Posted Aug 15, 2010 in Arts, Cool Shit | 1 Comment

iPad, FRIEND or FOE?

With the iPad’s hyped release, many observers foresaw the demise of the printed word. This bold prediction hit the comic book community rather hard, and many people envisaged the end of comic books altogether. Though it’s likely that the Kindle, and especially the iPad, have the power to change comics, these devices don’t necessarily spell doom.

As it stands, the comics industry relies heavily on a small percentage of people (only 200 000 -300 000 people by some estimates). These aficionados have purchased comics for decades, and they now range in age from the late 20s to the early 40s. Every Wednesday (comics day), they visit comic book stores to buy that week’s new releases.

If comic book buyers love one thing, it’s tradition and continuity, hence the reason old characters have survived for decades, despite the attempt to kill or replace them. For some, going to the comic book store is also a social event. Readers meet other fans, and discuss stories with shopkeepers and with each other. And since comic book stores are steeped in as much tradition as the books fans read, comics are not likely to die anytime soon.

Printed comics are also collectible and valuable. Relatively speaking, some comics have limited print runs, and that makes them attractive to collectors, particularly when they feature a hot artist, character, storyline, or writer.

Finally, though many comic book publishers have embraced the iPad, they have yet to give it 100% support. For the most part, electronic versions take much longer to be released. And among comic book fans, patience is not a virtue. Longtime readers might dabble and get some purchases electronically, but the printed comic book will continue to thrive… at least for now.

To locate a store near you, click HERE. Some great stores you should visit – Toronto: The Beguiling, One Million Comix, Silver Snail – Montreal: Librairie Astro. Next month: Cool iPad comics apps!

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