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Comics: TPB vs single issues

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  • Comics: TPB vs single issues

    I was wondering what everyone's preference was. Do you like trade paperbacks or single issues when it comes to comics?

    I prefer trade paperback so I can read them all at once and I don't mind waiting for it even if it comes out way later.

    I do however, collect single issues just for monetary value or because I like the cover or when the price is right. I recently bought Walking Dead 127 for the first appearance of Magna, which is a great issue BTW.

    So, what do you prefer and why?
    “Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.” ~Bertrand Russell

  • #2
    Trade paperbacks have revolutionized how I collect and read comics. I don't make it my local comic shops every month, I am lucky to have 2 good ones within 10 and 20 minutes of my house. If something catches my eye, or there is a sale, I will pick up a comic.

    Now I am going to be honest. I pirate all the comics that I follow. I have been doing this for almost 5 years now. When I get a chance, I prefer to marathon 3-10 issues at once when I have the downtime to get lost in that universe and really appreciate the art.

    Later on, when the TPD is released, I will buy that from, Amazon, or directly from an online shop or a brick and mortar when there is a sale. That is what I did with my Walking Dead books, sold all my comic because I thought season two was going to kill the line and I wanted to get top dollar. ( I didn't start collecting the line till the 11th issue so I never got my hands on #1-10 - or I would have kept them). I try to get the first prints of these.

    I can keep them on my books shelves, display them, re-read them over and over, actually lend them out - and just enjoy them more.

    This is my favorite to date: Irredeemable

    Most Recent: Black Science

    I also have:
    The Walking Dead
    Planet Hulk
    Watchmen (Sold original comics right when movie came out to maximize profits)
    Old Man Logan
    Marshal Law: Deluxe edition.
    Y: The Last Man

    Many others too, I really enjoy the Marvel Masterworks - all my comics in clean hardcover so I can look at them over and over again. X-Men, Amazing Spiderman.
    “Anything is a dildo, if you're brave enough"
    Thomas Jefferson

    Always looking to trade MOTUC to complete my collection.


    • Andy
      Andy commented
      Editing a comment
      I don't mind pirating either. I read most of my walking dead on youtube. I also buy the tpb so I feel no remorse.

  • #3
    I'll buy and pre-order single issues to use as back-ups, but I prefer TPB. Easier to store, usually packed with extra concept art or cover variants and words from a person or two who works on the series.

    As I don't like/can't stand to look at the computer for long lengths of time, and enjoy looking at the artwork anyway, I need something more tangible. I'm not too concerned with keeping up on a series. I'll support it when I can, and do my best to do just that, but I'm not at all opposed to tracking down single issues or TPB when needed to complete a series or collection.


    • #4
      I guess I should have mentioned digital media somewhere in my first post but I too prefer good ol' read in my hands, on paper, comic books.

      I have the 40 years of X-Men on CD ROM just to reach back and reference but I still treasure my first appearance of Gambit.
      “Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.” ~Bertrand Russell


      • #5
        Well I've been born and raised on single issue comics as I've always had a comic book store within a fair travel distance and since at one time or another. I was such a consistent patron, the owners of said stores would always add incentives such as discounts and exclusive items with my purchases. Plus the access to back issues was probably one of the greatest things about visiting each and every shop I went to. Now in this day and age it's very rare to find a store with an extensive back issue catalog. And now with the prices some of these books command at times; some stories or series I actually now wait for the trade as I may not or don't have a deep vested interest in continuing once that story is over. And with some online retailers out there, you can now get trades for fair discounted prices.

        Well back to the topic at hand I still collect individual issues of my all time favorite books and mix it up here and there with others.

        As an independent / small press publisher; trade format has been chosen to distribute the story my business partner and I work on for the simple fact of cost. We are relatively unknowns in a pretty saturated industry and market and the cost to produce a individual comic can cost with NO guarantee of a profit, let alone a sale; or for a better term, a continuous and consistent sale. With the production price of a trade, it is slightly more BUT it also sells you a complete arc or self contained story which doesn't require you to continue purchasing should you feel the story isn't for you. And yet if you do enjoy or are interested in where the story and concept are going, you can always continue with the next trade as we rigorously continue on in telling the story we want to tell.

        As traditionalists, we do prefer product in hand although the exploration of digital format has been explored, yet we are gradually taking these steps one day at a time.

        (NOTE: I should also add that the concept of trades was actually devised by major publishers in order t get their product sold in stores like Barnes & Nobles because comics were rejected by such chains and couldn't get into the door despite the fact they were a very healthy product. Although you did have Graphic Novels which were self contained stories, it wasn't enough to get that door to open any wider which is why publishers like Marvel began decreeing to writers that they had to write story arcs which could run from 1-6 issues in which they would be collected and presented to big book chains in a trade format. The one thing I feel this failed comics in is those the long epic saga stories suffered as writers felt it created to many pauses in their ideas, though it worked for some who could easily hop out of a book and take the better paying gig. Just my two cents)

        Last edited by Nemisythe; 03-11-2015, 06:21 AM.


        • #6
          Paperbacks all the way...
          Since I was a kid this was my usual preferred reading format. However, I'm currently collecting the single format of the new He-Man and MOTU comics to keep or to sell one day, and I also buy them digitally on my iPad simply because they look a lot nicer and brighter that way.


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