MIKE GOLD: The Paperless Chase

Mike Gold

ComicMix's award-winning and spectacularly shy editor-in-chief Mike Gold also performs the weekly two-hour Weird Sounds Inside The Gold Mind ass-kicking rock, blues and blather radio show on The Point, www.getthepointradio.com and on iNetRadio, www.iNetRadio.com (search: Hit Oldies) every Sunday at 7:00 PM Eastern, rebroadcast three times during the week – check www.getthepointradio.com above for times and on-demand streaming information.

You may also like...

12 Responses

  1. Kyle G. says:

    I agree with you for the most part Mike. I think digital should cost less but I don’t think print editions and monthlys will ever really go away. Other magazines and newpapers are in more danger than comics because of one thing comics have other periodicals- the collectability factor. Collectors buy alternative covers and variants because of collectibilty and I don’t think thats going to stop since it can’t be reproduced. I think tablets are the future but they aren’t a single path.

    • Mike Gold says:

      Kyle, I believe you will live to see the day that paper publications go away. I believe I might live to see the day that cheap paper publications go away — newspapers, most magazines, probably “standard” paperbacks, and comic books in pamphlet form.

      I love the smell of newsprint. Hell, I could have been busted when I was at the old Chicago Tribune printing plant deep beneath the Tower. Ahh, the good old days.

  2. Mike, I hear what you’re saying, brother, and I agree with most of your points but as long as there are paper versions of comics I love, I will make an effort to obtain them.

    I DO buy digital comics, much as I was opposed to doing so when they first became a thing, but if I feel I want to read the comic ever again I make the effort to buy it both so I have the luxury of doing so and to support the publisher and/or creators.

  3. Steven E. McDonald says:

    Don’t forget the editorial costs associated with book/comic production. The real tell is when publishers start doing digital-only books (with later trade paperback editions, a happens with a number of webcomics now.) Will the price be dropped?

    The other issue with digital is the volatility of the transmission medium — I’ve had a Sony Reader go tits-up on me with abominable swiftness, for instance, and I haven’t replaced it yet; also, not all tabelts are created equal, and there’s a lot of ereaders out there that are still small-screen black-and-white.

    • Very true and, if you read the fine print of those user agreements many of click yes to so readily, you don’t even own the digital content you’re “purchasing” sometimes, merely the right to read it.

      In fact, I’ve had comics disappear from my graphicly library, nothing I’m heartbroken over, but it’s probably the single biggest problem I have with digital-only comics.

      • Mike Gold says:

        I haven’t suffered any losses, but I use an iPad and I back-up my iComics to my iMac (and not to the iCloud) using my iClock and iTunes. “i” is to Apple what “x” is to Marvel.

        Like Brandon, I’m appalled at the “rent not own” concept of governing digital material purchased or stored “in the cloud.” One corporate thunderstorm and my digital collection would get drenched.

        Yes, since I returned from Detroit I’ve been living in Metaphor Hell.

  4. Mindy Newell says:

    Yes, it’s wonderful that people are reading thanks to e-books, Mike, but there’s still nothing like going into a bookstore and browsing for hours.


    Not the same.


    • Mike Gold says:

      No, it’s not the same, Mindy. I enjoy hanging out at bookstores — Adriane and I killed the better part of an hour at a B&N in Detroit last week, and it was a great experience. Particularly since their bathroom was clean.

      We should all enjoy it while we can.

  5. Sean D. Martin says:

    Looking for a database program to track my collection the one requirement that was non-negotiable was that the data must be stored locally, on MY computer, not somewhere in “the cloud”. If the company providing the program were to go out of business I’d lose all of my data. It has to be under my control.

    Similarly with the books themselves. I like having any of the stories I’ve paid for available for when I’d like to look at them again. I like being able to go back and re-read them, sometimes decades after I last did.

    So while I”‘ certainly in the “I like the feel/smell of the paper, it’s part of the experience” camp, the REAL reason I’m resistant to moving to e-books is the worry that my entire collection could be wiped out instantly, even if the content is stored locally. (Google “Amazon removes 1984”.)

  6. Chris Ullrich says:

    Great column. I agree with you. I do think paper will be with us for some time, mostly for collectors. But for regular comics, newspapers and magazines, it’s only a matter of time.

    I say that as someone who hasn’t purchased a paper comic or magazine in over a year. I do it all on the iPad 2 these days.

  7. Mike Gold says:

    Yep. And by the way, the iPad 3 will have that Retina Display screen with a ridiculously higher resolution, and this will be a major benefit to e-comics. Or iComics. Whatever.