There's a certain school of thought that would have us believe that digital comics 'don't count' as proper comics because they don't exist in a physical form. I'm not entirely unsympathetic to that notion because reading comics on a screen after being accustomed to having them in paper form all my life does take a bit of getting used to.
That said, the main point of a comic is to convey a story in sequential words and drawings, page by page, and that remains the same whether the format is paper or digital. One of the valid arguments against digital comics was that you couldn't relax to read them in the same way you would a printed comic because they were on a bulky PC or laptop. However, advances in recent years now mean that an iPad mini (or similar device) is lighter (and smaller) than an average graphic novel. Although admittedly you don't have to recharge a book after you've read it.
The big advantages for digital comics is that they're a more direct and potentially cheaper way for readers to access the stories, and the comics don't have to compromise to suit the whims of retail chains or licensing companies. One such title is Aces Weekly, published by David Lloyd (artist of V for Vendetta, creator of Kickback). Each digital issue contains six different stories by various creators, plus extras that can include preliminary art and suchlike. The comic runs for volumes of seven issues, with each volume costing a mere £6.99. Yes, just a pound an issue. There's no way a full colour print edition could compete with that price. And you don't even have to leave the house to buy it.
Launched in 2012, Aces Weekly has now been running for 8 volumes of 7 issues each. Over those 56 issues it has featured work by top professional creators such as David Lloyd, John McCrea, Mark Wheatley, Herb Trimpe, David Hitchcock, Yishan Li, David Leach, Steve Bissette and many more. Small wonder that it recently won the Pipedream Comics poll for Best Digital Comic.
In the latest issue, Vol.8 No.7, my Combat Colin character makes his return in an all-new three page full colour strip that I created exclusively for Aces Weekly. Semi-Automatic Steve co-stars, along with the Giggly Sisters. The story begins where many British strips have ended, - with a slap-up feed, - but danger and daftness is just around the corner thanks to the return of Professor Madprof, the Mad Professor, one of Combat Colin's oldest enemies!
As some of you will know, Combat Colin was a strip I did for Marvel UK's Action Force and Transformers comics back in the late 1980s. When Marvel returned the rights to me I produced a handful of self-published comics such as Yampy Tales in the 1990s reprinting several of the strips. Combat Colin also guest starred in some episodes of the new Brickman series that ran in Image's Elephantmen comic a few years ago. A brand new Combat Colin story appeared in Aces Weekly Vol.1 No.1 in 2012, and publisher David Lloyd has been asking me to contribute another for some time now. I wasn't really ready to return to combat mode due to time and other factors but now I have, and I thoroughly enjoyed producing a new adventure for the bobble-hatted buffoon.
To find out more about Aces Weekly and to subscribe to each volume, visit the official website here: http://www.acesweekly.co.uk/home
Aces Weekly on Facebook: https://en-gb.facebook.com/acesweekly
Aces Weekly on Twitter: https://twitter.com/acesweekly
David Lloyd interviewed about Aces Weekly, on the Forbidden Planet Blog: