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“How’re you feeling about the PSP comic store/digital comics in general? Me? I think I’m sticking with paper. I’m fuckin old school!”
-John via Twitter
I think publications on PSP are a great idea. I’d totally get into books and such again if they were actually available on devices I’m always carrying on me. Does the iPhone do ebooks? Probably some kind of rigged app or a few standalone apps, but on no universal book reader, right? I can settle for comics. One thing on comics is I like to sit there and examine the art in great detail. The PSP comic viewer let’s me do that. I can zoom out or in as I please and pan the page around to study every which way. There’s even this Autoflow thing where mashing L & R Buttons automatically zeroes in on all the relevant screen placements, making reading these things as lazy as you wish. Button config is even available.
A massive plus is the custom soundtracks function that somewhat works with this comic viewer. Too many times I’m walkin’ somewhere with my PSP music goin’, then when I go to sit down and switch to a game, I have to stop the good sounds for crappy game music from R-Type Command. Say I’m in a podcast I want to listen to but don’t want to sit there and stare at the wall, I can whip out a comic instead without holding up my audio. The music player is limited though. There’s no fast forward function for picking up where you left off in a long track and it doesn’t support PSPgo very well, so the player can only read from the system storage but not from the expandable cards (where I keep all my music). I’m not even sure it supports playlists. Thanks Japan!
Either way, the big draw for me on PSP comics is portability and hiding what I got. I work with baby boomers. They’re not very smart. I got the heavy stink eye when I sat in the public commons and had a lunch while reading Watchmen. I’d much prefer masking what I’m looking at and maintain the privacy. Sure I’m 20-something years old and it’s not a big deal for me to defend what I’m into, but I also value solo downtime above most things, so avoiding possibility of needless conflict with nosy old people idiots with high judging and poor listening skills is a selling point. Since I don’t do a lot of reading when I’m at home, I pretty much have to bring whatever I intend to read with me somewhere else. At home I’d prefer the music, gaming, or time with the pre-wife, so books are right-out. I’m not owning a man-purse ever, so that leaves me with whatever fits in my pocket. PSP works, a tube hanging out a foot above my back pocket doesn’t.
Let me ask you some things. I perceive PlayStation brand to be of the highest average age demographic of players. We’re balls deep in the “e-book revolution” right now and apparently everybody’s solution is to offer non-pocket devices with strange DRM limitations instead of using devices we’ve got out there in large quantities. PSP screen would be adequate for reading and DS would be above adequate for reading (brain age style) and navigation. Why do you think e-books have not been formally considered for portable console and smartphone devices? Furthermore, do you think Sony’s choice to offer comics instead of books cements stereotypes that portable gaming outside the iPhone is supposed to be for audiences no greater than teenagers? Or do you think the gaming culture is so synonymous with graphic novel culture at any age (exampled by Comic Con containing a gaming showcase event) that it would have been stupid for Sony to offer real books before comics?
Dude, Shawn, I’ll totally take back two or three “suck it Andrich”‘s if you guys discuss all that on your conference calling show.
Anyway, I’ve been out of the comic scene for a long time (like, back when Superman died, came back to life, whatever). Based on what’s available in the PSN Comics store, what should I purchase to get me back into things? I like stories where something actually happens, characters change, and a overreaching story/franchise can formally end. I don’t like going into anything knowing the main character is never going to lose, and the big villain is never going to be killed or incapacitated beyond repair. I like stories with complex life lessons and eerie parallels to the real world. “What if” situations are kinda neat. “I’ll get you next time, ________, next time.” struggles are pretty stupid.
So what should I be reading?