If you have any statuettes or ornaments in your
home, you probably look at them more often than you
actually touch them. However, there's something about
about reading the story, it's about turning the pages,
the feel of the cover, the smell of the book, the taking it
down from, and putting it back up on the shelf. If you're
only interested in the tale it contains, then you can read it
on an iPad or Tablet or whatever, but to a lover of books,
that's a second-best experience at least. To perch on the
porcelain - or anywhere else - with a book or comic in
your hands is a magical thing that true lovers of
the format are loath to relinquish.
That's why the comics 'industry' is, essentially,
dead (though it's being kept going on 'life-support').
It's unlikely that the comic strip industry will ever ex-
pire, as that can take the form of books, albums, and exist
in a digital format. However, to the comics lover (the actual
physical manifestation of a comic that is), such incarnations
fail to satisfy. Ironically, although I've sometimes been ac-
cused (by a few cretins) of illegally downloading comics, I
never read digital comics - I'm simply not interested in
them. Any digital images I might have (old, out-of-
print strips) are stopgaps 'til I can track down
and acquire the actual published item.
So if you like comic strips, you can read them in
various forms, and those who earn their living from
writing and drawing them probably aren't too bothered
about what form their work takes just as long as folk get
to see it and (more importantly) they continue to be paid
for it. However, if like me (and thousands more) you rec-
ognise the exclusive thrill that comes from reading and
handling an actual, paper periodical, you'll lament the
fact that the traditional British comics industry
seems to have breathed its last.
I've got loads of books that collect comic strips
of the past and I think they're great. I love books,
but to be honest, where possible, I'd prefer to have the
original comics. That's because books and comics are dif-
ferent, and tickle the senses in different ways. Even when
the content is the same in both formats, if I had to make a
choice, I'd probably opt for the original presentation. Case
in point: I once bought the OMNIBUS volume of MAR-
VEL's SILVER SURFER, even though I've got all 18
original issues. I examined every page, savouring the
near-perfect reproduction - then I put it aside and
dug out my original issues and read them.
Some folk won't understand that. To them,
the content is the important thing. And of course
it is important. However, to lovers of traditional pub-
lished comics as they've been for decades, the carton is
equally as important. However great a present may be, it
always seems far better if it's wrapped up and presented in
pretty paper, ribbons and bows, etc. Without that, it can
sometimes seem less than it actually is. So the old comics
industry is dead, but the comic strip industry will go on.
However, despite a strong resemblance due to the
fact they're related, they're not quite the same
thing. In my view anyway.
How about you?