You already know that we live in the greatest time in history for comic book fans. Not only do we live in an age where we have access to thousands of different print and digital comic books from around the world, but with all of the comics-inspired movies and video games available, there never seems to be a shortage of opportunities to indulge.
Still, while the last two decades have been good to us comic enthusiasts, sometimes just reading a comic or watching a movie with our favorite heroes and villains comes second to joining the ranks of comic book producers. So for those of you who are ready to start your own comic and/or make your mark on the industry, here are some tips on which platform—print or digital—will serve your comic best.
Begin at the Beginning
Making your own comic book might seem like a lot of work at the beginning, but let’s be honest, the process is actually kind of fun for us comic book fans. From creating a comic storyboard and selecting your cast of characters to writing an interesting storyline, figuring out what kind of journey your comic take readers on is an adventure every one of us enjoys.
At some point in the early planning process, however, you’ll also want to take a moment to choose the best platform for your comic book—and it might feel a bit nerve-wracking. While both digital and print have their own unique advantages, it largely depends on the type of experience you want readers to have, and how much of your own time and money you’re willing to invest.
If you need help on what this entails, check out The Biowars Guide: How to Publish Your Own Comic Book. But for now, let’s see what other fans like ourselves have to say about their own preferences. After all, this is your prospective audience.
3 Reasons for Printing Your Comic
The subject of how to release your issues to a world of hungry comic book readers is a discussion that’s been going on since the first digital comic appeared online. Whether the debate was happening on reddit or elsewhere, purists have argued that having a physical copy of a comic book trumps the digital version—by a long shot. And here are their reasons why.
- Nostalgia: Comic book fans, like most enthusiasts, have a particular penchant building a collection of their favorite rags. So by giving them something they can hold, touch, smell and use to demonstrate their love for comic books, you’re notching a win on the side of the traditionalists.
- Quality: When you print your comic, you get ultimate control over the quality of your publishing. In some cases, this might include using first-rate paper, embossed covers and other comic “gems” that add further credibility and collectability to your comic.
- Support: When you’re choosing to print physical issues of your comic book or graphic novel, you’re basically supporting the comic book industry as a whole, which is propped up by retailers and printers that work for and alongside its passionate fan base.
3 Reasons for Putting Your Comic Online
If you’re looking to make your creative mark online or you’re nervous about having hundreds of printed issues laying around your house after your first production run, then digital comics might be for you. While the downside might be having to know how to digitally produce your comic, do simple programming or use various types of drawing tools, there are some distinct advantages.
- Availability: Most people that purchase digital comic books do so because they can access them on multiple devices and carry it with them at all times. So whether they’re on the subway, at the library or hanging out at a friend’s house, diving back into the story you’ve created is as simple as pulling out their smartphone or tablet.
- Audience: Unless you’re a marketing savant, getting physical copies of your comic book into the hands of readers is an uphill battle. A big advantage of putting your comic book online is the number of people who can get ahold of your hero’s origin story and easily share it with their friends, which only boosts your chances of building a rich community of fans.
- Cost: If you took the time to read our guide on print and digital publishing, you already know how much cheaper digital comic books are to produce—if you have a certain set of skills. So if you majored in badassery during college, or if you were born a digital web-head, then this is probably the best way to go, especially if you don’t have a lot of dispensable capital.
Want more of an insider’s look into what it takes to put together a digital comic book? Check out Biowars’ Behind the Scenes section for videos and articles on the subject!