reader for the past decade or so, mostly digital. And I've also allowed myself to follow the reviews, rather than follow a title or creator.

But I was considering becoming a month-to-month reader to follow where the Hickman X-Men stories go. Unfortunately, the dollars really add up for me, so it's looking unworkable.

I guess after HoX/PoX I might just sit it out until the trades come out, like I've been doing for years. Or maybe I'll watch to see if/when Dawn of X becomes available in an unlimited subscription. But it's been fun to be a part of the discussion when the stories come out, so I'll miss that.
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Re: Digital comics

Post by Cable » 26 Sep 2019, 12:12

You would think digital comics would make things cheaper but honestly right now your lowest cost option is probably a print subscription. Marvel.com is offering 40% off for one title, 45% off for more. You could get 12 issues of every upcoming ongoing (X-Men, Excalibur, Marauders, New Mutants, and X-Force) for $11 a month. Though you would have to pay it all upfront ($135) and I imagine when next year rolls around you probably could not renew at the same bargain.
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Re: Digital comics

Post by tokenBG1009 » 26 Sep 2019, 12:22

Which is even weirder because the reason most people say digital isn't cheaper is because it would kill comic shops.

Yet...here we are.
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Re: Digital comics

Post by Spectral Knight » 26 Sep 2019, 13:20

Nu-D wrote:
26 Sep 2019, 11:53
Spectral Knight wrote:
26 Sep 2019, 11:45
I spend cash on comics in a really weird way. I buy as TPBs, but not necessarily committed to specific titles, which means I can pop into my LCS and easily put down £70 to £80 in a single visit, but then not pick up anything for another month or two. It's really sporadic as to how much I spend and when, and also a little dependent on birthday/Christmas gifts.
Yeah, I've been exclusively a TPB reader for the past decade or so, mostly digital. And I've also allowed myself to follow the reviews, rather than follow a title or creator.

But I was considering becoming a month-to-month reader to follow where the Hickman X-Men stories go. Unfortunately, the dollars really add up for me, so it's looking unworkable.

I guess after HoX/PoX I might just sit it out until the trades come out, like I've been doing for years. Or maybe I'll watch to see if/when Dawn of X becomes available in an unlimited subscription. But it's been fun to be a part of the discussion when the stories come out, so I'll miss that.
Yeah, it's not just financial that steers my thinking though, I also find single issues much harder to store, and I don't have the patience any more to wait four weeks for the next single issue.

Even when I used read monthly, it was always in the UK Panini titles, so you had at least two, and sometimes up to 4 issues per magazine, meaning there was more of a 'chunk' of a narrative. Single issues I find don't necessarily do a lot for me these days.

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Re: Digital comics

Post by Nu-D » 26 Sep 2019, 14:56

I do find single issues unsatisfying. I tend to read the single issue in about 10-minutes. It's not until the storyline is complete that I go back and really savor and reflect on the details. With the trade, it's all there and I can kind fo flip around and make sure I get all the parts of the narrative. With the single issue, I know I'm still waiting for the next so I don't give it that kind of attention.

I remember as a kid buying paper floppies, and before I'd read one I'd go back and re-read the several leading up to it. By the time a story ended, I would have read the first few chapters 3-5 times. But I don't do that anymore, probably because it's digital so somewhat harder to flip around.
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Re: Digital comics

Post by Anna Raven » 26 Sep 2019, 15:02

I think they are possibly trying to protect the LCS/hobby store owners as far as the delay.
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Re: Digital comics

Post by Spectral Knight » 26 Sep 2019, 15:02

I've got to say, I do tend to find myself spending more time reading older issues (particularly 70s and 80s) in comparison to newer issues. Sure the art's worse (colouring particularly is incredibly sloppy), which I chalk up to technical changes more than anything (I've read there's a lot of 'inkers' who tend to do most of their overlays in Illustrator now) but more than anything the narrative in current comics are so decompressed, and with the lack of thought balloons / third-person narrative boxes, each issue is just a much, much quicker read, even if the story-telling is more mature, the experience is much shorter.

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Re: Digital comics

Post by RingOtaku » 26 Sep 2019, 15:03

Granted its not totally ethical/legal... but you could do what I've done with the events or new series that I'm iffy about. Download some "free" digital versions for the short-term and then buy the TPB when it comes out. You are only a day or so behind release date for the discussion fun but you can later get the TPB for your re-reading marathons.

Right now I got Amazing Spider-Man and Immortal Hulk on print subscription.
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Re: Digital comics

Post by Magik84 » 26 Sep 2019, 20:02

Spectral Knight wrote:
26 Sep 2019, 13:20

Yeah, it's not just financial that steers my thinking though, I also find single issues much harder to store, and I don't have the patience any more to wait four weeks for the next single issue.

Even when I used read monthly, it was always in the UK Panini titles, so you had at least two, and sometimes up to 4 issues per magazine, meaning there was more of a 'chunk' of a narrative. Single issues I find don't necessarily do a lot for me these days.
I'm similar started out on paninis, then started getting tpbs, now I occasionally pick up trades but read everything else on Unlimited. Even there I prefer reading stories couple issues at a time, better momentum that way.
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Re: Digital comics

Post by Spectral Knight » 26 Sep 2019, 20:52

Yeah, loved those Collector's Edition titles so much as a kid. I did used to pick up occasional Exploits of Spider-Man issues before they launched, but Astonishing Spider-Man and Essential X-Men were the first titles of any mag that I HAD to get every month. Even had a subscription with Smith's for them. Started from issue 1 on both with the foil covers for reading material for a trip down to Butlin's. I'm pretty sure my mum and dad regretted that over 100 issues later... :lol:

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Re: Digital comics

Post by Nu-D » 26 Sep 2019, 22:09

RingOtaku wrote:
26 Sep 2019, 15:03
Granted its not totally ethical/legal... but you could do what I've done with the events or new series that I'm iffy about. Download some "free" digital versions for the short-term and then buy the TPB when it comes out. You are only a day or so behind release date for the discussion fun but you can later get the TPB for your re-reading marathons.

Right now I got Amazing Spider-Man and Immortal Hulk on print subscription.
Been there, done that. Don’t have the patience to scour the torrent sites anymore.
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Re: Digital comics

Post by RingOtaku » 27 Sep 2019, 04:57

Nu-D wrote:
26 Sep 2019, 22:09
RingOtaku wrote:
26 Sep 2019, 15:03
Granted its not totally ethical/legal... but you could do what I've done with the events or new series that I'm iffy about. Download some "free" digital versions for the short-term and then buy the TPB when it comes out. You are only a day or so behind release date for the discussion fun but you can later get the TPB for your re-reading marathons.

Right now I got Amazing Spider-Man and Immortal Hulk on print subscription.
Been there, done that. Don’t have the patience to scour the torrent sites anymore.
Oh I don't torrent. I use a single site that updates every week and it is straight downloads off a proper server. But no biggie if you don't want to run that option.
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Re: Digital comics

Post by _Rick_ » 27 Sep 2019, 09:45

RingOtaku wrote:
27 Sep 2019, 04:57
Nu-D wrote:
26 Sep 2019, 22:09
RingOtaku wrote:
26 Sep 2019, 15:03
Granted its not totally ethical/legal... but you could do what I've done with the events or new series that I'm iffy about. Download some "free" digital versions for the short-term and then buy the TPB when it comes out. You are only a day or so behind release date for the discussion fun but you can later get the TPB for your re-reading marathons.
Been there, done that. Don’t have the patience to scour the torrent sites anymore.
Oh I don't torrent. I use a single site that updates every week and it is straight downloads off a proper server. But no biggie if you don't want to run that option.
In some European nations torrenting is illegal but downloads aren't. In many others, the laws are just not enforced or they have an easy way around it. In addiction, there's often some sort of a flat tax on all digital storage devices so whether you pirate stuff or not, you pay as if you did. You're "guilty" even if you are completely innocent. This obviously has the effect of people thinking "well, if I'm already considered guilty and I'm already paying for it, I might as well get something out of it" and using a ton of direct download sites. Hence piracy is rampant in Europe. This "demand" creates a ton of those websites.

The sad (and too often unspoken) part is that some of these sites actually do a better job than Marvel keeping track of releases and, especially, story arcs. Marvel has made a mess of the numbering and it's often difficult nowadays to determine exactly what ties into what story and what follows what. I have come across many of these sites not by searching for downloads but just by looking for information about reading orders. The app has been improving but I find it very frustrating to find and read stuff there sometimes. While it's not the only reason why I read so few titles nowadays, it's definitely a part of it. That's on Marvel. Plus, there's surprisingly little "extras" on there (which should be a selling point).

As many in other entertainment industries have figured out, piracy is mostly a service issue. Provide a better, hassle free service, and you gain a ton more clients that will now be willing to pay. You don't just pay for the product... you pay for the convenience of getting that product without having to go through a ton of hurdles. Marvel really needs to step up their game but they seem incapable or unwilling. The service that Nu-D is requesting here is an obvious example. There should be a way to keep up with select new digital releases without paying pretty much full price. If you don't have to print or ship the issue, then you're saving a ton of money. It makes no sense to ask for such high prices for a digital copy.

Marvel is stuck in the past.

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Re: Digital comics

Post by Spectral Knight » 27 Sep 2019, 09:53

The thing is... digital comics just aren't the same. I've tried comics apps on iPads / Kindles, I've tried reading PDFs, but it just doesn't replicate the same experience of reading a paper based comic / book for me.

(True story - I was seriously considering doing my Master's dissertation on content re-purposing focusing on digital comics - my idea was to interview comic creators from multiple generations to try to establish if the fundamental 'art' of comic creation changes depending on the medium that it'll be published in / via)

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Re: Digital comics

Post by Blackcyclops » 27 Sep 2019, 11:21

Spectral Knight wrote:
27 Sep 2019, 09:53
The thing is... digital comics just aren't the same. I've tried comics apps on iPads / Kindles, I've tried reading PDFs, but it just doesn't replicate the same experience of reading a paper based comic / book for me.

(True story - I was seriously considering doing my Master's dissertation on content re-purposing focusing on digital comics - my idea was to interview comic creators from multiple generations to try to establish if the fundamental 'art' of comic creation changes depending on the medium that it'll be published in / via)
Basically...
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Re: Digital comics

Post by tokenBG1009 » 27 Sep 2019, 12:12

Blackcyclops wrote:
27 Sep 2019, 11:21
Spectral Knight wrote:
27 Sep 2019, 09:53
The thing is... digital comics just aren't the same. I've tried comics apps on iPads / Kindles, I've tried reading PDFs, but it just doesn't replicate the same experience of reading a paper based comic / book for me.

(True story - I was seriously considering doing my Master's dissertation on content re-purposing focusing on digital comics - my idea was to interview comic creators from multiple generations to try to establish if the fundamental 'art' of comic creation changes depending on the medium that it'll be published in / via)
Basically...
I'm the opposite. I can't be bothered to hold a book when reading anymore. There are far too many inconveniences. I own books. I buy books. They're almost entirely for display though. I've bought the last few Dresden Files books, but I'll check out a digital copy from the library to actually read them.

I can read a digital book anywhere. I can zoom in. I can read it in bed at night while my girlfriend is asleep. I constantly have 4000+ books on me at any time. I am 100% in the digital age and I can't really foresee going back.
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Re: Digital comics

Post by Spectral Knight » 27 Sep 2019, 13:39

I should be in the digital age, given my job, but I just like physical stuff for my own consumption. There's something satisfying about holding bound paper and flicking back and forth between pages, just as there's a bit of a ritual to peeling off cellophane and placing a CD in the player for the first-time (for any pedants out there, I know CD's strictly speaking 'digital' in terms of audio quality...).

I think there's also an 'appreciation of design' element to it - much like I will not 'shuffle' my music, and will always play an album in full, I think comics that have been designed for print are best suited to print. Novels are a different story, as they're not necessarily 'designed' in a visual sense but are conceived as prose text*.

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Re: Digital comics

Post by RingOtaku » 27 Sep 2019, 14:05

Oh for serious reading I prefer physical copies. Hence me saying I use digital as a first read on books I'm not sure of. Then I go back through and buy physical copies.
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Re: Digital comics

Post by Blackcyclops » 27 Sep 2019, 14:10

I never have any issue following stories or numbering, so I really never understand that critique unless I guess you’re like super new to comics or series more generally. But even before I buy a manga, I google it to get an idea about the series and the different books and light novels so idk...

But I’d be cool if Marvel Unlimited was faster with coming out. But I do like it as it is with reading back issues. I use it all the time...no problems. It allows me to re-read books I own without getting them out of storage too. That’s how I can re-read all of Iron Man (Starting at #200, which I own lol) till now when I’m commuting to work.
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Re: Digital comics

Post by Quick and Dead » 28 Sep 2019, 14:48

I used to be opposed to digital but now I feel weird reading print issues. I'm always scared I'm bending them and they feel so delicate. As as a kid, I would have them scattered over my floor, now they don't leave their bags.

One day we will see Marvel Comics take the Netflix approach. It'd be a sad day and the direct market would be destroyed but it's inevitable. I would predict within the next 10 years even.
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Re: Digital comics

Post by Nu-D » 29 Sep 2019, 21:25

Blackcyclops wrote:
27 Sep 2019, 14:10
I never have any issue following stories or numbering, so I really never understand that critique unless I guess you’re like super new to comics or series more generally. But even before I buy a manga, I google it to get an idea about the series and the different books and light novels so idk...

But I’d be cool if Marvel Unlimited was faster with coming out. But I do like it as it is with reading back issues. I use it all the time...no problems. It allows me to re-read books I own without getting them out of storage too. That’s how I can re-read all of Iron Man (Starting at #200, which I own lol) till now when I’m commuting to work.
I was trying to figure out which Uncanny #1 was the most recent run, and gave up. Or was X-Men Gold the more recent run? Or maybe it was Extraordinary? Or...ah hell. Who can keep up?

You can keep up, because you do keep up. I have no idea which volume of what series come before or after another anymore. And I don’t want to do a research project before buying a TPB.
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