"Hello. Hellow. Heelloow!" That was my Jim Carey impression (If you know where that is from... You win!). Welcome to Comic Vine's "Roundtable User Discussion" First timers listen up 'cause I'm going to explain how this works. A couple of CV users, like yourselves, virtually met up to talk comic books and comic-related topics. That conversation has been posted here for you guys to see, read and enjoy. After you read our conversation be sure to comment below where you can submit your own opinions after reading ours. Also, be sure to go back and read the comic book-related discussions we had in the past. (Here).
Disclaimer: This Roundtable was done Wednesday March 30th.
On with the introductions. I an Geo aka. sora_thekey and I am accompanied by three awesome CV users today. Returning to the roundtable is The Dark Huntress, and for the first time please welcome the Mod you all love Icarusflies. Say hello!
The Dark Huntress: Dark Huntress here, fresh off of reading some new comics.
Icarusflies: Seriously, how long does a Green Lantern Guinea Pig have to wait to get in on one of these things? Is this revenge for nomming one of Sora's drawings? Anyway, I'm Icarusflies (accompanied by Green Lantern Clementine), and I am ready to EXPRESS SOME OPINIONS!
Welcome you two! I hope everything is well but as much as I would like to talk about the weather and work I think we should talk comics!
What have you guys been reading? This includes comic books, digital comics, motion comics or webcomics!
The Dark Huntress: Just read the first half of the Brightest Day trade, Wonder Woman 601-602, the first few Birds of Prey issues and What If? Astonishing X-Men. I still have a large pile of stuff I need to read, though. I splurged the other day.
Icarusflies: Let me think…
Scott Pilgrim, Sweet Tooth, iZombie, Invincible, Guarding the Globe, Irredeemable, Incorruptible, Batman, Batman: Streets of Gotham, Batgirl, Birds of Prey, Detective Comics, the Flash, Doom Patrol, R.E.B.E.L.S., Action Comics, Red Robin, Batman and Robin, Batman Incorporated, Booster Gold, Justice League: Generation Lost, Brightest Day, Teen Titans, Superboy, and possibly some other stuff I can't remember.
Also, Dr. McNinja, Hanna is not a Boys Name, Hyperbole and a Half, Looking for Group, String Theory, The Punchline is Machismo, A Petty Nuzlocke Challenge, Doctor Cat, Rare Candy Treatment, Boxer Hockey, Buttersafe, Gutters, Hark! A Vagrant, Ctrl-Alt-Delete, Let's be Friends Again, xkcd, and Romantically Apocalyptic.
The Dark Huntress: O___O I thought I read a lot. That's...how do you even find time to read all of that? I have about four or five series that I buy individual issues for and everything else I wait for trades.
Icarusflies: I'm Icarusflies. If I want to find time to read all those comics, I FIND TIME TO READ ALL THOSE COMICS!
Actually, I go to the store right after school and tend to read until dinner, unless I have a lot of homework.
The Dark Huntress: Sounds like a fantastic system.
Whoa! You two have been busy! As for me I just finished reading the first Invincible trade, which made me wonder why the heck I had not read that book before, and I am currently reading the X-Men: Children of the Atom TPB. Also comic book related, I just finished my Wonder Con trip arrangements. So San Fran, here I come!
Icarusflies: Going to Wonder Con? Neat! and yeah, Invincible is pretty great.
The Dark Huntress: I've been meaning to pick up Invincible. Heard awesome things about it.
I love the trades. I don't follow a lot of the indy books so I just buy the trades. That's how I am currently reading Fables, Umbrella Academy and Morning Glories.
Icarusflies: YEAH UMBRELLA ACADEMY!!! WOOO!!!
The Dark Huntress: I'm working on collecting trades for a lot of things right now. My previous wasn't a full listing.
Well, let me just say Courtney that you just brought up the perfect segue to our conversation for today: Individual Issues vs Trades.
The Dark Huntress: What can I say, I'm amazing like that ;) Was also hoping for this discussion to come up during one of my turns.
Awesome, then I'm glad it coincided!
Icarusflies: When I can get them, I prefer trades. They're more durable, easier to travel with, and often have nice extras. My favorites are the slightly older trades (1990-2004) which tend to be around 300 pages of content for $14…sadly, most of these have gone out of print.
Modern trades are smaller (usually collecting 4-6 issues), and considerably more expensive at $20+. Hardcovers are even more. At three dollars a comic, it's sometimes cheaper to get the issues then the collections.
Also, I'm not the type of person who can wait several months to find out what happened in a story, so I get issues rather than trades. If I get a chance I'll pick up some trades of an older series. At the moment I'm catching up on Lucifer and Invincible.
So, Icarus? Does this mean you favor individual issues over trades?
Icarusflies: Short term, I prefer issues. Long term, I prefer trades.
What about you Huntress?
The Dark Huntress: I'm with Icarus. Short-term singular issues, long-term trades.
For me it's trades for the vast majority of things. It's how I started reading comics. I did some research, saw things and characters that piqued my interest and starting buying trades that features those runs or those characters. I used to go on these splurges and buy ten-fifteen of them at once. I probably have over 200 at this point. I do my best to collect entire runs/volumes for the sake of continuity.
For me and for people in general, I think that trades are a better deal.
- They cost less than it would be to purchase every issue singularly
- Depending on if it's hardcover/deluxe or not they're generally a larger size than the singular issue and allow for better focus to details that you sometimes miss
- You sometimes get bonus material like sketches or interviews
- You don't have to deal with annoying advertisements breaking the flow
- They are much more durable and easy to store. You don't have to worry about bagging and boarding, you can just put them on your bookshelf
- You can read an entire arc in one sitting which, in my opinion, makes for a much more enjoyable reading experience
On the other hand, there are downsides (some of which are why I do read a few series as singular issues now)
- You have to sometimes wait for months for the trade to be published and being a part of Comic Vine and avoiding spoilers is a very tricky game.
- If you've never read something before and buy the trade and then find out you hate it...well that's never fun and money down the drain. Which is why I'll buy an issue or two if I'm wary of something before purchasing the trade.
Icarusflies: I also prefer softcover to hardcover books. Just throwing that out there.
We will get to the hardcover/softcover part of the conversation later, Icarus. I just want to talk a bit about some of the upsides of individual issue over trades.
Icarusflies: What?! I was on-topic, even if it was for a later part of the conversation? My bad.
Well, you two make good points, waiting for trades can be a pain but if you do, being in a community like this one, it's really hard to be following the stories without spoilers.
I think that I favor trades myself because it's cheaper and you get the complete story. The sad part is that if a series doesn't do well when being sold in individual issues format then the series is canceled. Leaving the people who only buy trades with no continuation, just because they didn't buy the individual issues. What do you guys think of this.
Icarusflies: Yeah, that is a problem. Especially since the percentage of people who JUST buy trades is rising, and a series can end up being a smash-hit after it's cancelled.
The Dark Huntress: It's not too hard to go online and find the singular issues to complete your collection, though. I know that xerox-kitty buys a bunch of back issues on ebay. I myself use Amazon.com for buying up back issues and issues of cancelled series.
When I started reading comics I began with Ultimate Spider-Man #99. So I literally went on a searching spree to catch up on all back issues of the series. I bought 1-98 in under two years completing my collection. Then I decided to buy the trades cause they were cheaper... I am on volume 2
Icarusflies: I sometimes buy trades on Amazon, never individual issues. Used ebay a few times, but I'm not a fan of bidding for things. Last thing I bought on that site was a Ouija board...
The Dark Huntress: LOL. A Ouija bard? How did that turn out?
Icarusflies: Fantastically! It was a prop for my Séance costume (UMBRELLA ACADEMY FTW!!).
The Dark Huntress: I'm a Barnes and Noble member, they have fantastic prices and free expedited shipping for members. I'll use Amazon if there's more than a two dollar difference on something. I've only had one or two bad experiences there and they were handled quite quickly. Ebay I haven't fully explored, but I'm not a huge fan on bidding for things, either.
Icarusflies: I've sometimes found that Barnes and Noble doesn't have the stuff I'm looking for. I was looking for an Impulse trade and it wasn't in their database.
Amazon is nice since my dad has Amazon Prime, which allows free 2-day shipping/discounts on most books.
The Dark Huntress: When I first started with B&N I was buying their used stuff. I turned to Amazon when I found that the price of their used stuff (of the same or better quality) was far better than the stuff on B&N and they had a larger selection.
I actually window shop a lot on Amazon but I end buying a lot of stuff on B&N. (When it comes to Manga) I like the way you worded my point Icarus. A series can become a smash hit after it is turned into a trade. I am guessing that mini series are more popular in trade form then.
Icarusflies: I'm not completely sure, but I would assume so. OGNs and ongoings (such as Batman) are often the main things on the shelves at bookstores.
Specialty shops (E.G, LCBS) are less frequented by the 'trade' audience.
The Dark Huntress: Mini-series are really popular in trade form. I think it just makes more sense to buy them that way unless there's no other option or you simply can't wait.
What about books that only come out in trade form? The only ones that come to mind right now are Superman: Earth One and Tom Pinchuk's Unimaginable. Do you guys thing this works better? They would have been released in trade form eventually, is it better to just publish them as trades?
The Dark Huntress: I think that it can work well with mini-series and limited runs.
Icarusflies: I think IF a story can be told in an OGN rather than a series, by all means that's great! The thing is, it really CANNOT be canon or people will get confused. My only problem with it is that I just don't have the money to pick up trades very often, so I haven't been able to read Earth One. And my library is horrible, they don't have it.
Although, if you think about it, trades are cheaper than actual individual issues. If an issue is around $3-4 and a trade has 7-9 issues, buying the individual issues saves you a couple of bucks
Side note: Earth One is amazing!!!
The Dark Huntress: Still haven't read it.
Icarusflies: But trades are currently more like 4-6 issues, and a DC issue is only $3….so a four issue trade is cheaper to buy in individual issue form.
The Dark Huntress: Not everybody wants to wait for the trades, though. Which I totally sympathize with.
What about hardcovers? They are more expensive but they usually contain more (Now Icarus!)
Icarusflies: Now? Okay! ONE TWO THREE FOUR! NANANANANANANANANANANANANANANANA BATMAN!!!!...
Oh wait, that isn't what you meant.
Regarding hardcovers, I find them harder to read (just harder to hold them), they are REALLY expensive, and while they have extras, so do the softcovers. Softcovers are less expensive, easier to read, and while they may be slightly less durable they don't have that annoying cover that slips off. They're also easier to travel with (being lighter), and that makes them better to have at conventions when you have to lug them around all day.
The Dark Huntress: I'm not a fan of the hardcovers. I'll buy them if it's something that I desperately want to read because it's generally what's published first, but I prefer the softcovers. Less costly, easier to read and you don't have to worry about the cover. Not to mention the cracking of the spine. I also enjoy reading in bed and hardcovers are hard to hold while doing that....I've dropped them on my face before.
Ow... I just pictured that!
Now that I think about it, I own almost no hardcovers. I guess I agree with you two on that end. Like I mentioned before, I like trades for indy books but I don't think I could read Spider-Man or Ultimate Spider-Man on a trade. I like my plastic cover bag on the individual issue. Do you guys have a series that you just HAVE to have in individual issue form?
Icarusflies: Oh, definitely. The Flash, Doom Patrol, anything with any of my favorite characters. There's no way I could wait for the trades to come out.
The Dark Huntress: I've been buying Birds of Prey in individual issue form (still only on issue five, though). I've also been buying Wonder Woman in individual issues while I'm getting a feel for it. I refuse to buy Uncanny in individual issues when I can wait for the trades. I won't be supporting Uncanny in individual issues until they replace the creative team on the book. I've been picking up Age of X in individual issues as well (I still haven't read Chapter 4, though).
I haven't read Age of X Chapter 3....
The Dark Huntress: It's sooooooooooo good. You saw me and Gambler gushing over it last time.
So, Huntress already kind of answered this question but what is the series you HAVE to have in trade form?
The Dark Huntress: Supergirl, X-Factor, Outsiders, Uncanny X-Men, Legacy, Justice League of America, Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps, Secret Six, Batman. Those are all the ones off the top of my head. There are a few others that I've been meaning to look into, as well.
Icarusflies: UMBRELLA ACADEMY! Had to have it.
Also, Geoff Johns FIRST run on the Flash, some of the older Batman titles, Sandman.
Earlier stuff mostly. Rarely 'modern' stuff.
A lot of great series! For me it's Fables, I just really like the fact that the 2nd generation fairy tales' stories are contained in a book. Kind of like the Fairy tale books from when I was younger.
The Dark Huntress: Another series I've been meaning to check out.
Now, although we love trades the only way to support series is by buying individual issues. Right?
Icarusflies: Agreed. And get everyone you know to buy the issues. (*cough* UMBRELLA ACADEMY *cough*)
The Dark Huntress: I agree to a certain degree. Icarus, is that the one that Gerard Way does?
Icarusflies: Yes. It is. And I read the comics BEFORE I heard any of his music, it is genuinely fantastic in it's own right. My favorite series actually.
The Dark Huntress: So your opinion's based off of the merits of the comic as opposed to a love of his music? Awesome. ^_^ I will definitely have to add that to my list of stuff to read.
Icarusflies: Yes, it is! I later became an MCR fan, but that was LATER. And YESSS!! One more recruit!…Why am I not getting a commission on the sales of that book yet? :P
So it's clear we are not endorsing the buying of trades only. Buy the issues! I do still like the option though.
If you could only either buy individual issues or trades, what would you choose?
Icarusflies: I'd actually go with trades. Not all trades can be found in issues (due to price), but most arcs can be found in trades. With exceptions, but I think I can live with that.
The Dark Huntress: Again, I'm with Icarus on this one. Basically everything I read is also published in trades and if that was my only option I wouldn't mind making the complete switch, as it's how I started off in the first place.
Icarusflies: Plus, ComicVine's always around if I need spoilers. >_>
The Dark Huntress: That's not always a good thing.
Well, I am going to agree with you two on this one. Plus trades are easily store in bookshelves opposed to issues!
Well, that's everything we've got to say about this. This is to the readers: What do you guys think, individual issues or trades?
Time to say good bye. Thank you two for accompanying me for this discussion!
Icarusflies: Bye all! And remember:
Hide yo lettuce, hide yo carrots, because the Green Lantern Guinea Pig is creeping in your refrigerators, hiding in yo cabinets, and nomming everything 'round here.
The Dark Huntress: Oh my god. I'm laughing too hard to come up with a good outro.
Hahahahaha.. I'm Ge-- hahaha --also known a-- hahaha --thekey-- Oh I can't even...!
-- Geo (sora_thekey) 24/7 geek! -- Follow me on Twitter: @sora_thekey