Many comics and manga are now available in electronic versions. These electronic versions can be bought through Kindle and are readily available whenever a customer wants to purchase them. As a result of Covid-19 I have been buying all my comics and novels through Kindle, to avoid waiting for packages to be delivered and going to local bookstores. Reading electronic comics is a different experience from reading the physical version. There are positives to reading the electronic version of a comic but there are some negatives. Are electronic comics better than the physical comic?
Through my experience with Kindle’s version of comics, I discovered that the pages are smaller, and the text is harder to read. However, Kindle provides a helpful feature to allow readers to zoom in on panels to make the panel larger and the text easier to read. The reader only needs to double tap on a panel to zoom in. Then the reader can swipe through the panels without leaving the zoom in mode. Readers can also zoom in closer into a panel to find little Easter eggs that were originally difficult to see.
However, there is a flaw to the zoom in feature. For larger panels, the zoom feature typically focuses on speech bubbles or certain points and can cut out some of the art. I learned in class that everything drawn in a panel was drawn for a reason, it was not a mistake. By losing some of the art in a panel, a reader can miss something important in the panel. In Willow Wilson’s Ms. Marvel, the magnified version of this panel cuts out both the gun and The Inventor’s invention.
The electronic version can also ruin the experience of a comic. In Alan Moore’s Watchmen, the panels on the pages are made to mirror each page. Pages fourteen and fifteen of chapter five are made to mirror each other. The panels of the pages that came before and follows those two pages follow the same pattern. With the electronic version, the reader loses the experience of comparing the two mirroring pages. The reader must swipe through the pages to find the similarities in the chapter.
In my opinion electronic comics are not better than the physical copies in terms of the reading experience. However, when it comes to convenience, I believe that electronic comics are a great option. This blog post offers more information about comics on Kindle.