The ‘Paper Comics Deathwatch’ Continues

Rick Marshall

Rick Marshall was Online Managing Editor for ComicMix before joining MTV's SplashPage. Previously, he was Online Content Manager for Wizard Entertainment. He has written for several daily newspapers, alternative weekly newspapers, trade magazines and online media, and was named "Writer of the Year" by the New York Press Association in 2005.

You may also like...

5 Responses

  1. Jim Shelley says:

    (DISCLOSURE: Readers can always get free, online comics published every every day of the week here at ComicMix, so there's a distinct possibility that we might be showing up in that PCDW feature at some point, too.)Trust me, you'll be showing up sooner than you think. :D- Jim

  2. mike baron says:

    Paper comics will never die for the same reason the horse is not extinct: people love them.

  3. Jim Shelley says:

    Paper comics will never die for the same reason the horse is not extinct: people love them. Mike Baron! I met you at HeroesCon (84? 85?) back when you had just started on the Flash for DC. My brother and I had a great time talking with you about music.Anyway, I actually believe you are right about comics always existing in some form. When I say they will be gone in the future, I don't mean like *Buggy Whips and B/W TVs* gone but more like *Books on Poetry and Jazz Records* gone *cease to exist* – They'll exist in some format, but by and large the general public will think they are no longer being made. (You could argue that time is already upon us…)

  4. Russ Rogers says:

    There is another reason why digital comics can't replace paper comics, THE TALISMAN OF OWNERSHIP. I have HUNDREDS of vinyl records. HUGE, heavy, dinosaurs of a long ago time. I haven't had a turntable connected in years. I haven't listened to any of them in a good long time. One day, I will convert my records into some kind of digital format so I can play and store them on my iPod. But that's not why I keep that old vinyl. I keep it because I OWN it. I can touch it. I can look at the album graphics and read the lyrics. It's a physical talisman, a physical link between my emotional connection with the music and the real world.CDs aren't the same. Tiny little jewel cases. Non existent linear notes or printed pages so teensy you need a magnifying glass to then strain your eyes and read it! Still, I OWN hundreds of CDs. It's still something I can touch and hoard and LOVE. A smaller talisman.Now I have iTunes. I have THOUSANDS of songs ripped from my CD collection and hundreds more bought on line. The on line purchases are fine, but … I've got nothing to HOLD. Oh sure, I will sometimes hunt down the biographies of artists or their lyrics on line when I listen to their songs. That's ALMOST like having album art, linear notes or printed lyrics on dust sleeves. Almost…almost.Buying a song on iTunes doesn't FEEL the same as buying a 45 rpm single. I don't have to worry about handling the song by the edges anymore. Hiss and pop don't show up in the song as audible reminders of how many times I've played that song over and over and over again, of how much I LOVE the music.Maybe I'm getting older. Maybe I've lost my connection with music. But I don't love music as much.There was a time when music made a visceral connection with me. It sat in my gut. I could reach out and TOUCH it. There were TALISMANS of that connection all over the place, mostly in the form of PHYSICALLY owned music, but also in the form of T-shirts and books and magazines and posters. It's really nice to have some PHYSICAL objects to connect with your emotional reactions. It somehow makes your emotions more REAL.Now it's all ONES and ZEROS. It's all digitized. There are benefits. I can carry my entire music library around in my pocket! I can listen to a choice of THOUSANDS of hours of music, anywhere and any time. But I don't feel the same emotional connection with it, like the times I held music by my fingertips to avoid scratching and gently blew dust off the grooves.ComicMix is like the iTunes of Comics. It's very convenient. It's really inexpensive. It's fun and cool and modern and hip. Maybe on line comics will eventually replace print. But there is some emotional connection that is lost when you don't have to polybag the pages or worry about creasing the spine of the book. I want something to touch, collect, hoard and love. Is there a GrimJack Beanie Baby?

  5. Vinnie Bartilucci says:

    The horse is not gone, but it is by no means the primary mode of conveyance.So too, in a number of years, the physical comic book will still be around, but it will not be the primary source of comic-book entertainment.In both cases, specialty shops will offer the material necessary for their use, at prices commensurate with their reduced demand. But the bigger difference will be that while it's hard to get a digital horse, it's exceedingly easy to get a digital comic book. So the transfer to digital will not result in the shrinking of the comics industry, just in the physical copy portion of it. So while printers may suffer, creators may (I'm confident enough to say "will") not. Indeed, as I'm always saying, the larger potential market should grow to the point where a book on a fringe topic could find an audience large enough to be supportable.Comics will follow the Itunes model in under five years. It's up to the industry to determine whether or not enough new people find out about it.