Thursday 30 May 2013

Why I've moved to trade paperbacks instead of single issues

Around a year ago I began an experiment in my comic buying habits. I decided that I was spending far too much on books that weren't always hitting the mark for me, so I decided to firstly slash down the number of titles I was reading and then change to purely digital where possible.

Digital comics have served me well over the past year and I've definitely saved a lot of money, especially with the Marvel Unlimited subscription, which allows me to read full story arcs for next to nothing. I was still getting about 6 or 7 titles a month, including a couple of Marvels, but the cost was far, far lower.

However, while I like digital, I do realise that there can be a few problems with it - the main one for me being that it's very transient. It's saved on a cloud and not easy to give to a friend to borrow, and it also presents a problem in the future when a company like Comixology may tank and leave people with no comics.

I've also realised that I don't need to keep up to date with stories. I don't go on forums and I only talk about a couple of titles with a couple of my friends - it's really no big deal if I don't follow the latest event (Ultron who?) because I tend to read at my own pace.

This led me to conclude that I could just as well buy trade paperback or hardcovers instead. Trades cost far less than you would pay for the single issues they consist of and I can actually hand them out to my friends. Also, if Comixology dies, then my comics don't.

Furthermore, I've found that I much prefer reading through an entire story arc in a couple of sittings rather than waiting six months for it to end, which can completely throw the plot off if you have a memory a bad as mine.

Right now I'm in the process of tying up single issue story arcs with my current pull list. It's going to be weird not getting singles every week, but I'll make up for it by reading new additions to Marvel Unlimited.

So I guess I'm a trade guy now, which means I need to make some space on my bookshelf.


  1. I did the same thing a few years back. Sold all my older books and bought trades.

    The Dark Horse Omnis are amazing. They have a series reprinting the entirety of the old Conan monthly, savage Sword, and the old Marvel Star Wars, in color no less with no Hubba Bubba and Lone Ranger playset adds.. There really was no reason to keep the old boxes around anymore.

    I also have been building up my Judge Dredd, Saline, and Rogue Trooper 2000 AD collections.

    Digital is an awful reading experience for me, even on a ipad with apps.

  2. That is my tactic too. The only time I buy single issues is when I want to support the writer/artist.

  3. I don't care for digital reading, but I do like TPBs. They're a great bargain & I can read the entire (most of it anyway, minus the tie-ins) story.

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