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Trades vs Issues


The NZA
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OK, here's the rundown.

Individual issues:

+Great for collecting.  Also feature contemporary things (read an old Marvel book & it has ads for "Return of the Jedi: Coming to a theatre near you", etc), but more importantly, the letters section can often feature the writers or artists' comments, as well as pin-ups & sketchs sometimes.

-Only show up every 30 days or so, and often hard to find if not the current issue.  In addition, jump on a hot series like Ultimate Spider-Man only a few months into it, and you could be payin out the ass.

 

Trade paperbacks:

+Easier to read, no messing with bags & boards.  The story itself will ususally have a beginning & ending within the trade, and i personally like the forwards when theyre by cool people (ie, Frank Miller & Alan Moore do many forwards). Recently, theyve also been known to include alternate covers, extra artwork/sketches, etc.

Preferred largely by "Vertigo people", serious fans of series' like Sandman also enjoy the hardback format some trades will get, makin it look more prestigous as well.

-Sometimes overpriced & more expensive than the damn issues, nevermind that the storyline is possibly spoiled by the time you get your hands on it (i.e., Origin is lookin to be a badass trade, but i doubt many will read it without knowin who Wolverine is already).  

Besides, you know you want the issues....

 

Myself, an avid collector, i of course vote for the individual issues.  While trades are great for re-reading & lending out, i guess im too much a fanboy to wait till the trades come out, so i opt to torture myself at 30-day intervals.

But in defense of trades, the extras can be pretty nice: i recall Jumbie's hardcover Kingdom Come featured supplemental material, includin a significant addition to the series' ending ( ! ).

So, where do the rest of ya stand?

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individual issues are for fanboys.

 

Once the trade doesn't skip anything I prefer it. Some trades do omit material, so I dont consider them. but most trades have hard to find material.

 

Not having the ads and letters doesn't bother me. I'll pick up enough individual comics in any case to get that, since not everytihng makes it into trade format

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individual issues are for fanboys.

 

...you're so right.  I can't wait to grow up like you kids...hey, in the meantime, can I have your non-trade paperback (TPB henceforth) comics?

:cowboy:'s gonna get some new boxes of Batman. :D

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You know where I stand, it's trades all the way.  Unless it's some monumental thing that I don't want spoiled for myself (origin... that goddamned pic is everywhere!!!  It's like on every page of every issue of wizard! )  I'll wait for the trade.  Then again, it's easy for me to say, I haven't read a comic in a long while, and I just went to megacon, picked up a billion half priced trades and got into reading em again... after I finish playing catch up I'll see if I stick with the trades.  One thing about the issues I think is overlooked a bit is the pacing... comics are paced so that each issue has it's own beginning, middle and end.  While reading trades I saw that some issues meant to be cliffhangers weren't.  Granted, that's really being anal, but it's a bit of a fun thing about issues.  For now, I think I'll stick to trades.

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no messing with bags & boards

You ARE a fanboy Nick!! Bags and boards?!! HA HA HA HA HA, Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha, ha ha ha ha ha, heh hehhaach heh hoh!!

 

Don't really care which I get, trades are easier to read but I'm pretty impatient so I still get singles as well. Easier to drop poor titles with singles too.

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You ARE a fanboy Nick!! Bags and boards?!!

 

Argh. :angry: Gave m'self away....ok KOS, you called down the thuder of dorkdom, well now you got it!

Yeah, 9 longboxes damn near filled (except for the "Inbox" section, natch), and each comic is bagged & boarded, filled under labeled dividers for each damn seires, and the best part?  Each fuckin longbox is covered in comic images/posters taken from Wizard & other such places.  That's right, each box, individually faggotted up accordin to its contents.  hell, if i run outta room on the box for sketches/designs i like, i just put em on the dividers themselves, where no one but my sick ass will see em.  

..there, i got it out, i feel a lot better.  Id go on bout how i just love the medium as a visual art blah blah blah but im afriad you didnt truly capture the level o' dork you was dealin with, my friend.  :D :monkey: :D

 

 

....right, so, uh. back to the issue at hand....yeah, i imagine pickin up a trade to a crap series must suck; thats kinda why i was askin which other books were good before i went out & got the trades.

 

P.S. I have the complete fuckin run on Wolverine, thats right, all 175 or so issues, includin min-series, one shots, annuals, 1/2, kitchen tips, Wolvy stubs his toe # 1, etc. How do ya like dem apples?

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Exactly, the letters in Preacher's a good example.

As for Hitman...is it me, or are they draggin their feet on those trades?  Last one i saw was "Who Dares Wins", and that's bout the halfway mark of the series...twas a great book, but its been over for at least a year now, im wonderin why the trades are takin so long....

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

That sucks, sorry to hear that.

Im actually comin round to trades, now that Marvel's churnin em out at fair prices.  Not to mention my Batman: The Dark Knight Returns slipcase just came in... :D

Extra sketches, notes from the writer/artist, even alternate ending at times - nevermind theyre easier to read.  I'm startin to agree with Ellis, they do feel like the next evolved step of comics at times.  

Dont get me wrong, i love my collection, but it'd be a bitch to keep em on a bookshelf.

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I think that if comic books are ever going to be accepted into the normal order of things, it's going to be in trade form.  They do have a few comics at barne's an noble and such, and I do mean a few, like 3-5 in total, and they are all obviously trades.  I also prefer trades because not all of the issues are good!  Putting these out on a subscription based regular basis means that sometimes whether they have a good story or not, they have to put out a book (this basically applies to established characters, like "oh shit, we need a punisher issue this week!  Shit, we have no ideas.... um.... lets have him go back in time and fight al capone")  Putting stuff out on a regular basis works fine for stuff like preacher, a pre-thought-out story that has an end.  But with characters that are established and MUST have an issue out by the end of the month, you know that half the time they're just putting shit out because they have to.  In the future, I would say that just about all of the good issues of a particular series will be in trade format, while the filler issues dissapear and become collector's items.  Trades are definately the future... if you want to get someone to try comic books, what do you do?  Tell them to buy a couple of trades, or tell them to subscribe to something?

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Guest Yahve
individual issues are for fanboys.

 

Yea, but without fanboys, trades for lazy folks like me would never come to be.

 

Individual issues also have those cool cliffhangers.

 

Best solution:  Subscribe to the individual magazines!  Read 'em as they come in the mail, when your done with them you can either sell htem to fanboys :D or swap them for a lower priced trade so someone else can make a buck through ebay. :wasasbi:

 

or I can leech off of the kind heart of my local fanboy and dear friend.  IrishCowboy.

 

ps.  Is origin here yet?!?!? I mean its been 2 weeks three times now.  I ain't paying good money to get this comic read so lets see if we can get a few email sent and tell them to pick up the pace here  :D

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I say take your time with a high quality product, just get it out there eventually, not like Scud the Disposable Assasin or even worse Battle Chasers.

And hey dammit you dont buy shit! Same as bacchus and the other folk round here...i dont mind moochin offa my books, hell i encourage it but support a dyin industry!  :plain:

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  • 2 months later...

For those interested, Comic Book Resources.com did a recent interview with Brian Micheal Bendis (Ultimate Spider-Man, Powers, Daredevil, Alias , numerous others) on this very issue, here's a link & some exerts.

 

TPB or not to be Benids talks graphic novels vs monthlies?

 

"If someone tells me they're dropping 'Ultimate Spider-Man' from their monthly buying list to get it in trade paperback format, fine, as long as you're buying it, I don't care. Hell, if you're reading it for free online, I don't mind- as long as you're enjoying it somehow! I'm not going to tell people how to enjoy their comics- I just want people to enjoy them in whatever way works for them. But then we have they people who wanna crap on the other people who don't agree with them just because they feel they're right. I mean, if you wanna create original graphic novels, go ahead, that's great!

 

"But it's funny when people make a decision and want to crap on other people's decisions, which is really another discussion about human nature and not about comic books."

 

As he said before, Bendis is a fan of both the monthly comic book and the trade paperback, so he sees the value in both formats. "The plus side of the monthlies side is the quick fix- it's hard to resist that new adventure every 30 days. As a creator, it's great for my ego too- I love when I hear fans say how they promised to wait for the trade of 'Powers' or something but then they saw the issue on the stands so they just had to buy it. It is the medium's oldest, other than comic strips, format of expression and there's something precious, delicate about the monthly that makes it very delicate to hold. Very intimate. When you're holding a trade, it's like holding a big book, but when you're holding a monthly it's like holding a little baby in your hands. Like I said before, there's the art of the cliffhanger- I love that feeling of 'ahhh, what's going to happen next?' but I find it funny that it makes some people angry with cliffhangers in our instant gratification society. Another bonus that people often forget is the letter columns, a dying art form in comics, something we take very sincerely in 'Powers' and something that really epitomizes the dual experience of reading the monthly along with the trade. Reading 'Powers' as a monthly is a different experience from reading it as a collection, and with the extras, you get to choose which kind you get.

 

"Now when it comes to the graphic novel, you have a lot of plus sides there too, don't get me wrong. You've got the knowledge that you have a complete story in your hands and it's been pre-tested by others so less of a gamble- you know a lot others love the material inside too. Plus there's the opportunity to get a lot of bonuses inside- and the collections look gorgeous on the bookshelf. I love those Marvel hardcovers! I'm a huge fan of DVDs especially the behind-the-scenes stuff, commentary, casting and all that, so I've tried to integrate that into the 'Powers' trade paperbacks. I've tried to make them 'double DVD box set trade paperbacks' if you will."

 

And finally, relating to my Come in Alone - on revamping the industry thread...

 

I know a kid in the neighborhood who puts all his allowance into buying these games at the store, so I don't think price is nearly as much of an issue as we think it is. I do think that graphic novels have crossover appeal particularly appeal to those who wouldn't walk into a comic store because they're more likely to pick it up from Borders or wherever if it looks like something that people wouldn't associate with comic books- it's all a bunch of snobbery, but it's true.

 

"Something like the 'Acme Novelty Library' or one of those oversized coffee books doesn't look like your traditional comic. For some reason it's very hard to get people to walk into comic book stores so having these graphic novels in bookstores can only help introduce people to medium. One story I like to tell is that the person who gave me my copy of 'Maus' was my Rabbi. I didn't know it existed. So on some level this graphic novel was able to get into the hands of this clergyman who had no bones about buying it whatsoever."

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's true, im wonderin if those Hellblazer trades are gonna make it out at all; them & the Hitman ones are way behind.

 

Anyway, just wanted to post Bendis' views to counter Ellis' pro-trades over in "Come In Alone", what do the rest of ya think?

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  • 2 weeks later...

No Ennis Hellblazer, or no NEW Ennis Hellblazer? You saw the "Dangerous Habits" trade, right? I just picked up the series a while ago, so about all I've had to read was the trades. And Hellblazer is NOTORIOUS for skipping around the series with trades.

 

I second the Hitman comment. I've been looking for the issues in between, but no luck. (While not a fanboy, I can't stand missing part of a story. 's why I usually get trades.)

 

-Your Local "When the hell did THAT happen?" Dirty Gypsy

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Ennis aint done Hellblazer since the 5 part "Son of Man" arc, was pretty cool. And no, i think the old Ennis Hellblazer stuff ends before "Rake at the gates of hell" final arc, which is annoyin as piss. Wasnt "Damnation's Flame" as far as it got?

Gypsy, lemme know which Hitman issues youre missin, maybe i can help find em - its a great series, shoulda got much more exposure. Too many write it off as a comedy/action only.

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My pick...? Issues! Whats better than walkin' into ya local comic book store and seein' that issue that you've been waitin' ta read for a month (unless of course u read image shit), cause of that perfectly exicuted cliffhanger ending the issue before!? Boys and girls, no better feelin' in the world! Then again trades are the shit, cause maybe I wasnt born in the 60s when the real origin of all my favorite heroes was bein' spawned out to the world like Spidey, FF, Cap, and whomever else! Read Marvel's trades of "The Essential..." anybody! Thats some quality shit! Even the Silver Surfer has got to of started somewhere! Bottom line is, no fanboy (ahem, Nick) should be without an extensive collection of either medium...!

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  • 3 months later...
  • 5 months later...

Some good points made here, 's a cool thread.

 

So, ive resolved to go the way of trades, all out. Which means im lookin to sell off almost any story arc available in a quality trade...Ebay shall soon see full run acutions of Ultimate Spider-Man & X-Men, Sandman, Transmetropolitan, even mini-series like Kingdom Come - any regular series that's been keepin up with its trades (Marvel's been great for this lately) or mini series with better hardback options & extra sketches & the like. My longboxes will slowly be replaced with bookcases. The reasons:

-Trades (especially hardback) preserve better than issues, even bagged & boarded like i keep em...there's chemicals in the bags that does damage over time, even im seein it.

-I really like people borrowin my books to read good arcs, and trades are obviously ideal for that.

-I find myself re-reading older arcs like i used to more when i have a trade, which all but invites the activity: a single story within, no couting issue #'s and such.

 

So im thinkin, ill keep pickin up issues on my core books, sell off the arcs on Ebay when a trade is released, etc. Issues never pritned in trades obviously dont go anywhere, and i can always keep the originals on favorites like Preacher. But if im truly in it for the stories, the art, the medium etc, the fanboy archiving has to evolve at some point i figure, or i slowly watch the long boxes of books read only once pile up while no one else wants to borrow & read em out of fear of damaging em, like its some small stock market or somethin, that's not what im in it for.

Just thought id share that, and by all means, if youre lookin for a min-series or full run on any books im known to have, lemme know or make a bid when theyre up.

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Trades for me. Why? Well, a couple reasons. One - I can't find a good comic shop very often, so I can't buy the issues every month. Instead I just wait for 'em to come out in one nice convenient easy-to-read package. Two - no frickin' ads! Jesus, the issues now are half ads. I've seen some that literally have an advertisement every other page. Bleh. And the extras are some nice stuff, too. As an artist, I like lookin' at the sketches and crap like that they sometimes include in the trades. By the way, you want some good extras in a trade? Go find the hardcover trade of Kevin Smith's "Guardian Devil" Daredevil run. It comes with a cd-rom that has sketches, scripts, and page-by-page audio commentary with Smith, Joe Quesada, and Jimmy Palmiotti! Now that's somethin' more comics need! Can you imagine an audio commentary for, oh...say...Preacher? Garth Ennis, Steve Dillon, and Glenn Fabry? That'd be some funny shit.

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Good advice...was thinkin of the Earth X trade just for that reason, but glad to hear the Gaurdian Devil one's the same, havta look that one up on Ebay...

As for the ad point...im assumin you mean the layout, right? Cause the overall average comic size (20-22 pages, i think) hasnt changed in years, far as i know, just the issues got heavier with more ads. And while were at it, it might be that i read too many books, but is it me or do we get the dumbest ads out there? Its like, if you failed marketing, do an ad in a comic, and make it just like the commerical you did between some nickelodeon cartoon.

But certainly if your shop sucks, trades'd be the way to go, too. I look forward to re-readin more of my shit & havin others borrow it more in the future as well.

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