An opinion piece from The Pullbox’s Myke.
To be upfront, for the longest time I was a staunch physical copy purist. It was about the entirety of the experience; Collecting was a large part of the appeal. It was an experience, an indulgence, that I leaned into. I’d empty my pull box on Wednesday and set aside some time to just relax and read up. Then I’d ceremonially put them in their wrappers to seal in the freshness and box them away to be glanced at with occasional fondness but generally forgotten for a year at a time.
A large part of the disconnect I found with most series, however, digital comics remedied. Because, on average, they are cheaper you can afford to give series a chance to find their footing that can be difficult to accomplish in the early pages of series meant to have certain levels of depth and intrigue. The deeper and more complex the plot the slower the boil. Of course I speak generally, so before you roast me because your favorite mini-series hooked you from issue one, keep that in mind.
As I got older, my ability to commit time and money to my weekly indulgence waned considerably. Before I knew it I had 2 kids and barely existed outside of family time and work. A life I happily chose, mind you, but it meant if I wanted to keep my old hobbies alive I had to adapt. Digital comics let me keep the stories alive that I wanted to see through. It wasn’t until I had the physical collection element stripped away that I realized there was massive appeal in being able to read what I wanted, whenever I wanted, and I was surprised to find my reading habits shifted.
As mentioned, I was able to give series more of a chance to build. It let me appreciate the nuances of the slow build in a narrative and not lament a lack of progression in a given issue. But in all honesty, and probably more relate-ably, it let me binge. And within that bingeing came a level of depth I hadn’t expected: If the issue references another issue in passing to explain something? That issue is probably right at your fingertips as well.
In short, digitization of comics has turned my web browser into a wikipedia-like rabbit hole of issues criss-crossing larger storylines and I love it. There will always be a place on my shelf for comics, but thanks to the digital comic scene I am able to always have a place in my life for comics.