(Re)examining the attitudes of comic book store patrons

  • J. Richard Stevens University of Colorado Boulder
  • Christopher E. Bell University of Colorado Colorado Springs
Keywords: Copyright, Digital media, Piracy


As digital comic book consumption continues to rise in popularity, the comic book community appears conflicted over the effects that digital scans have on the meaning of collecting and reading comic books. Historically, comic ownership served as the locus of comic fan social capital; will digital scans hold the same cultural capital as printed books? And does postpurchased digital scan dissemination primarily hurt copyright holders through lost sales, or does it help through social promotion? Building on an analysis of fan attitudes toward digital comic book texts, we seek to account for the limitations of locality by surveying the attitudes of comic book store patrons concerning their attitudes toward physical and digital comic book texts.

Author Biographies

J. Richard Stevens, University of Colorado Boulder
J. Richard Stevens is an assistant professor in the Department of Media Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. His research delves into the intersection of ideological formation and media message dissemination. This work comprises studies on how cultural messages are formed and passed through popular culture, how technology infrastructure affects the delivery of media messages, how communication technology policy is developed, and how media and technology platforms are changing American public discourse.
Christopher E. Bell, University of Colorado Colorado Springs
Dr. Christopher Bell has served as an Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs since the summer of 2010. He specializes in the study of popular culture, focusing on the ways in which race, class and gender intersect in different forms of media. Dr. Bell's primary research areas are young adult culture, particularly dystopian young adult literature and comic books.