Over at Kotaku, Steven Totilo says goodbye to print comics as he switches to digital… and then remembers what is so great about comic stores:
It’s strange. I went to a funeral on Saturday. Afterward, without a hint of irony, I went to Midtown Comics. It was my first visit in two months, the longest period of time during my adult life that I’ve ever spent away from a comics shop (I know it was two months, because there were two new issues of a monthly comics catalog for me to buy and anxiously dog-ear). I was happy to be back, to smell the paper and squeeze around the people reading comics in the shop as if it was a library.
There were a lot of people shopping there. That made me feel good. There was also something else: a woman whose face was painted blue. She was dressed in long white robes and held a white lightsaber. She was just browsing for comics. No big deal. She was awesome. You can’t get a scene like that on your iPad. So, Midtown Comics has got that. It’s got a hook. That means no matter how many thousands of dollars I spend in the iPad comics shop next, I’ll always go back, at least for a look.
Brian Hibbs has talked before about the truest value of a good comic store as being a curator and guide to what’s good and what’s worth your time that you may not have otherwise discovered (I’ll always hold Brandon Graham’s King City up as my example of this; I found the original Tokyopop version of this at Comix Experience in San Francisco when it came out, not knowing what it was or having heard of Graham before, and that’s not something I would’ve been likely to do online), but there is something about the culture and community of a good store that’s an additional, intangible, draw that isn’t available on the internet (Internet comic culture is, let’s be honest, far less kind and far less inviting you to be kind than the real world version). Reason #23 that I’d never want to go fully digital: I’d really miss going to the store.