As some of you may know, I go by Waffles on the 8Bit Proof podcast. In our most recent episode, we discussed the pros and cons of going completely digital and whether or not we would be able to completely abandon physical games. I am strongly “pro-digital” when it comes to gaming and I’ve been an “all-digital” consumer of music for 5 years. On the show, I argued that convenience was the main attraction of going digital. The ability to go from game to game without changing discs is a delight. In addition to convenience, switching to a digital format saves a lot of physical space. See, space saving is crucial for me, because I need all the space I can get for my comic book collection.
I have a comic problem; I love them and I can’t stop buying them. My comics have taken over my living room, there are piles on my floor, piles on my coffee table, and my shelves are overflowing. I have no more room for shelves in my house and my pile of shame is relentless. I have nowhere to put all my unread books and I have no idea what to do with them. I had to move my long boxes into the basement because closet space was becoming an issue. If I ever have the desire to read a specific issue of a comic it would take me 15 minutes to find said issue. I lug around a 30-pound bag filled with comics any time I go on vacation. I have to admit that my comic situation is not convenient in any way. Every logical reason I love the digital formats for music and gaming could easily translate to comics, but I don’t care.
I have had a relationship with comics since the early 90’s, and I have been in love since day 1. Growing up, there were two comic shops within walking distance from my house, TWO! I would go to them at least twice a week and always come home with stacks of comics. I love sitting down with a comic in my hands, the tactile satisfaction of turning each page with my fingers. The pile of comics on my living room floor is a badge honor. I’m not ashamed of the pile, I’m proud. Lined up in alphabetical order on my shelves, the books are a work of art. Every day I come home to find an Amazon box on my doorstep full of those wonderfully illustrated slices of heaven is like Christmas morning.
Aside from my many other completely unreasonable excuses for not wanting to go digital with my comic collection, I firmly believe that consuming them digitally is wrong because they simply aren’t digital in nature. While they can be stored on physical items, music and video games are inherently digital because of how they are consumed.
I’m not kidding myself; I know my reasons are weak and foolish. I know I should go digital with comics because it would make my comic life much easier. But I just can’t get over the feeling that I would somehow be turning my back on a childhood friend. I will continue creating piles of comics and I will love every second of it.