No comic posts for these last few days, so I’ll do a brief recap of what I’ve bought and read, that Bren has bought, and what I’ve though of them so far.
So, comics I got last week:
Wonder Woman # 1 which was very good, fast-paced with action and a nice look to the comic art. Definitely getting more of that one.
Super Girl # 1 which seemed interesting, not much actually happened in the whole comic, but it did look nice.
Birds of Prey # 1 was…interesting, and quite fan service-y, but in a fun way, so I liked it.
And the last of my purchases, Batman # 1, which had a fair bit going on, and I quite enjoyed.
Bren’s comics last week were; Demon Knights, Super Boy, Grifter, Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E, and Resurrection Man. My favourites of these were Demon Knights (which does have the awesome “…and we throw dragons at it.” bit) and Super Boy which was very interesting. The weakest out of these I definitely thought was Grifter – it didn’t really draw me in or interest me so much.
Now, last week my local comic shop didn’t have Cat Woman # 1. Checking again this week they still don’t have it, so I’m guessing I should assume either everyone wants it or no one wants it. Who knows?
So, I decided to use this as an opportunity to use the Comics at Comixology service, which I’d been looking at, but wasn’t sure about. One of the main pulls towards using this (other than access to all comics without the need of travelling to a comic shop) is the pricing. The local comic/manga/geekery shop in Middlesbrough (the town I live in) has a strange pricing system where they seem to have forgotten how the exchange rate works. As a result, a $2.99 comic is priced at about £2.49, while with the exchange rate it’s actually $2.99 to about £1.90.
Now I know really, 60p extra per comic doesn’t seem like a lot. But so far I’ve bought 9 standard price comics, at my local shop that’s £22.41. Buying them online however, comes to £17.1 (roughly), saving £5.31. Which could translate into saving money or having the freedom to buy more comics. And if I want to get into collecting any of these seriously, that saving is going to add up.
Looking beyond the money, I also wanted to mention the service itself. Comixology does allow you to access a huge catalogue of comics from a huge range of publishers – not just DC, in a relatively user friendly interface in terms of looks. There are free comics and older comics available to buy. It’s easy to buy comics (so long as you have a visa, which luckily I do) and then you can also download them to your phone – I don’t honestly see myself doing this, but it is a feature. The comics you download have nice big resolutions, you can zoom in and see all the detail. The one big downside is that it doesn’t run fantastically, it can be very slow and takes a while to respond – sometimes even threatening to crash my browser. I don’t know, maybe there is a specific browser it runs best on. It doesn’t mention it on the website’s FAQ.
Obviously, the other side of this argument is the physically owning something part. Which I can also appreciate. If I really enjoy a comic, I can own the paper copy, put it in a nice cover with a white board thingy and put it on my shelf. I can lend it to my friends and I can read it in my own hands – and that is a thing people really enjoy. But for me this isn’t really holding up to all the advantages of the online service.
Now, I don’t think the service is perfect. There are a couple of things I think it could use. A comic broswing setting section would be good. I dislike that after zooming in and clicking to the right for the next page it defaults to the big zoomed out view. So, as a big fan of options I would like to be able to change my default view to zoomed in, or like the android app for it to zoom in on each panel one at a time as an option.
Now, it does seem like the service is improving the more it’s around, and I definitely think it’s a viable option if you don’t care about owning a physical comic – saving you on money and time.
And soon, there shall be a review of Catwoman # 1, when I’ve finished it!