Comic Book Culture
That digital comics can be technologically (digitally) reproduced (and distributed) further decreases their perceived value in traditional comic book culture. When digital reproduction “can place the copy of the original in situations which the original itself cannot attain,” anyone can read a comic. When anyone can read a comic, gatekeepers are displaced. With the advent of new media (not just in the digital production of comic books but also of film, television, literature, and even audio books), comic books are for everyone.
The here and now of the original underlies the concept of its authenticity, and on the latter in turn is founded the idea of a tradition which has passed the object down as the same, identical thing to the present day. The whole sphere of authenticity eludes technological—and of course not only technological—reproduction. … technological reproduction can place the copy of the original in situations which the original itself cannot attain. (21)
Superheroes are for everyone, too. Characters like Carol Danvers and Kamala Khan have only just opened the gates for new readers. Those new readers might someday be new writers, artists, and editors. Many of the men that work in the comics industry today grew up reading them. The next generation will be different because of digital comic book culture. Digital spaces, sometimes (but not always) more welcoming than the physical stronghold of the comic book store, have not only enabled marginalized readers to become comic book readers: it has enabled them to actively engage with one another and with creators. Industry professionals are active across social media and the letters columns that once graced the back pages of comic books have been all but replaced (and in some cases augmented) by Twitter. That is what makes this age Blue: social media. Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr, three social media platforms across which comics readers may interact with each other, creators, and even publishers, all have blue icons.