What is the importance of new media storytelling, as it relates to comic books?

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Answered by: Drew, An Expert in the Comic Books - General Category
For years, comic books have consisted of flimsy paper pamphlets. When first conceived, they contained every type of story from romance, horror and science fiction to crime and even westerns. The more recent dominant element in comics is of course the invention of the super hero.

But recently, something has been developed which may, over time, prove to be even more important than people with super powers, flying around in tights. Yes, new media storytelling, initially made possible by the advent of not only computers but brought into the forefront of the market by the recent addition of smart phones and other similar devices, has proven to be a very possible new home for comic books in the very near future.

Of course, new media storytelling is already upon us in many forms, but what I am talking about is the time when buying digital comics will surpass going to your local comic book store and plunking down cash for a colorful book made of paper. More and more, publishers are trying to find ways to profit from this new media outlet and traditional retailers are becoming increasingly concerned regarding the future of their brick and mortar establishments.

We have already watched new media change the way music is distributed and purchased. With all the traditional retailers of music having already been forced out of business, it is no wonder the comic book shops are more than just a little wary of what lies ahead for their industry. There are those, of course, who welcome comics in this new digital form with open arms. Creators, especially those without the financial means to print and ship their work, are overjoyed at the prospect of simply uploading their work to the Internet and watching as people pay money to download it. As mentioned, no printers, no pricey shipping, just stories delivered directly to the consumer via a plethora of digital devices.

As with music, this will open the floodgates for a much larger group of comic book creators to share their creative endeavors with the general public. And so, it appears that this new media in storytelling is a case of the creator profiting at the expense of the traditional retailer. Many seasoned, established comic book creators, who have made their living off of the backs of such retailers, are doing everything they can slow the process and find a way to make sure those who helped them make so much money will somehow be taken care of in the new digital switch.

Unfortunately, the new young creators, who will benefit the most from digital comics, have no understanding of the hard work and dedication of these traditional comic book retailers, and therefore will probably not raise much of a fuss when they begin to be forced out of existence. I think in times like these, it is important to remember similar situations having taken place throughout the history of our society. Progress continues to march unstoppably forward. Time and tide wait for no man.

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