The Future of Digital Comics According to SXSW 2013

Ethan Gach

I write about comics, video games and American politics. I fear death above all things. Just below that is waking up in the morning to go to work. You can follow me on Twitter at @ethangach or at my blog, And though my opinions aren’t for hire, my virtue is.

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9 Responses

  1. Will Truman says:

    Multimedia superhero stuff is cool (ever listen to a Graphic Audio? It’s pretty awesome). But so are comic books. One thing does not need to be another.Report

  2. Mike says:

    I don’t think digital comics are quite there yet. Comics are still written for the paper reader, and often has art that takes up two full pages, with multiple panels interspersed. On paper, it’s easy enough to read since you can see the entire double page art as it was meant to be seen, and that makes it easier to follow the panels. Not so with digital comics. You can’t see the full double page art unless you shrink it down to a size that limits the ability to actually view that art.

    Eventually, Publishers will start designing the comics pages with that in mind but in the meantime, the digital reader isn’t getting the same quality experience.Report

    • ThatPirateGuy in reply to Mike says:

      I have switched entirely to digital comics and on my iPad I can see the whole page just fine. It is about the size of a comic page anyways. Zooming into the panels works for me as well. Since the reading experience is fine it lets me avoid building up stacks of read books.

      I don’t like having to find a place for each new issue.Report

  3. MBunge says:

    1. Multi-media comics will no doubt have a niche, but how successful can you ever be with what is essentially really horribly animated animation?

    2. As an ink-n-paper guy, I find it hilarious that comic storytelling may have to adjust itself to the “limitations” of the digital screen.

    3. The most profound impact of digital is that it removes any purpose or need for comics to be 20 something pages of art and text that gets plopped out once a month. Digital inherently prioritizes the comic strip over the comic book.


  4. Recovered Republican says:

    Isn’t this just a re-hash of how e-readers are supposed to do away with paper books?Report

    • Not quite. Rather than make books extinct, the mentality of many comic book executives seems to be, how can we augment the experience and compliment the physical one.

      As somone noted above, the entire form is built around the political economy of publication, which, if removed, would blow the medium completely open–making physical comic books more than just a habit.Report