I don't condone downloading comics because the industry just isn't strong enough to handle it if it became a serious problem. The industry is forced to print less (if any) original material so they can focus on tried and true superheros to guarantee sales. This is where we start getting recycled plot lines, ret cons, and every other comic cliche that makes us (the fans) groan. The lack of original material is also hurting the artist- if you want to make any kind of money in the business, you need to know the classic tights and fights techniques. It's getting harder and harder to get a job, especially if you're not already established in the industry.
Comparisons have been drawn to downloading music. (Now, I won't get on anyone's case about this morally, because it would make me a terrible hypocrite.) The greatest difference I can see is that the music industry isn't noticeably suffering. Movies have been bootlegged for decades but that hasn't stopped the film industry from releasing big budget projects every season. (I won't say that illegal downloading and bootlegs don't hurt these industries, and I admit I don't have as much insight to them as I do the comic world- but the fact remains that they are still more stable and can take small blows)
DEGRAAF, a solution to your problem might be looking into your local library. It's free and you're supporting both your community and comic publisher. You might not be able to read every issue as it comes out, but it's definitly better than the alternative, i.e. going cold turkey. If you're lucky enough, I know some store will actually rent trade paperbacks, prices ranging about 2.25 for the first 2 days, and 1.25 every day after. Not free, but saving is always nice.
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