Sporadic Sequential
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Waiting For The (Digital) Floppy

After playing around with Amazon's new MP3 store for the past 24 hours (and purchasing far too many singles as a result), I find myself pondering that age-old question that perpetually haunts the blogosphere: When will comic publishers provide a legal means for digitally downloading their product? Just as MP3 downloads make the single a viable format again, digital comic downloads could save the floppy (AKA, single issue) from extinction. One of my main beefs with the floppy format is how awkward it is to store, but digital downloads would eliminate that issue. I imagine I'd be much more willing to try out comics I wouldn't otherwise read if I could download them quickly, conveniently, and cheaply. For example, I've heard good things about DC's new The Brave & The Bold series, and that's something I'd be willing to sample for a fair price (somewhere under a buck). As it is, I don't have convenient access to a comic shop, so it's not something I'm going to actively seek out. I suppose I could always check out the eventually collection from the library, but by then the buzz on the book may be gone and I'll probably forget about it. Which brings me to another point: allowing for digital downloads would be a great way to capitalize on fans' tendency to impulse buy. I know back when I did make regular trips to the comic shop, I always ended up leaving with more than I planned on getting when I went in, because who can resist all those colorful covers? Imagine how wild comic fans would go if a huge library of titles were only a mouse click away?

I'm sure there are several thorny issues that give publishers pause, but after gorging myself at Amazon's MP3 buffet, I really think the benefits would outweigh the risks.

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