Thursday, February 14, 2013

Old comics on Comixology

Living in Japan, I don't have easy access to the latest American comics.  Japanese comics, yeah.  I can walk over to Lawson and buy tons of those.  But for American comics, I have to go all the way to Tokyo to visit Blister.  Fortunately, I don't buy a lot of new monthlies.  I do, however, buy lots of hardcovers of things like Nexus, Creepy, Eerie and softcovers of things like Swamp Thing, New Mutants, Uncanny X-Men and the like.  For those, I go through  Very fast and it's fun to get boxes even if I know what's in them.  The delivery guy and I have a great relationship, too.

In fact, the last time I ordered something from, he recognized my name and brought it to the wrong apartment-- my old place, which is right across the street from my new place.  He thought he was doing me a snappy favor.  Poor guy was very apologetic once we got things straightened out.

Anyway, the point is, if you live in Japan, unless you happen to be in a location convenient to Blister, digital comics are your best bet for keeping up with the American sequential world.  Comixology carries almost everything.  I've been feeding my Walking Dead habit there, for example.  It's not perfect.  You don't actually own the comics even though you pay the same amount someone would if he or she went to a physical store and bought a physical copy there.  You're paying $1.99, $2.99, $3.99 or more for simply a license to read the comic on your computer (via Comixology's reader, which has its own positives and negatives), or on your iPhone (which is pretty cool if you're waiting for a doctor or a bus).  I won't kid you and say that concept doesn't suck.  If I pay for something, I want to own it outright, without limitations.

Well, I suppose I could order print copies online from other sources, but then I'd have to wait two weeks or more to read what you can read on the same day it hits the shelves.  Like I said, I live in Japan.  These are just little things I've weighed and my conclusion is Comixology is the way for me to go.  Or Dark Horse Digital, which is similar but exclusive to Dark Horse comics.  These are the ways I buy my comics.

Still, I love to read the old stuff more than the new stuff...  Well, Comixology can help you out there, too.  DC and Marvel are constantly adding their back catalog to Comixology.  It seems they focus a lot on back issues related to events in current titles so they can bundle them all together in special sales events meant to increase interest in their current product, but they're bulking up some of the ancient books I like to talk about here.

Let's see--  just recently I bought a bunch of the universe-spawning Stan Lee/Jack Kirby Fantastic Four, the complete first volume of Swamp Thing (twenty-four issues featuring Len Wein, Bernie Wrightson and Nestor Redondo, among others), the first two years or so of the Alan Moore version, the first seven issues of New Mutants plus the original Marvel Graphic Novel (a bargain at $3.99), some 1960s-vintage Teen Titans, two issues of the first volume of X-Men drawn by Jim Steranko, some Neal Adams Batman, John Byrne's Next Men, plus a lot of random stuff I can't remember right now because I'm at work and not at home where I can read my comics.  Many of these I own in collected editions and the like, but now I have a nice collection of really sweet old comics I can talk about here.

So expect a lot of Swamp Thing, New Mutants and Teen Titans coming your way.  And a lot of Jack Kirby.  Which I will analyze, deconstruct, poke affectionate fun at and generally mess around with.

You know, same crap as I always do here.  Only shinier.

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