Are printed comic books going away?

Printed books are down for the count and Kindles, iPads and other electronic devices are preferred for consuming written content. Or..?

Printed books are down for the count and Kindles, iPads and other electronic devices are preferred for consuming written content. Or..?

The printed book as a medium is coming to an end. At least Seth Godin seems to think so.

My friend Mike from the L.A. comics store The Comic Bug brought this article to my attention:

Godin talks about the reasons the printed book is going to be hard to come by in the future. And with the end of books, comes the end of the bookstores.

“The death of the bookstore is being caused by the migration to ebooks (it won’t take all books to become ‘e’, just enough to tip the scale) as well as the superior alternative of purchase and selection of books online. If the function of a bookstore is to stock every book and sell it to you quickly and cheaply, the store has failed.”

Especially in the comics scene, people have been talking about the death of “Floppies” or Monthlies for years. They still seem to have a place in the market, although the generations brought up with “bagging and boarding” (putting your comics in a plastic folder with a piece of cardboard to protect them from wear and tear) are starting to get rid of their storage longboxes.

To me it does seem more and more counterproductive to chop trees in order to print and ship words (or pictures) on a page. With 100.000 iPads being sold every day, it won’t be long before everyone has access to cheap comics without having to make the trip to the comics store – which in many places of the World could be a four-hour drive away!

However much I enjoy having books on my shelves and pulling them out once in awhile to flip through them, I do see Godin’s point: There is no stopping this. But I will continue to buy trade paperbacks for a looong time, if for no other reason than habit. And I seem to actually read them, where the books on my iPad live in oblivion…

What is your take on the whole digital vs. print discussion? Please comment below!


3 Responses to “Are printed comic books going away?”

  1. Line Gregersen May 2, 2014 at 8:15 am #

    noooo! the printed book and the bookstore must not go away! I love the feeling of the book, the experience of turning pages. I would always prefer books like i prefer analogue drawing over digital. maybe I will be fighting a war about this some day….

    • Palle Schmidt May 2, 2014 at 10:19 am #

      I might just join your side in that war, Line 🙂

      I don’t think books will ever go away completely. Even vinyl records are still around, so I’m not that worried. Digital is undoubtedly a more accessible and less costly way of finding readers though!

  2. Anne February 14, 2016 at 5:56 pm #

    We always prefer to hold the book, feel the paper and turn the pages! Tehcnologie is interesting, but it won’t replace the feeling of posses something material. I’m sure most people prefer to have a 20$ in their poket (feeling it!) instead of knowing they have that amount in their account online (cause we know about pirates and stuff…). Just because we are possesive creatures, we like to have material things, so I’m not convince about the disapear of books and comics on paper, maybe less printing, no more material stores, but people will prefer to buy online the comic and being deliverd thant to just have a digital copy. Well, I guess ^_^ By the way, thank you fo sharing your process, making comics seems more accesible for amateurs. 🙂

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