“[Going] digital is a carefree way to enjoy comics,” claims Joshua Yehl of IGN.com. This is part of an Internet-induced war between print and digital media. While there’s nothing like browsing and smelling the pages of a newly opened comic book, a new breed of readers are favoring digital services.
However, what most readers don’t know is that digital comics can match the pleasure given by physical copies. In fact, it brings in a few more extras that make reading more enjoyable. In this article, we’ll give you 10 tips to make the most of your digital comics.
1. Slow down and observe proper pacing
Whether you’re using a smartphone or a tablet, you’re entitled to browse over 30,000 comic books from the Comixology store alone. It’s even easier to own more eComic books when you have the means to purchase them online. What we advise is to slow down in devouring each page, and put your reading in a proper pacing. You don’t have to finish 10 issues a day; it will only overwhelm you.
2. Control the process of storytelling
Last year, DC Entertainment announced a new set of comics with interactive features—the DC2. While reading DC2, you can swipe through word balloons within a single panel to collaborate with the artist and give creative input in terms of the plot and artwork. Another example is the Batman: Arkham Origins comic, wherein you can choose which character to follow and which weapons you want the character to carry.
3. Choose the right device
If you’re into superhero comics, Verizon said there are three ways to enjoy them right at your fingertips to “keep an entire collection in the palm of your hands.” One of which is choosing the right device (the other two will be discussed below). The Insider Guide article said that comic books are a medium of visuals, animations, and caricature. In choosing the right smartphone or tablet, pick one with a crisp and colorful display.
4. Build your library with Comixology
Use Comixology in fueling up your comic library. For one, the titles from Comixology can be viewed on the iOS, Android, and Windows Phone platforms. Also, Comixology introduces you the latest issues and some classics from major publishers such as Marvel and DC Entertainment.
5. Subscriptions won’t hurt
There are other companies which you can subscribe to for your comic fix, such as Marvel Unlimited , which introduces Marvel classics in digital format. You can choose to pay your subscription monthly or annually. Another option is Madefire, a company that brings storytelling into a whole new level. Aside from accompanying soundtracks, the comics offer interactive animations and 360-degree panoramic panels.
6. Impart knowledge on younger citizens
Reading digital comics entertains and educates, especially the younger demographics. Common Sense Media saw this as a great opportunity, and partnered up with Jeff Brain of San Francisco University for a five-week program entitled “WHAM: Where Heroes are Made.” Through comics and digital storytelling, students get to learn digital citizenship by exploring the characteristics of superheroes, plot, and setting.
7. Follow your comic interests
This may seem very basic, but following the creators on social media pages is a great way to track the storyline of a protagonist. If you’re captivated with how the story is illustrated, take note of the penciler, colorist, and inker. Podcasts are also worth a shot. One of the most popular podcasts is the iFanboy, giving news, insights, reviews, and humor about the latest titles.
8. Track the release schedule of your favorite series
Some readers enjoy watching TV shows on Netflix or Hulu. While some readers prefer collecting editions of the stories before diving into them, others enjoy the thrill of waiting just to read the latest issue. In this case, consider verifying the release date of every series. Marvel has different release schedules based on the series – they have issues being released fortnightly and bi-monthly. In this case, reading in trade might be a more economical decision, considering the total amount of individual series.
9. Combine digital and print copies
In 2012, The Verge reported that Marvel has released their Augmented Reality (AR)-enabled print copies. To enjoy these physical versions, you need to use an iOS or an Android AR app to point at each page to get an overlay of Iron Man zooming above the stage with 3D effects. There’s also bonus footage, wherein writers and readers share AR-powered commentaries.
10. Interact with comic enthusiasts
One good way of getting more excited is by sharing the same excitement with other comic enthusiasts. With the advent of social media, you can find Facebook groups, “Like” the official superhero pages, and track comic-related tweets through the hashtag function. Also, you can search for comic related pinboards on Pinterest, and superhero memes on Tumblr.
As Peter Parker, a.k.a Spider-Man, once said,: “With great power comes great responsibility.” With the advent of digital technology, you now have the power to control the amount of entertainment a comic induces, whether digital or in print.
Dennis Redley is an avid comic book fan. This massive interest stemmed from his childhood, as his father used to buy him the latest issues of Batman and X-Men. Feel free to follow him on Twitter.