Hamilton comic store makes move to internet

23:19, Feb 24 2014
Chris Lander
GOING DIGITAL: Chris Lander has taken his shop Mark One Comics and Games online.

The rise of smart phones and tablet computers forced Hamilton's Mark One Comics and Games to offer digital comics on its website.

In doing so, owner Chris Lander said, the store had become the first in New Zealand to offer comics in both the traditional printed format as well as digitally.

"It's really just a little battle to stay relevant," Mr Lander said. "The comic industry has learned from the music industry. We did have some concerns initially, but still nothing beats sitting own with a hard copy. Technology hasn't reproduced the natural, intuitive reading, especially with comics."

Readers can buy digital versions of thousands of comics from top publishers like Marvel and DC through Mark One's website which uses the Comixology service.

"It's quite a bit cheaper than the printed comic and it comes out digitally first rather than readers having to wait for it to ship from the USA," Mr Lander said. The transaction takes place in $US.

One of the biggest benefits, Mr Lander said, was being able to buy digital copies of rare comics which were hard to find in physical form and expensive because they were so collectable. And some publishers are augmenting their printed content with animated content online, behind the scenes information and so on. Mr Lander compared the supplemental content to DVD extras. "We are seeing existing customers who buy both thee digital comic and the hard copy."