WarChild and the Dark Huntress both asked me if it’s better to collect trades or singles on the thread I set up. If any of you maniacs have a comics-related question you want me to answer here, ask it there and I’ll get around to it.
I prefer to call individual comics "singles" because it’s kind-of equatable to music (“pamphlets” always sounded a little belittling and “monthlies” sounds like something you need to shop at CVS to take care of.) Anyway, this seems to be the way the wind is blowing with entertainment, in general. Swap the relevant nouns and the discussion’s basically the same as the one Rorie tackled a few weeks ago on Screened about whether it’s better to watch a TV show week-to-week or “marathon it” once the seasonal box set comes out. People opting out of watching a movie in theaters because they’re planning to get the DVD would be the same deal, too. == TEASER ==
As a reader, you face trade-offs with both. If you get the singles, you get the great community experience of debating how a story’s going to develop with friends. It's just a lot of fun to speculate on how a cliffhanger's going to play out for a month. Then again, it can get kind of tiresome to get a story in chopped-up morsels when you already know you want the whole thing. If you only get trades, you're going to get everything in a tight, slick package, but you're going to have to cover your eyes and ears for months to avoid the spoilers as the singles-readers chat the book up in the meantime. There's also the thorny issue of the publisher possibly not collecting a trade if the singles' sales are low.
On my end, HYBRID BASTARDS! was serialized originally, but it made much more of an impression as a hardcover collection. The content was the same, but the package made it seem more respectable to people (and much of that had to do with Archaia's super slick presentation.) My next comic, UNIMAGINABLE, was designed to be a three issue mini-series, but Arcana’s opted to release it all at once next month as OGN - - and it’s a choice I agree with. Readers will get the complete story in one go - - in a concentrated shot - - instead of it being needlessly spread-out.As a creator, I've yet to write a comic specifically designed to be an OGN yet. My only concern is that, once you soften space constraints, you might be less disciplined about keeping the comic tight and concise. However, I do think there's a tremendous benefit to treating the story holistically and getting to revise it before it's released (instead of being stuck to what you did in each part while you were meeting deadlines.)