Shortly after taking a job as the managing editor of a then fledgling personal computing magazine, some 25 years ago (Ahoy!), my Sr. Editor and mentor, Jeff Rovin, dropped an editorial in front of me and told me to write a response.
The editorial was obviously written by some old foggie (who was probably younger then than I am now), who was extolling the features of writing on a typewriter over a computer keyboard. This guy when on for several paragraphs about how it wasn’t truly writing unless it was done on a manual Underwood Upright. (I recall some nonsense about the writer needing to exert 32 lbs of pressure to depress each key, the arc of the key arm swinging through the air and striking through the ribbon on the paper that was wrapped around the platen, and other nonsense that was so obviously the load of crap produced by a deluded mind that had no clear understanding of technology, and was clearly hopelessly mired in the archaic past.
Needless to say, my response addressed this poor, deluded chap’s numerous misunderstandings on multiple fronts. I won’t go into excessive detail, but I asked if he also typed by gas lantern, used a telegraph to communicate with his neighbors, or saddled up his horse and climbed aboard his buckboard whenever he road into town.
Railing against technological advances is akin to going down to the shore and shouting at the tide not to come in.
I bring this all up because, recently, I’ve found myself in what can only be described as a similar argument (albeit with folks who are probably younger now than I was then), only this time it is about digital comics.
Apparently, there is a huge backlash against digital comics. (One self-important whippersnapper went so far as to say that digital comics will simply never make the grade and gain popular acceptance, I wanted to ask him if he was still using his Underwood to type his column by gaslight).
Now don’t get me wrong, I love dead tree editions just as much as any collector my age, but I’m also realistic enough to know that I’m part of a dying bread. It is simply short-sighted and a touch Neo-Luddite to say that digital comics will never catch on. The simple truth is that we are running out of trees (clear cut them to raise beef for our fast food franchises), and beyond that paper falls prey to water damage and climate changes, while digital media can be better protected. Plus, it can be transported, stored, and transmitted better.
So, while I don’t see digital comics pushing print comics under the bus of technological evolution anytime soon, mark my (digitally uploaded) words, that day is coming soon enough.