The Trade Paperback wiki last edited by Darkside_of_the_Sun on 10/11/13 03:49AM
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Trade Paperbacks are collections of individual issues. Trade Paperbacks are generally referred to as simply a "trade" or abbreviated as a "TPB."
Depending on the print, a trade will either be a hardcover or a softcover, which refers simply to the thickness of the cover material. A hardcover (HC) will be thick, generally cost more money and are usually released before a softcover. A softcover (SC) will be thinner material and lower in price.
Larger collections are also called many other names, usually either an omnibus or compendium, and contain considerably more issues (at a considerably higher price). Be aware that some large collections may be more difficult to read based on their size but can be purchased at an overall lower price than if one was to buy all the smaller trades individually. Many large volumes are also reprinted in black and white, so there is that to consider as well.
A typical Marvel TPB will generally be around 5-6 comics in length and will all be from the same story arc. Some TPB include entire story arcs, such as "The Book of Ezekiel" from the Amazing Spiderman #503 - #508. Others however will require several TPBs such as Marvel's Civil War or House of M. Notable exceptions to TPBs of this size are DC Comics' early Superman and Batman Chronicles (The Superman ones are shown in the gallery). TPBs are excellent ways of starting comic book collections. They are also a cheaper way of getting many comics, or catching up on a whole series you may have missed. Some early Golden Age comics, such as the early issues Action Comics may only be available in TPB form, unless you're willing to pay a lot of money.