Let’s start with a discussion about the concern that digital comics will probably kill physical comics. This is more opinion-based, but you might be reading this blog because you want to transition from physical to digital. You don’t know if it’s something that you’ll have to do anyway eventually. At first, times do change, unfortunately, and certain things develop to the point where other things become obsolete. It’s always hoped local comic shops will stick around. However, they have transitioned out of comics in the last couple of years to continue to survive. Now comic shops are more just about collectibles such as statues and other things than the actual printed book.
Note: The market for translation of non-English comic books has noticed growth in the past few years after comics publishers turned to publishing comics online for free.
Comics was one of the entertainment mediums that was relatively late to get into digital. They’re still in their infancy, even though it’s been about 10 years since the New 52. They are still trying to find the feat they’re adapting to having these unlimited services. When those services pick up, that’s when digital comic books will end up progressing even further than physical.
However, some people started reading comics when they were teenagers. Truthfully, suppose we’re being honest with ourselves. How many teenagers nowadays would go into a local comic shop randomly without background knowledge and get into comics that way. In contrast, most of them now have a phone, access the internet, and probably have a tablet that they can read on. Therefore, although it would be a significant loss if local comic shops ended up dying due to digital comic books taking off, it’s also essential for the hobby to continue surviving as a whole.
Note: New generations of comics readers prefer to read comics online for free as they are more accessible than the traditional physical ones.
However, the happy middle ground between physical and digital comic books is that you may think of getting them digitally for any single issue you want to read. Then you will buy the collected edition. Eventually, people will find their balance. I think collected editions will take more of a precedent over single issues. As well as, it could be the case that single issues go entirely digital. Then it’s only the collected editions that people can get physically. There will be people who have only read comics physically, and maybe they love going to the comic shop every week. Hopefully, they can still maintain that routine even if digital comic books become more popular.