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Think Digital: Part Two

Last week we talked about how the digital comics are changing the comic medium as we know it. We established that change is good. But I wonder if the digital medium will stay the same or will they continue to change and revolutionize the way we read comics. As of now we don't know, but anything is possible. With technology always reinventing our daily trivialities – I know comics are not trivial but you know what I mean – it's not going to be long before a digital comic will give you more than your monthly stories.

Think about it! There's got to be more than just zooming in to every panel right? So let's hope that the companies are thinking ahead and one day they can deliver a tremendous, futuristic, hook-your-cyber-eye-to-your-digital-comic-display and blow your geek mind kind of deal. Okay, that might be a bit too futuristic, but until then digital comics could use some nice upgrades.

digital comics

But how do you actually upgrade a comic? A better reading experience? How about we put everything in 3D? We can talk about this. I'm sure many of you have a wish list on what to expect from digital comics. I'm sure that they are some fine ideas out there. If you have some, feel free to hit our forum and tell us about it. For now I'll just focus on what I want creators to do with digital comics.

Let's start with features. One of the great things about DVDs or Blu-rays is of course the features because they provide fans insight into the movie-making process and how much time and effort it took for that movie to hit the cinemas. This was interesting, but it also gave fans a better appreciation of the final product. For digital comics this could work the same. Wouldn't it be nice to see what really goes on in your favorite comic book? To have more access to your favorite creators? To have a mini documentary on the history or biography to one of your monthly titles? Of course... it would be great.
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This could also lead to a more interactive director's cut edition. They could do audio only or could add a streaming video at certain number of pages or panels.

But let's not stop there. Imagine you are reading your digital comic and there's this character you don't know. Imagine the character has a hyperlink that when you touch or hit the character a bio on the character appears. The bio could have different drawings and an audio option. Why an audio option? Well sometimes characters can have weird names like Mr. Mxyzptlk that are just too difficult to pronounce. 

Talking about hyperlinks, it would be great to add a link every time an event or storyline is referred to in an issue. For example, you are reading issue 20 and they mention something that happened in issue 7 or in another title. You hit the link and you get an option to read the issue, or a brief summary of what happened. The ability to go to that issue would be great for any completists out there, or anyone who missed the earlier release.

Although 3D would be cool, it's not really a necessity to add. But it could be offered as a variant or special limited edition, limiting the number of downloads. That way a collectors market of sorts could be maintained in the digital market.

Now all of these possible features could be added to your digital comics, but the cost for a better and more interactive experience means that certain sacrifices need to be made. The cost could go up on the comics, as could disk space requirements and download times. But those are only a small price to pay to gain greater monthly experiences, and there's always the option of having both digital comic with bonus features and regular digital editions for those who aren't interested in the extras. 

Much of this may never happen, but it sure is an interesting possibility. We'll just have to wait and see how, if at all, creators capitalize on the possibilities of digital comics.


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