The Daily Dot: How to (legally) read your favorite comics online for free. “We’re living in a golden age of digital comics, with the market providing a myriad of options when it comes to reading your favorite books online. The downside is, most of these options cost money. For people looking for free comics, there are two options, piracy or compromise. Plenty of sites offer pirated scans of today’s top books for free, but the sites listed below are 100-percent illegal. What’s a cash-strapped fan to do? Fret not, here are the best legal ways to read free comics online, from mainstream classics to indie favorites.”
MakeUseOf: 9 of the Best Ways to Read Comics Online for Free. “The recent string of successful Marvel and DC movies coupled with an increase in the availability of digital comics has helped fuel the revival of the comic book industry. Unfortunately, going down to the local comic shop to pick up your favorites can be expensive. Single issues can cost $3 or more, and that adds up fast. Thankfully, you can save some money by using these sites to read comics online for free. No matter what kind of comics you’re into, you should find them on one of these sites.”
University of Washington: Students’ Superpower: Bringing LGBTQ Comic Books To Light. “‘Representation matters. It’s a cliché, but it’s definitely true,’ said Le Button. Button and Aydin Kwan, both Information School Master of Library and Information Science students, have combined their academic knowledge with their personal interests in LGBTQ representation and comic books for their Capstone project. Together, they have created a database and website that will help readers, librarians and booksellers discover comics that tell a wide range of LGBTQ stories.”
Otaku No Culture: Remembering the Golden Oldies with Digital Archive Websites. “In the search for great comic books from the yesteryear, most aficionados will have to hit auctions and estate sales to find what they want. Titles from the Platinum Age (1897 – 1938) to the Golden Age (1939-1950), introduced the era of the superhero to more than just one generation of readers, but purchasing these comics now is near impossible. Unless you are rich, forget it. Thankfully, not everyone is out to make an investment with an Action Comics #1 so they can wind up having a million dollar nest egg to retire on sixty-five years later. There are digital archivists actively looking to preserve this bit of the past for readers preferring online content.”
New-to-me, from Jonathan B.: The Poopsheet Foundation. It is not what it sounds like. From the home page: “A virtual archive of mini-comics, fanzines, small press comics, newave comix and related items. The physical archive, housed at PF headquarters, is being built with personal acquisitions as well as generous donations from supporters. This project is most definitely a work in progress.”
UK Web Archive Blog: The Proper Serious Work of Preserving Digital Comics. “I definitely didn’t apply for a three month placement at the British Library just to have an excuse to read comics every day. Having a number of research interests outside of my PhD topic of illustrated novels (including comics and library studies), I am always excited when I find opportunities which allow me to explore these strands a little more. So when I saw that the British Library were looking for PhD placement students to work in the area of 21st century British comics, I jumped at the chance.”
Pipedream Comics: Help the British Library to preserve and catalogue UK digital comics. “A new project at the British Library is focusing on digital comics publishing in the UK, and the challenges of preservation and access in the long term. Since April 2013, the British Library has been able to collect material published in the UK in digital form under Legal Deposit regulations. This change was intended to ensure that “born digital” publications, which can be at risk of loss, are preserved in the national collections of Legal Deposit Libraries (for more on Legal Deposit, please see http://www.bl.uk/aboutus/legaldeposit). However, digital comics can present challenges for collection and preservation over the long term – as they may be dependent on third-party platforms or plug-ins and otherwise may not be suitably gathered by web harvesting.” There was a BL contact mentioned in this article, and I have contacted her for more details.