Man, I’m behind the comics times. Or I was, anyway. A month or so back, I was rehashing an old discussion with a friend about how frustrating comics have become. Crazy expensive, and no digital versions available…I could just SEE how cool it would be to have them in a digital format. Man…why isn’t anyone doing that?

Errrr…oops. It appears I’m not exactly up-to-date WRT the online comics scene. A BoingBoing link from a few days back clued me in to a DRM-free comics publisher (Pullbox Online), and I made my first order there almost immediately. And while tracking down the reader software, I discovered that basically EVERYTHING, comics-wise, is being scanned and posted online at pirate sites nowadays. But guess what…I think I’ll give my cash to the folks who are willing to sell it to me. At $0.99 (or less) an issue, I can afford to check things out and experiment. It’s great. I’m definitely digging reading comics again.

The image format itself is worth a mention. Pretty clever..the CBR/CBZ format is DRM-less by design, and consisted of JPG files (either scans or original image files) arranged in a rar or zip archive (indicated by the last letter of the extension). It’s easy, works well, and gives the user some control. The BigCos that HAVE bothered to try digital releases seem to be stuck in the same DRM-obsessed cesspool with most other media companies. They use PDF, primarily, so that they can watermark the images, prevent printing, and generally irritate the crap out of me. Uh…not! I’ll stick with CBR, thanks.

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