Digital VS Print Round 2: The Story


Last week, We looked at which is a cheaper buy: Digital Comics or Print Comics. This week, we get away form the cost of comics, and delve into the important question. Which one tells a better story?

Squishing art:

The biggest problem there is with reading a comic digitally is a simple one: A comic book’s size is 17 x 26 cm and the size of the biggest tablet computer is 19 x 24 cm. This means that print comics get squished so that they can fit on the screen. Not only that, but a comic is narrower than a typical tablet, so you always have these black strips of unused space going down the sides of your device. The only way to fix this is to either zoom in and pan around to view each panel, use the “guided view” feature in your reader to automatically zoom in to each panel, or to invest in a large display so that you can see the page at full size. Of course this last option is best, but it severely limits your reading to your office desk. Not too fun.

Made for Digital:

There is another side to this story that is getting more traction in the comic industry. And it’s a great way to go! DC has launched some comic series’ that are actually made for the digital platform first, instead of being made for print, then ripped and squashed into a digital format. The comics are made in landscape, which helps the panels to look larger. These comics look great on screen! We have even reviewed some of these, and we like them a lot! DC has also taken some of it’s digital-first comics and made them into print. They take two landscape pages and stack them so you get two “pages” on one page in a vertical print book. one example of this is the current Batman Beyond series. This kind of compromise doesn’t really do the comic justice though. In the same way that you lose some of the original experience when you put a print comic in digital format. You also lose the flow of the intended story when you take a digital comic and stack it in a print format. Plus the panels just look boring that way, because there is almost always a perfect half-page split across the page, as opposed to a made-for-print comic, which can utilize full page spreads, and third-page splits, and whatever else the artist wanted to use to craft the story’s flow.


However the artist intended the comic to be read is the best way. If it was made to be digital then it’s best read digitally, if it’s a print comic then it’s always a better experience in print.

Come back next week as we have the final showdown! Round 3 will discuss which is more practical. That means which is a better investment, which is more space-saving and so on. It’s a final no-holding-back look at which is truly the best way to go FOR YOU.

See you then!

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