Posts Tagged ‘Spider-Man’
Near the end of the movie Big, Josh Baskin the Elder presents an idea for, as described by one of the suits in the meeting, a “computerized comic book”. I saw the movie shortly after I turned 14. Even then, when computers and electronics were the awesomest of everything, I hated the idea of a computerized comic book. For one, I was aghast at the price point Baskin was working with, just as the suits were. A retail of $24.99? For a comic book? And each new “issue” will run you $6.95? Yeeeah — I’ll pass. Baskin definitely hit a homerun with the building-that-turns-into-a-robot-that-turns-into-a-dinosaur, and I loved his ideas on the Squeegie Doll line, but he missed by a mile on this one.
Second, and more importantly, who in their right mind would choose a computerized comic book over the real thing? The cover, the pages, the colors, the smell, the feel, the crazy ads for x-ray glasses and Grit and Sea-Monkeys, the idea of putting each comic in its own polybag and saving them for your grandkids, or a rainy day — irreplaceable. About a year ago, I bookmarked a site that catalogued every issue of The Amazing Spider-Man electronically. For x dollars a month, you could read to your heart’s content. Knowing that the odds of me setting my hands on a Spider-Man #1 were non-existent, I thought this would be a great way to get to know all of the back issues I’d missed out on. You know how many times I’ve visited that site in the last year? Zero. I have no interest. I didn’t sign up because the appeal isn’t there. I’d rather read a real comic book about a Monchichi’s quest for a magical friendship bracelet than an electronic comic book.
Surprisingly, I have the same feelings about e-books – and until an army of weak-armed lemmings is somehow able to render real, live books extinct, I won’t invest in a Nook or a Kindle. If I understand the upside to e-books, it’s that they’re a) more portable than an actual book, and b) better for the environment. So portability and being environmentally-friendly are the biggest selling points. Have I missed something? Ok. First of all, if you’re complaining about the “bone-crushing weight” or “unwieldiness” of an actual book, you’ve got bigger issues than the fear of tearing a bicep muscle while toting The World Is Flat to your kid’s soccer game. Secondly — and I don’t have the up-to-date figures on global deforestation at hand — but in our quest to save trees, books are at the bottom of my list of things we should think about doing away with. I mean, we’re talking about books here. Books. With covers and pages and binding and smells and colors and a place on a bookshelf (the most underrated piece of furniture in any home), and getting to the point where we have enough books to form things called studies and libraries. Books are fun to read. They’re nice to look at. They smell good. They feel good. They’re fun to collect. They’re fun to share. They’re books – they’re not meant to be read on a rectangular computer screen and stored on a jump drive. Wait a sec – you mean I can get my Nook in three different colors? Hells yeah – now I’m a believer!
I’m not against technology – it’s made countless improvements to our quality of life. But how do you improve on a book? You can’t.
If you remember one thing from this post, remember this: anything read on a Nook or a Kindle isn’t a book – it’s a pdf.
Books: + 8 billion-billion
e-Books: – 453 (This number will increase exponentially if real books become obsolete, but I don’t see that happening.)