Re-Inventing the Comic Book

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If I were to compare my 13-year-old and my 24-year-old self side-by-side, there would be some pretty striking differences. One would be the fact that my 24-year-old self looks like she's about to cry, versus the 13-year-old who can't stop giggling.

The same goes for other things in life that have evolved as I’ve gotten older. One being print. But I'm not just talking about newspapers. I'm talking about books, comic books, magazines, etc. I suppose I could call myself a print snob.

When I was a young, avid reader I used to keep logs of the amount of time it took me to read books. I would use my bookmark to log the hour I opened the book to the hour I closed it.

But my geekiness didn't stop there. Oh no, it gets better.

From elementary to middle school I spent a lot of time buying comic books. I mostly bought Power Rangers, Star Trek, X-Men and Sailor Moon comics.

If a time traveler had come back to my time just to tell me I should prepare myself for the radical switch between print and digital, I would have probably told him to go back into whatever pod he came from and to leave me alone.

But, as time went on, and I got a job, money and a debit card, I began to expand my appreciation for technology. I fell in love with the Internet at a very young age with the help of AOL, which meant I read more things online.

I recently went to WonderCon in San Francisco, a gathering of comic book fans and vendors, where you almost feel too comfortable about letting your inner comic book freak out of the closet.

The one thing that kept nagging at me the entire time I was there was how fiercely dedicated people are to their favorite print comic books. People who still drop God-knows-how-much to purchase that one edition they have been dreaming about for weeks. It truly is an amazing appreciation for the arts. WonderCon had its biggest crowd ever. It makes me think that all that talk about print being dead has been kind of exaggerated, at least in the world of comic book fans.

I never planned on purchasing an iPhone or Kindle or an iPad, but I did take the dive into the iPhone. Again, my initial reaction to reading anything on my phone brought a certain level of uneasiness. But then I found applications for things that made the 13-year-old in me squeal. I found fairy tale story apps, Alice in Wonderland story apps, and then I found the mother lode. I found a comic book app.

Long lost X-Men comic books I have been hoping to find suddenly appear in the palm of my hand for a small fee. The technology perks to the digital books aren't bad, either. You can zoom in and out of the page, and the nifty little effects that happen every time you press the screen to change the art cells has never made page turning more entertaining.

With applications like this and the iPad, people are predicting the reinvention of the comic book. The new digital add-ons to the comic book realm probably won't revive the comic book, but it may bring in a new generation of fans who weren't around the first time a lot of these comics were released.

Like me. I just purchased the full edition of X-Men Endsong, which I almost purchased at WonderCon but caved shortly after and ended up purchasing on Amazon. I have always been a fan of X-Men. Even though I was an avid comic book reader when I was younger, I didn’t really fully appreciate the craft of comic books until now. So in that respect, I guess you could say I was a little late getting on the comic book bandwagon.