A thought occurred to me while reading David Brothers’ latest Digital Comics column over at Comics Alliance: Why do I think of digital comics as impulse buys?
I have bought my fair share of comics from ComiXology, as well as Marvel and DC’s individual apps, so it’s not like I don’t really use digital comics – but, for whatever reason, I think of them as some kind of “Well, I didn’t want this enough to buy it when I was at the store, but I’m kind of curious about it, and it’s only $1.99, so what’s the harm” way. It’s not intentional, and I know it’s not even vaguely intelligent, but it’s there: For some reason, digital comics seem less valuable or worthwhile than print comics, and so they’re something I tend to buy in addition to my regular store visit, not instead of.
(For example: I didn’t buy the recent Static Shock book at the store, but I did buy it through the DC app – for exactly the same price. I have no idea why, other than the fact that somehow, it seemed less of a big deal to do so.)
Am I alone in that? I wonder if, instead of print readers switching predominantly to digital (as has been discussed in the past, often in a “oh noes, we hope this doesn’t happen!” sense), the majority of customers in the current Direct Market set-up are going to remain firmly print, with digital becoming a parallel, second market. And so, I put it to you, dear readers: Do you buy digital comics – Please note the word “buy,” there; I’m not interested in your pirating habits – and if so, do you buy them in addition to, or instead of, print comics from the store? And, depending on your answer, why or why not?