AW: Decaying flaky old paper is best cwiljes at
Mon Jun 17 14:58:25 CEST 2002

Fabricio and Vic:

In fact I share your feelings for good old comic books. I like their look &
feel & smell, too. But I am foremost a comics reader and not an antique
collector. And as such I want to enjoy the stories, regardless of the medium
they are presented in. Of course there is nostalgia involved, happy
childhood memories, nourishing the inner child. But I don't need a cellar
full of this!!! I have around 9.000 comics now. I have a complete inventory
and all are safely bagged + stashed away. If I wanted to reread all of them
now, and I would only need 10 min per comic, this would take me 107 days -
without eating or sleeping. And I believe there are other list members who
have even more comics. This is going to be a problem! Hey, if I extrapolate
this to my 100th birthday I will need a warehouse.

I think the decision between printed and digital comics is quite similar to
the decision between originals and reprints:

- Originals are, well, they are originals ;-) whereas reprints are just
that: reprints. Reprints don't have the nostalgia factor going for them.
- Reprints are easily available whereas originals are often quite difficult
to track down.
- Reprints are cheaper.
- Reprints often have a better printing quality than the originals.

If I can have all 7000+ Barks pages, all of Hal Fosters Prince Valiant or
Walt Kelly's Pogo on a single CD-Rom, ready for reading, full text research,
sharing excerpts over the internet, I would be so glad! And those are only
the masterpieces, where print editions already exist. How about a complete
Taliaferro or Gottfredson? A complete Kirby, Falk or Peyo? All quadrizillion
editions of Tapolino, Micky Maus oder Anders And?

As Fabricio correctly remarked: Prices of comics are not only dictated by
printing costs. But if all comics would remain constantly in print this
would mean more competition since there would be many more available at the
same time - and that will surely lower prices. Especially since digitizing
existing classics and distributing them over the internet costs nearly no

The best of all worlds: A flat handheld device of slightly larger than album
format with a long lasting battery and a radio connection to the internet,
so you can download any item anytime and anywhere with pay per view. I think
in a scenario like this older high quality comics will gain a much greater
market share than now.

And in reply to Fabricio: Of course I also can take printed versions with me
- but not all 9.000 of them at the same time ;-)
And I also can rearead my printed comics at any time - but before I can, I
have to find and get them. Which is not always an easy task with 9.000
comics, even with a complete inventory. And most of them are in my parents's
cellar 200 kilometers away.
And when I buy comics I often do this blindly, because ordering them from
abroad I never saw them before I get and paid for them. If there were
digital comics the publisher could offer a few advance reading pages for

But whatever we might suppose now, what will happen is this: Some publisher
will try. And then we will see the results. Will digital comics become a
market? Or will they be ignored by the comics reading public.

One question: If there were a reader device which costs, let's say $ 199.
And you could download the complete Gottfredson Mickey for an additional $
250. Would you consider buying? And if not: If you already owned such a
device because you use it as a mobile road map, travel guide, computer
schematics display, mobile TV, mobile video conferencing system or whatever:
Would you consider buying the Mickeys? Or Popeyes? Or Fantastic Fours? Or
Topolinos? Or Prince Valiants?


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