As much as I’d love to own every single comic book I want to read, it just isn’t practical. So there are digital comics. Until I can have storage room in my house that is the size of a small warehouse, that just isn’t going to happen. Sometimes I look at my collection of comic books now and I am like…
Digital comics in themselves have some upside and downsides.
- You save space in your home.
- All of the websites can easily carry books you’ve never heard of making it “potentially” easier to discover new series rather than a potentially limited selection at a comic book shop. (A lot of this depends on visibility)
- Mobility. If you’re going on a trip with decent internet connection, you don’t have to pack 30,000 books with you. Its all in your computer or mobile device.
- Navigating a digital comic on most platforms on a computer is a breeze.
- You don’t support local comic book stores. This is the biggest irk of mine. I have a pull list at my local comic book shop still and there’s just something about the experience that no app can recreate.
- For me personally, I find them cumbersome to navigate on mobile devices. Mobility is nice but they haven’t quite perfected it yet.
- As with anything with DRM, there’s never a guarantee you actually own those comic books for life (e.g. if the service shuts down or a book gets taken down off the site for any reason)
- If you’re in an area without some sort of internet or cell service and in the mood to read, you’re screwed unless you downloaded them.
- Multiple Apps and websites. No truly centralized location for your collection unless you pick one and stick with one till death.
So what if you want something like Netflix’s Streaming service, but only for comics. You have many choices, but here are some I have used in the past and present.
Comixology Unlimited has a huge selection of digital comics in addition to their store where you can buy the books ala carte.
- Marvel Comics! Lot of classic stories are included.
- Great selection of Image & Indie comics. Afraid to try out a new series? This is a good start.
- Easy to use on the computer.
- Lots of hidden gems.
- You can buy other books not offered on the service but for sale on Comixology and it will all be in one place.
- Hidden gems is a potential downside because many people probably don’t look much past what’s on Marvel, Image, and Dynamite. The website doesn’t really help you on where to look either.
- You rarely get a whole series. Probably to try to sell you on later books in the series. So like with Walking Dead they only have the first several trade paperbacks but not all of them.
Marvel has the ultimate digital comics service for the true Marvel fan.
- Almost damn near every Marvel Comic starting from 6 months ago and back.
- The website is a joke. There really isn’t that much in the way of curation and just has a mass of comics that probably go unread. I guess that is the downside of having everything.
- Only Marvel. It is in the name obviously. However, if you don’t like superhero comics or Star Wars, there’s not much there for you.
ComicBlitz is another digital comics service you can sign up for. I think this is a very underrated Netflix-like comic service.
- Great selection of IDW comics. Transformers and the Hasbro Comic Universe and many other licensed properties.
- I also want to note a good selection of horror comics too.
- They also have a cheaper level where you can read 10 books a month. Very nice for those who don’t read much and want to pay less.
- Some interesting oddball selections.
- No Marvel or DC. Just a little of everything else
- A good chunk of the selection is also on Comixology Unlimited.
- Not the hugest library, but more quality over quantity.
If there are any other services you would suggest or are curious about,, let me know in the comments or on social media and it might be worth a look!