So, I read comics, and a fair amount of them. In an effort to simplify my life, I don’t buy hardly anything…

Originally posted on Google+

So, I read comics, and a fair amount of them. In an effort to simplify my life, I don't buy hardly anything media-related that's not digital. That goes for movies, TV shows, music, magazines, or yes, comic books. (Books I'm 50/50 on — I just can't give up paper books entirely, even though I probably do 75%+ of my reading on my Kindle and Kindle apps.) This is a good thing, and it counters my tendency to OCD-ify things into "collections", at least partially. It also reduces the chances of me being on Hoarders any time soon, which I'm sure my family appreciates.I've had to make my piece with DRM, or digital rights management to do this, of course. Except for music, the other industries refuse to give it up, even though it's not good for anyone except for the companies coming up with DRM schemes. Oh well. For comic books, the clear leader in digital is a company called Comixology. You buy the comic book from them (it's actually buying the rights to view the comic book with limitations), and you can read it on the web or on a variety of apps. They look spectacular on the iPad, by the way, and with their guided view, I find I can read them faster and more immersive than I can with paper. I can also read them anywhere, like a lunch with a burger, without having to carry a bunch of paper around (not to mention redlining the geek-meter!). They're fantastic.But. I do have a complaint, and it's one I realize they're constantly asked. It's still a complaint, however. This is really targeted to the publishers, too, by the way. The issue is pricing. When I bought paper comic books on Discount Comic Book Service on the web, you get a standard 40% off the list price, plus $8/month shipping. If you bought 30 books a month, that's a pretty huge savings at $3-$4 a pop. Every comic book store I've ever seen gives a discount if you have a "pull list" and a box. At least 20% if you order a significant number of books. On Comixology, however, it's full price. Up until a couple weeks ago, after a month, DC Comics' books would drop a buck (25%-33% off). This worked for me, and the math showed the digital to print cost about even. Sure, I was a month behind, but that's fine. Now they've pushed it to 8 weeks before they drop the price. Really, this has given me two choices: order less books or wait 8 weeks. I guess I'll wait 8 weeks, even if I now can't really partake in comic book discussions online, read reviews, and have to pretty much avoid all DC Comics marketing. It's really a bizarre decision. I actually believe that DC Comics is trying to slow the adoption of digital books on purpose, perhaps due to some desire to save the brick and mortar stores. If so, that effort is doomed. Like bookstores and record shops, some comic book stores will probably survive, but as a niche service. 

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