Friday, October 28, 2011

The Weekly Digital Back Issue Bin

I’ve become a very big fan of digital comics, as many of you know. I tweet about them often and I’m amassing quite a collection. I haven’t stopped my weekly visits to my LCS and I don't see digital as muscling in on that territory but I’ve come to appreciate the perfect thing digital comics can offer, and now regularly do – back issues. If you’ve been keeping your eye on ComiXology recently you’ll have seen a slew of high quality material you might have been waiting for, or didn’t know about and really should be trying. Digital comics are becoming the perfect breeding ground with their free samples and constant cheap sales. Hit the jump to see what’s been on offer just the last few weeks.

It was only two months ago I was exhaling my hot air as I told ComiXology to start offering back issues and more collections. Lo, and behold, in the last two months they have done these two things. I’m not trying to say I made this happen, I have no doubt plans were in place well before I opened my big mouth, but I can now proudly say these moves have been made and they are working. Well, at least they’re certainly working for me.

I even made the point of asking for some of the old Lee/Kirby Fantastic Four back issues and within the month was offered the first 15 at 99c each. I picked them all up – no way I was missing out.

If you launch the latest version of the ComiXology app, you’ll see four tabs up the top and the pertinent one for today is the ‘Just Added’ tab. Tap that button and you’ll see a chronological order of what comics ComiXology have released. Many of these issues are the week’s latest releases, especially the entire DC 52 line. However, buried alongside the most current books are a smattering of tales both old and older. The genres are as diverse as you can imagine and the prices are often sublime.

Digital comics have become the new back issue bin and diving each week has become my new hobby.

A cursory glance at this week, October 26th, 2011, will yield you 288 new digital books to peruse. Here’s some highlights I found (from just one week):

30 Days of Night

The first issue is free, the next two are $1.99 each. It’s annoying that the whole tale isn’t digitised yet, I wish they’d wait for the whole thing before releasing them but then part of me thinks it is alright to stagger the release – that’s what comics do best, right?

Batman Incorporated

This very recent Batman title, from the swirling mind mass of Grant Morrison, is available for $1.99 an issue. That’s pretty good for a book so new.

Classic G.I. Joe

I loved these comics as a kid but be damned if I’ve got them all. These are now hard to find and for 99c each I cannot believe ComiXology just slip them into the stream without more fan fare. I picked up #2 for under a dollar because I didn’t have it and that cover cannot be ignored.

Clive Barker’s The Thief of Always

I love this book from Clive Barker and have always been intrigued by the graphic adaptation. These are only 99c each as well but I can’t tell if these 3 issues collect the whole adaptation or if there is more. I’m going to wait for the collection – which should come because ComiXology seem pretty committed to collecting things, they’ve dropped the fifth volume of Bone this week, too.

Fortune and Glory

Oh, man, I’d totally buy this except it’s $20.99. I’m keen to read this, and will buy for cheaper, but will hold off for now. One to earmark for a future sale, for sure.

Kill Shakespeare

This book was so damn good and all 12 issues just got dropped into your digital device. Best of all, they’re 99c an issue so that’s under $12 for two trades worth of erudite words and damn fine looking art.

Locke & Key: Welcome To Lovecraft

The masterpiece from Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez is here for us all and it’s also 99c an issue. It’s only the first 3 issues of the first mini but I take this as a sign they’ll be putting more up as soon as the pin monkeys work out the guided view coding and what have you. I own the first mini in hardcover but I’ll definitely catch up in digital format, especially for 99c an issue.

Minister Sinister

I actually have no idea what this book is but the cover looks very cool and it’s 99c an issue. Is anyone noticing how enamoured I am with the 99c price point and how I’m willing to experiment because of it? Yeah, people should get on that as much as possible.

Power Girl

They’ve just uploaded the Judd Winick issue but that made me realise the whole Palmiotti/Gray/Conner run is there and I’ve heard too much to never check it out. It’s only $1.99 an issue but I’ll probably be even cheaper and wait until the drop as a special 99c sale. ComiXology nearly always, ALWAYS, has a 99c sale going on and it’s only a matter of time before Power Girl appears and I jump on. My read pile is currently so large that I can certainly afford to hold off on the purchase and catch up on other things.

Zombies V Robots

I bought the first issue years ago and then was never able to find more. Now, here they are, and they’re 99c each. Golden.


This is all just in this past week. If we delve into the prior week of digital releases we’ll see such luminary titles as Chew in trade (for under $10 each), Hard Time, Rogue in her own title, From Hell (for only $15.99 at a steal), Jericho, Fantastic Four, The Complete Essex County (also a steal at $15.99), and the entire line of those junior DC titles.

Digital comics are my new back issue bin experience and I can do it from bed on a weekend morning. It’s cheap, easy, the outcome is a clean and clear comic with no suspicious prior history, and I don’t believe it’s affecting my LCS most of the time because it’s not stock they carry anyway. Today, I just bought the two Days of Future Past that form the storyline in the old X-Men issues. It cost me under $2. That’s a steal and I have no problem trawling through over 200 comics each week to find these gems.

Are you buying some back issues digitally? How are you finding the experience? What comics are you looking forward to hopefully finding on the digital cheap in the coming weeks? Let us know in the comments below.

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CombatSpoon86 said...

I love all Trade, Singles, and Digital. Digital has let me caught up with some series like Animal Man and G.I. Joe.

Kevin Tam said...

I've been having the same experience too! I started reading ComiXology on the web with the free issues like Chew #1 and the Spider-Island: I love NY shorts. I've since purchased some chunks of Superman/Batman (from the $.99 sale), and the first Atomic Robo and the first Chew trade.

Right now I'm waiting for a Flash $.99 sale, but I think I already missed out.

ComiXology also has both of Mark Waid's The Unknown trades for FREE, which I find amazing.

What device do you read on? I don't have a device yet, but I'm planning on getting a Kindle Fire to read comiXology.

Ryan K Lindsay said...

@Kevin - I was reading on my phone until I got an iPad. Now I'm a complete convert, so pretty and large. All those free issues are great, the I Love NY short issues for Spider-Island were actually really good.

Yeah, a Flash sale has already happened. Maybe they'll offer more another time.

@CombatSpoon - it's the perfect opportunity to catch up on so much, with more being added daily.

Ken Boehm said...

I'm really enjoying the digital back issues as well, especially those 99 cent sales like the JLA one and the Iron Fist one last week.

Anonymous said...

i have a nice collection going on the ipad. i would really like to see some old issues at original price. you know like still only .35cent stuff like that. but i eat up anything at .99.

Anonymous said...

Too bad the old Git Corp DVD's aren't made anymore. You could get nearly entire runs of FF, Xmen, Iron Man, for pennies an issue. Glad I got them before the publishers saw the money in digital.

Ryan K Lindsay said...

@Anonymes - that would be the greatest PR stunt ever to have some comics go back to 35c pricing for a day. Golden...sadly, iTunes doesn't let anything price under 99c, do they?

I'm trying to get my hands on one of those discs of Daredevil comics. Wish I could still find them anywhere. Were they in PDF format, what was their deal, anyone know?

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