Tor.com content by

Julian Yap

R.I.P. Comic Book Stores

I have been given a vision of the future, and in it the comic book store is dead.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve become increasingly interested in purchasing an e-book reader. After playing around with a few of them, I’ve come to the conclusion that within the next 10 years, the paper single issue comic book will be a thing of the past, and with its passing, so too will comic book stores.

I mean, there’s already a full color e-reader in Japan, which means that within a year we’ll probably have one in the US. Given that Hearst publishing is already working on an e-book reader to distribute its magazines, it seems inevitable that, within the next 2-3 years, we’ll have e-book readers of the correct size and color fidelity to read comic books comfortably on. Say another 2 years or so for those readers to become relatively inexpensive, and I imagine that within 5 years these things will be as prevalent as iPods.

Now, I’m not one of those people who thinks that the e-book reader will kill the physical book. I personally believe that people like books. Paper books are comforting to read and to own. And so I don’t think that the e-reader will necessarily kill trade paperbacks or graphic novels. But the single issue is another story.

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