Today, there was some very interesting news coming out of DC Comics. The DC Universe will be rebooted with 52 all new #1 issues, and all of those #1s will be available day and date with their print counterparts.
This development of hand in hand digital release is a smart and necessary adaptation by DC. Digital comics will be the way a lot of people digest the material, and making it easy and timely to get them will curb the piracy of new comics. Most people will do things the right way, if it is made simple enough to access.
The big question then becomes the fate of our local comic book shops. How do they survive in the world of digital comics?
They survive, if publishers look at the retailer programs used by companies like Nintendo and Barnes and Noble use for video games and e-books. Both of these companies have affiliate programs through which customers may get exclusive previews of games/books by being at a brick and mortar store.
If a digital comics reader were to be able to go into their local comic book shop and view 5 pages from the coming big event a week early via a private ad hoc network supplied by the publisher, that would drive people toward stores. Once in the store, shop owners would have a chance to offer people physical product to augment the downloads they are interested in.
Is digital the end of the comic shop? No, it's only a new metamorphosis that stores and publishers will have to make work.
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