comics: then they came for me…


I’ve known about the “First they came…” poem for ages, right about the time I started getting involved in queer groups. I didn’t know much about its history until today–thanks wikipedia–since it was always marked Anonymous on the magnets and bookmarks and buttons I saw.

BASH Magazine, sadly, will be going fully digital after the current issue. They featured this comic from Jen Sorensen, the cartoonist behind Slowpoke Comics. It transforms the “speak out before it’s too late” sentiment into a relevant message and an only slightly far-fetched conclusion*.

With people now talking about the demise of newspapers, and devices like Amazon’s Kindle taking the printed page out of the equation, it is sort of interesting. I don’t deny that I’ve downloaded an album that I can’t find or convert from cassette/vinyl, and I’ve downloaded shows that I’ve missed or were impossible for me to see. I’ve never been a fan of the newspaper, but my books… please don’t take those away. I admit that with these new devices, I could take 20 books with me in just the space of one, but I just can’t see myself in a vacation cottage next to a cozy fire with hot cocoa in one hand and an e-reader in the other. Much as I love my gadgets… it ain’t happening.

* We already willingly digitize our thoughts and day-to-day lives in our blogs, can the full conversion really be that far behind? 😉

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7 Responses

  1. The Kindle intrigues me now. At first I thought no, I’ve tried e-reading and it’s just not the same, but then to find out that it has a 24×7 wireless connection and you can get any book, anytime, then I paused and had to give it a second thought.

    It’s still a bit pricey for as much as I might use it – I use audio books at the gym so I don’t see me using it enough to justify the cost. At least not now. My brother who travels constantly will not leave home without it though.

    latest entry: Writer’s Block: Early Birds, Night Owls

  2. brian says:

    @Mike: I have to admit that I am very tempted by the Kindle. The cost is a major turn off, but the wireless connection is nice. Can it also do audiobooks?

    My main problem is color. As a comic fan, I buy graphic novels and comic collections a lot. While I think the device can display images, without color it wouldn’t be the same.

  3. Kyle says:

    I excuse my over-buying of books (I got four in the last four days) by telling myself they’ll be harder and harder to find, and I am just stocking up for the future.

    latest entry: meh

  4. shindo says:

    During the years of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, I fantasized about the day e-readers would come. It seemed like a far-off concept at the time, though the iPhone and the Kindle have brought it forth.

    @Brian: I contemplate getting the Kindle too from time to time, and I’m with you on the display issue. Hopefully, a generation will provide BW and color e-paper options.

    Also, I don’t want to see the codex as a technology go. We all can go on and on about it, but the book in this form is the ultimate back-up technology form, the original ROM.

    @Kyle: I’m with you on the over-buying of books. Unfortunately, the issue of publishing physical books is if it’s a sustainable industry, as lots of trees get killed and paper processing pollutes rivers. We’ll just have to make it a point to buy books made with more sustainable options such as acid-free paper, recycled paper, etc. Last month’s Poets & Writers had an excellent article on this issue.

    latest entry: Resplendence: Gold Dust Woman (Feuille 36)

  5. Kyle says:

    I remember an episode in the Original Series of Star Trek when Kirk’s lawyer comes on board with stacks of books (“Court Martial”). He said that the electronic library could never replace books, and I agree. I sympathize very much with the ‘Save the Planet’ impulse. Books should be made from recycled cotton rags, hemp, anything but trees, IMHO. I also try to buy used books more and more, although I do value my library highly, and therefore balk at buying damaged books most of the time.

    As much as I am on the computer, I have found I cannot do any sustained reading on the screen. Additionally, I love the feel of books, and – I know this sounds weird, but screw it – often pick up my books and handle them, even going so far as to rearrange my library, while watching tv. It may well be that books-as-comfort was placed in my brain from before the time I could read.

    latest entry: forty-eight

  6. Esprix says:

    I, for one, welcome our new digital overlords.

    latest entry: For my tech-savvy friends

  7. shindo says:

    Sometime soon, the days of book piracy will be upon us. The original method, photocopying books is too expensive unless you abuse your workplace copiers. Also, copying the original is time consuming and the copy gets more and more unreadable after multiple copyings. Replicating an electronic book file won’t be too hard, though the publishing industry will no doubt try to enforce safeguards.

    latest entry: Resplendence: Gold Dust Woman (Feuille 36)

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