Digital Comics Month is coming to a close, and besides all of the distributors, publishers, and creators we’ve talked to, we wanted to chat with someone like you: the digital comics consumer! Fortunately, I already knew a lapsed comic book fan who’s getting back into them in a big way via his new iPad: my brother, Ben Forsythe. He agreed to sit down and answer my questions (seeing as it would be near-impossible to avoid me: we’re also housemates). Read on for his “Man on the Street” viewpoint on the evolution of digital comics!
TFAW.com: What’s your personal history with comics?
Ben Forsythe: I started reading Archie when I was young. Then on a family vacation my lovely, intelligent sister and I got our hands on our first X-Men comic and we were hooked.
TFAW.com: Where did you get your comics back then?
BF: A place called Classic Cards and Comics in Tualatin. I visited that place frequently, usually with my sis. We would walk or ride our bikes there from our parents’ house.
TFAW.com: When did you stop reading comics, and why?
BF: I stopped buying comics when I got to high school. I was driving and hanging out with my friends a lot more. That was also when they really diluted the X-Men with multiple titles. It got confusing and I stopped following them. By then I was only really reading whatever sis had around the house. When she went to college comics became an annual thing for me. Sis would give me a book for Christmas every few years and I really enjoyed that. I look forward to that every year.
TFAW.com: When you bought your iPad, were you thinking about buying digital comics with it?
BF: No, but it did dawn on me shortly after I bought it. I definitely went looking for the app, I didn’t see it advertised or anything.
TFAW.com: How many comics have you bought since then?
BF: Dozens. It’s really hard not to purchase one after the other if it’s a good story. All you have to do is click a button.
TFAW.com: What comics have you purchased?
BF: Lots of one-offs and miniseries. Marvel 1612, Old Man Logan, War Machine, Astonishing X-Men, Avengers.
TFAW.com: Which apps have you bought?
BF: DC and Marvel [the comiXology apps]. Anxiously awaiting a Dark Horse app!
TFAW.com: What do you like about buying digital comics?
BF: It’s so easy. And the instant gratification that comes with being able to read a whole series in a day. No way would I buy 15 straight books in a store.
TFAW.com: Is there anything you dislike about buying digital comics?
BF: It’s too easy! I once spent $40 in one “session.”
TFAW.com: How often do you go to a brick-and-mortar comic shop? Why?
BF: Still only with my sis! Pretty rare. I think I’ve been to two different TFAW’s a total of four times in the two years I’ve been back in Portland.
TFAW.com: Has reading digital comics made you want to buy trades or other printed compilations?
BF: Not at all. I really dislike “comic clutter.”
TFAW.com: What do you think the next step should be, as far as digital comics go?
BF: More content. The single most frustrating thing in the age of internet consumerism for me is when a company offers limited downloadable content in an attempt to get customers to mail-order or come into their store. Quickest way to lose me as a customer.
Thanks again, Beej! In exchange, I promise to bring home all of my Star Wars comics in a timely manner. And thank you, readers! Make sure to check out all of our Digital Comics Month interviews, and stay tuned for future updates.
So what do you think? Has your experience with digital comics been similar to Ben’s? One thing I found interesting: he wasn’t aware of comiXology or any other provider–he just wanted his comics. Post your feedback below!