TPB vs Single Issue "Floppies"

Discussion in 'Comic Books and Graphic Novels' started by Magnus' Mate, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. Magnus' Mate

    Magnus' Mate Well-Known Member

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    Yes, we've had the discussion in the past, but I can't find the thread and I want to gauge current responses.

    In the last 10-15 years, the rise of the comic Trade Paperback has been meteoric. Whereas previous to this, only special/landmark/creator-endorsed story runs would get collected in TPB (think Batman "Year One" or "Dark Knight Returns") now almost everything gets collected up, often almost as soon as the last single issue of the particular run gets printed.

    In the case of IDW and "Transformers", EVERY SINGLE issue is collected in TPB (then again in hardback collection).

    It's a fast turnaround, and one that can make a comic collector stop and think.

    Previously, there was no question: If you wanted the full run of a particular title, you COLLECTED that title. Nowadays, we have the choice - wait for the TPB or get the single issues?

    The question: Which do you do/prefer? (I appreciate some people just get BOTH, but as a man on a budget, I can't justify double-dipping!)

    I've flip-flopped a lot between the two approaches. Currently, I have the complete IDW series in TPB; I collect "Batman" and "Detective Comics" in single-issue form, as well as all sorts of other weird and wonderful titles mostly in TPB. I gave up on the TF Ongoing with #22 (selling the back issues) so am not caught up with Chaos/Police Action yet.

    The advantages of single issues:
    * You get the story as soon as it's released. You don't have to wait 6 month+ for the TPB.
    * You can join in on all the wacky conversations about the latest issue on this forum and others
    * You feel like you're actually "collecting", on a monthly basis. There's something about a comic collection that just appeals to the kid in me.

    The advantages of TPB:
    * They look and feel "nicer" - you're getting a worthy tome for the bookshelf. TPBs are so much easier to display and look great together; throw in hardback/deluxe editions and the whole thing looks classy.
    * Most stories nowadays (esp. Transformers) are written with the inevitable TPB in mind. As such, single issues often read like just a "chapter" of a larger story rather than a decent tale in their own right. So, by getting the TPB, you get to enjoy a decent story/block-run of issues - arguably enhancing the reading experience.
    * Generally (thanks to Amazon) TPB works out slightly cheaper than single issues (at least here in the UK).

    These are all "in my opinion", of course. Interested in others' thoughts, opinions and general discussion!
     
  2. Smasher

    Smasher HUNKY BEATS

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    Here in the past few years I've been TPB all the way.

    Another factor in the cost is gas to and from the comic book store.
    There just aren't any close to me.
    You also get supplemental material in TPBs -normally a cover gallery or more.
     
  3. Matty

    Matty @StayingInTheBox Moderator News Staff

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    I really prefer the TBP. It's much easier to read and be completely involved with the story where as with single issues I have to go back and re-read some issues to remember the story (I don't retain too much info :eek: ) With that being said, I'm a double dipper. I buy the single issues because I want to join in on those discussions and read the story first rather than wait 6+ months.
     
  4. DethPike

    DethPike Master of Sinanju

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    Ebay:
    Collecting for investment = get the singles.

    Collecting to read them and loan them to your nephew, etc = get the trades.
     
  5. dj_convoy II

    dj_convoy II Remix!

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    I buy trades of stuff I'm apt to reread many times, stuff that will likely read better as one unit, stuff I can't afford any other way, or stuff I want to support. For instance, I'll be buying LSoTW for the 3rd time when it comes in in hardcover.
     
  6. Star Saber

    Star Saber Cybertron 5th Commander

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    I buy trades for stories I consider must reads. The singles I use to test and support a run if I like em. Unfortunately, comic companies still use sngles as the measuring stick for whether or ot a title should be continued or not.
     
  7. Scantron

    Scantron Well-Known Member

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    I switched to only trade-waiting earlier this year, when it looked like the Big Two were going to $3.99-per-issue for everything. Even though DC backed off from that, I haven't looked back. I've even gone through and replaced all of the singles I could with TPBs. Reasons:

    - Economics - Trades are so much cheaper than singles, it's not even funny. To use a recent trade I got as an example, the War of the Green Lanterns hardcover collects 11 individual issues. Assume each of those issues is $3.00 (ignoring taxes and rounding up) and that would cost $33.00 for the run in floppies. The MSRP for the hardcover is $30, so that's already down to 1 issue for free or a price-per-issue of $2.73. But I got it from Amazon for ~$19, so that's a price-per-issue of about $1.73...and it would have been cheaper if I'd been patient enough to wait for the paperback. The math is similar, or better, for virtually every other TPB I've bought this year.

    - Reading enjoyment - I'm finding a lot of comics just read better in trades...and not just the decompressed stuff. For instance, I started out reading Walking Dead in trades, then tried switching to floppies. After one arc, I switched back to trades, since it just read better in larger chunks. I find the GL titles read much better as trades and I can't even imagine reading The Boys in 22-page chunks.

    - No ads.

    - TPBs are much easier to store - They sit nice and neatly on bookshelves and don't need special boxes, bags, backing boards, etc. It's also easier to find a volume I want to read, rather having to rifle through single issues, select the 5 - 7 issues I want to read, remove each issue from the bags, etc.

    - Despite being cheaper, trades often have extra bonus material that you don't get from the monthlies. Often it's just things like cover galleries and an intro paragraph, but occasionally they'll include extra content that adds to the story. In some cases, the extra content in the TPB is actually essential to the story, such as the DW TF/GI Joe miniseries, where the only way to see what the TFs actually looked like was the concept/design sketches included in the trade.

    - Waiting for the trades helps me screen things out and focus on what I really want to read - There might be some miniseries or event that I hear about and think that I'd really like to read it; if I were collecting singles, I'd normally just buy it right away. Collecting trades, I have to make a note of the series/arc/event and remember to pick up the TPB later. By the time the TPB actually comes out, I may have lost interest in the story and decide to skip it. Also, it allows me to gauge reviews and see whether the story is actually worth reading, if it starts out good and then falls apart, etc.

    - Avoiding spoilers while waiting for the trades keeps me out of the discussion threads - I do sometimes find myself wishing I wasn't 6 - 12 months to late to discuss a story in a trade I just read. But then I remember that most of the 'discussion' threads I've seen on new comic releases are mostly complaining, nitpicking, whining about how everything was so much better in the 70s/80s/90s/00s, filled with negative people who seemingly just buy comics to gripe about them, etc*. Then, the desire for discussion passes.

    *Not a knock against the comic forum here; the discussions are usually fairly good. But dedicated comic book message boards are terrible for this.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  8. Magnus' Mate

    Magnus' Mate Well-Known Member

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    Lots of good points there Scantron.
     
  9. Billzilla

    Billzilla Skeptic

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    I have always been a TPB type of guy. My first love in comics was Eastman and Laird's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I can't say I discovered them before they were on TV, but the TV show led me to discover where they came from. It was really early on, probably 87 or 88. Definitely no later than that.

    The violent, sometimes disturbing book really appealed to me. Also my last name is Laird. There aren't many famous people with my last name, so that was pretty cool. Anyway, my parents probably wouldn't have liked it if they'd known how different the comic had been from the show... though they were generally pretty lenient about that kinda stuff. Anyway, I digress.

    Because of the popularity of the TV show, the original issues were impossible to get, and expensive even if you could: far beyond the reach of my young wallet. The only way to get the old issues was to find the trades.. which were pretty cheap. That cemented in my head very early that trades were the way to go for people who were just interested in reading the story. This whole experience would later fuel my hatred of people in the 90s buying out comic stores and driving up the secondary price of comic books I wanted to read.

    Then my favorite comic of all time is Cerebus, which keeps its entire run in print all the time via trade paperbacks. Huge ones.

    I love huge books. They look great on a shelf. Single issues just get messed up or lost.

    If I had my ideal scenario, all publishing companies would keep their entire libraries in print digitally all the time and you could buy or pay a fee to access them at any time on whatever device you liked, including some kind of all you can eat package. I'd probably pay it. But then they'd also offer print copies on demand via mail order or through comic shops. That way you could own nice copies of things that are really important to you, but if you ever really want to read the first appearance of Cable just to see how that shit went down, you can. You don't have to go track down a copy of New Mutants 87, pay whatever ridiculous price they want for it, bring it home, read it, and be like "yep, that kind of sucked."

    I've given this a lot of thought.
     
  10. Mechafire

    Mechafire Veteran

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    I always go with the trades, unless I hear a single issue is just so good that I need to have it right away.
     
  11. Switch625

    Switch625 "Up, up, and away!"

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    Looks like I'm the odd man out. I'm still going with single issues and I will probably stay that way. I just like being able to read a new chapter on a regular basis and not have to wait for the collection. If something's awesome enough to get the TPB, I'll double dip, but I don't do that much. I do like DC's Absolute editions though.
     
  12. Macross7

    Macross7 Well-Known Member

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    I only get TF & GIjoe comics. I just get the issues. I want to be up to date & when I did look at trades, they were just as expensive as getting the issue. Plus my comic store has discounts on issues so that makes those cheaper for me.
     
  13. LXL_Guy

    LXL_Guy Well-Known Member

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    I'm a single issue kind of guy. Sure I hate trying to find room for more but, boy do I love picking up my comics weekly to thumb through. Afterwards go and discuss with others about the good and bad.

    I'll get trades only of stories I don't bother getting in single format. Sometimes this just mainly refers to Marvel.
     
  14. SouthtownKid

    SouthtownKid Headmaster

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    I don't buy single issues of anything anymore. It's an outdated, unsatisfying format at this point, imo. If writers are writing for the trade, it makes more sense to me to read it as a trade.

    Also, I like putting books on a bookshelf. I no longer get any pleasure from digging through long boxes, stacking and storing long boxes, putting comics in plastic bags, carefully filing, and all that mess. It was kind of fun when I was 12 and had one long box. It's no fun now when I have 15-20 of them and I have to pull them down and search through them when I want to find something I want to read. So much more pleasant to just walk over to a bookshelf and scan the spines for what I'm looking for.

    When I was 12, all the bagging and boxing was a hobby. Now, it feels like work.
     
  15. RKillian

    RKillian http://www.rktoyandhobby.com

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    I thought about this and was surprised to realize just how few comics I buy issue by issue. I've got a random issue or two of Slayers, but I haven't seen manga in anything but TPB for close to a decade now. More niche stuff like Nodwick and Dr McNinja, I don't know if they even print them in single issues. So really it comes down to a handful of comics, which aside from The New Tick I'd sooner drop than spend $20 on a TPB...
     
  16. LegendAntihero

    LegendAntihero Banned

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    I'm voting for trades because they sell better in the long run. If I want to read a story arc like Batman Hush, then I want the trade. Also, trades have extras and all the cover art without letters.
     
  17. Fairlady_Z

    Fairlady_Z Official Voice of Flareup

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    I'm in a switchover mode to trades too. After the end of today's issues I'll be completely switched over on everything. IDW's TF books were the last ones. The only exception I might make next year is for TF #81-100. I'm not sure I'll be able to resist the "must get right away" impulse on that one but otherwise, barring a simple issue that looks interesting or maybe a mimiseries, I'm going TPBs from here on out.
     
  18. RatTrap1985

    RatTrap1985 Under your rolls of fat

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    I have completely stopped reading marvel floppies and switched over to TPB. I've also stopped reading the majority of DC comics with the whole "new coke" fiasco.
    What this means is that I have really started enjoying trades that both companies make simply because they're cheaper than single issues.

    Although I've started picking up Image, Darkhorse and IDW floppies a lot more in recent months.
     

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