Going digital?

Published On October 29, 2009 | By Joe Gordon | Comics

There’s an interesting discussion shaping up on the 2000 AD forums regarding the future of comics publishing, especially with regard to different digital formats and the possibility of better tablet computer technology allowing for easy and efficient replacement of the traditional paper comics issue, with individual printed issues perhaps becoming a thing of the past, replaced by digital versions but with collectors still wanting physical, printed copies in the form of collections. From artist PJ Holden’s discussion:

2000 AD 1659 Neil Roberts Dredd

(Dredd on the cover of 2000 AD Prog 1659, art by Neil Roberts, (c) Rebellion)

It’s interesting to me that lots of the people I consider at the cutting edge of comics (people into experimentation with the form – like warren ellis) have started to refer to comics as ‘artifacts’ – ie actual non-digital things. I see two things in the future:

1) Digital comics, almost all marvel / dc / 2000AD / small press (which will be distinct from marvel / dc / 2000AD only in as much as the creators will probably never had anything in physical print) You could argue that many of those people doing webcomics now are actually getting a bigger readership than Marvel /DC/Whoever, but, because they’re all digital we think of them as small press.

2) ‘Artifacts’ – like the big absolute collections, these will be premier books – I’d still like the big dredd collections, etc, or collected works, but I’d be happy to buy 2000AD and the Meg digitially, picking up collections along the way. (I’d even pay! though not the current barmy pricing of £1.89 or so for the digital 2000ad, not when the actual print copy is roughly the same – the meg digital price, on the other hand, is a bargain)” (via PJ’s Twitter)

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About The Author

Joe Gordon
Joe Gordon is ForbiddenPlanet.co.uk's chief blogger, which he set up in 2005. Previously, he was professional bookseller for over 12 years as well as a lifelong reader and reviewer, especially of comics and science fiction works.

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