Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Do You Like It Soft Or Hard?

You god damn perverts. I'm talking about comic book trade paperbacks (or "trades").

I think that every collector has their own idiosyncrasies. One of mine is the preference for paperback trades. I always try to get the paperback version of any graphic novel or comic book collection. I hate how a hardcover trade mixed in with paperback trades looks on my shelf. Everything is aligned perfectly in a row, then this big behemoth tome disrupts the sense of order on the shelf.

I also prefer paperback trades because they cost significantly less than hardcovers. When I want to collect a series of story arcs, I usually only care about having the full story. Having a fancy looking book on the shelf doesn't do much for me. Therefore, the cheaper I can get it, the better it is.

Comic book publishers have also collected older, golden and silver age comics in paperback form, as seen with DC Comics' "Showcase Presents" series and Marvel's "Essential Marvel" series. Each volume is anywhere from 450-600 pages and can collect 20 to 30 comics. And they only cost up to 20 bucks! The downside is that the comics are usually not in color. At this point in my life, I'll sacrifice some color if it means getting more comics.

One of my pet peeves about hardcover trades is that they usually come with a dust jacket. What am I supposed to do with that? I take it off while I'm reading and try to find a place where it won't get torn or bent. That is a lot of pressure. I don't need that kind of stress in my life.

There are incentives to buying hardcover trades. They sometimes contain extra material that isn't published in the paperback version such as interviews, sketches, and extra comic book issues. Also, hardcover trades are released weeks/months before the paperback version. I don't know about you, but sometimes, I just can't wait that long. 

No matter how hard I try to maintain a nice and even paperback trade collection, I end up buying hardcover trades. You got me, consumerism! I'm a sucker.

It's not consumerism. I like stuff. I buy stuff so that I can have stuff. Having stuff makes me feel happy. If they make stuff look cool, I'm going to buy the stuff. I'm conscious of this, I accept this, and I love this.

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