Part of the challenge is that some forms of digital comics, such as motion comics where characters are animated and voiced by actors, differ greatly from printed books.
Motion comics account for only a fraction of the digital comic market and are expensive to produce. Though early versions have been given a thumbs-down by many critics, growth of the motion comics sector is continuing to grow.
"There's no question that in the next few years, we will see more motion comics," said Sharad Devarajan, chief executive of Liquid Comics in New York. "But consumer demand for them is predicated on quality. The first few motion comics, quite candidly, did not offer a good experience."
Jim Lee, co-publisher of DC Comics and a well-regarded artist and writer, says the move to digital is altering the creative process.
As readers become more familiar with reading digital comics, it will affect the way we think about producing the comics," Lee said. "We start to think about constructing our pages differently. Some publishers have asked artists to create layouts specifically for the iPad, for instance. We also think about the length of our stories because people with smart phones have shorter bits of time to consume media.... I see a lot of experimentation with the art form."
"Every time we undergo a change in technology, people say we're losing something," said Joe Quesada, Marvel's editor in chief. "I see it as gaining something.... Comic creators will learn how to tell their stories in new ways."