I just broke up with my comic shop…

I feel horribile about it—it’s a classic “death of small businesses” story—but I’ve finally gotten fed up with dealing with actual physical comic books. I’ve been flirting with the idea of going digital for a while, but I figured that this was the time to cut the cord.

I will admit that there’s a preparing-to-be-vindicated element to it—the biggest comics publishers (DC and Marvel) do not, at present, allow you to download copies of issues you “buy” for offline storage, though some smaller ones (Image), do.

Maybe I’m fooling myself in thinking that eventually this practice will be more broadly applicable—the electronic publishing industry seems to be moving in that direction (albeit very slowly), and the DRM wars were won on the music front years ago.

Or maybe ten years from now I’ll be absolutely screwed: although Comixology was purchased by Amazon earlier this year, and will almost certainly be around, Amazon’s record with regard to advocating for relaxed DRM on books is pretty non-existent, because that DRM also effectively drives people to Amazon’s hardware platform, which encourages follow-on sales.

This is different from the situation when Amazon entered the digital music industry—they had no hardware platform, so pushing DRM’d content gained them nothing.