Thursday, October 1, 2009

I.M.O: (In My Opinion) By Ed Rondo

The following article is based on the opinions expressed by the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Pendragon's Post staff. Thank you.

In the name of Progress...

O.K. let’s face it: Thing’s change, life changes, time marches on. When does what’s popular today become yesterday’s news? When did what we used to know become outdated? And when did the simple pleasures in life become so complex? It seems that in entertainment circles these days, there is a secret format war going on in the background with regards to printed Vs. digital comics. This war is not only being waged by publishers, but by fans also.

Now in prepping for this article, I felt I needed to split comic book fans into two groups: Comic book readers and comic book collectors. For myself, I fall into the average comic book reader category. My reading habits are as follows:

-I read the books I buy, but I am not hard core when it comes to preserving them.

-I enjoy them for entertainment value which the stories and the art provide, but I won’t go out of my way to find variant covers, first editions, or even bag them.

-And yes I do purchase digital comics for my smartphone.

But if someone did offer me a full color E-reader, about the same size as your average comic book , which would give me the same satisfaction as reading the printed version, then I would most likely take them up on that offer without hesitation. Why you may ask? Well for me it’s about affordability, access, and availability. If I can download a comic online for 99 cents to $1.50, and not have to hunt for it, I am sold. But that’s just me.

Now before anyone goes thinking that this was a one sided debate for me, it’s wasn’t. I used to fall into the other category, the comic book collector, and for years I used to be a slave to the long lost issue, the variants, and yes the longbox. Plus, besides the rare issues of some sliver age & golden age comics I did manage to find, most of my collection was modern comics and worth more to me sentimental wise than monetary. But the real clincher for me was after I turned 30, I started to realize I wanted more of a convenience than a collection. But I will admit, there is something to be said about actually holding a printed comic book in your hand, and nothing will be able to replace that.

However, just like the format changes which the music industry has gone through in the past decades, I feel progress doesn’t always mean obsolescence. In the last 30 years, we have gone from listening to music on vinyl records, 8 track tapes, cassette tapes, CD’s, to finally MP3’s. And I remember how less than a decade ago, critics had declared vinyl records long dead as a viable music format. But thanks to the efforts of those who wished to preserve and keep alive the vinyl record, this format has managed to make a comeback in this digital age.

And I feel the same way about comic books. There will always be a market for the printed comic book, although I believe in a more collector oriented market. But Digital comics do have their place also, and shouldn’t be so readily dismissed, or ignored.

Basically what it boils down to is a matter of personal choice. And as consumers we have that right. All we have to do is make our wishes heard, and keep the old traditions alive.

Ed Rondo
Senior Critic

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