I've made the conscious decision to stick with trade paperbacks since my untimely return to the wonderful world of comic books.You know what partner? I'm not even sure of MY strategy when it comes to flops vs. TPs vs. HCs. Let me organize my thoughts like this:
Unfortunately, the problem with this is that I have to wait for specific books(ie. Invincible, TWD and Goon). The up side is that I'm able to go nuts with previous arcs and runs(particularly in reference to Vertigo, Wildstorm and other more Indy books) without feeling guilt. Plus, I save quite a bit of cash considering that single issues down in OZ can reach up to $7.00 AU a book. I'd like to hear your thoughts on the topic of TPB vs. Floppy, Zilla.
- Great for comics that are digestible in chunks, and where it's easy enough to remember what happened last issue (TWD, Invincible, Powers).
- Generally flops are the easiest to handle and read IMO... it's nice to be able to open them completely flat (on a table, lap or in the air while you're on your back in the 'ole comfy hammock). No issues having to maneuver the book to weird angles to read that dialogue bubble or admire art half hidden by the TP or HC binding.
- Maybe the best (and most obvious) part about flops is... No wait! For comics i'm dying to read shortly after they hit the stands (Des Jones, All-Star Superman, Goon, etc.).
- I also buy flops of anything i want to "try". I've def been known to buy a few flops of something then just quit the monthlies all together while i go back and read through all the trades first (100 Bullets). Another good example here is #1s.
- There are def some comics that i just can't digest issue by issue. Sometimes they come out too infrequently or they just don't read well in bits and pieces because there are too many details from the last issue i can't remember (100 Bullets, Y the Last Man, etc.).
- Lastly, there are some comics that i just read and enjoy month-to-month but have no real desire to collect and/or put on the shelf for re-reading later. I def buy these as flops (New Avengers, Captain America, Daredevil, X-Force, Astonishing X-Men, Exterminators, Fear Agent). Not to take away from any of these titles, they're solid or i wouldn't be reading them but i prob won't reread them and/or shelve them.
- TPs are GREAT for catching up (esp for guys like us that were away a while). Once i get hooked on a comic, i'm well known to either A) suspend the monthlies until i'm caught up by the TPs (100 Bullets, Y the Last Man), or B) Keep reading the monthlies for a reason or another described above (in my "flops thoughts"), and at the same time catch up on the back-story via trades (Powers, Goon, Brubaker's Daredevil and Captain America, Savage Dragon).
There are some comics (100 Bullets) that i'm all caught up with, and def enjoy, but have decided to read only by trade...
- I know it's a total waste of money in some people's minds but i'll also buy the TP of anything i REALLY dug (my favorite titles or great mini's, etc.) - even if i've already bought and read all the flops. Ugh. There's something really cool about re-reading a great arc or mini in a sitting or two when the TP comes out (then shelving it for future re-reading pleasure). Silent Dragon, Surrogates, Revelations, Powers, TWD, Ferro City, and Ex-Machina come to mind.
I'm going to try and start selling the flop runs of TPs i buy on eBay but haven't gotten there yet (to make myself feel better about buying stuff twice). At the end of the day though i don't really mind... if a writer/artist combo put out something i love THAT much, i don't mind giving them my money.
- TPs are uber-portable. You don't have to worry (as much) about them getting banged up when you travel w/ them (like a flop would), and you can grab a start-to-finish read off the shelf pretty easily and plop down and power through it in an hour or two.
- The biggest negative for TPs is the wait for current stuff... Once you're caught up with something and have decided to read just by TP... damn it can be a year between releases. Understandable, but still crap.
- Lastly, i buy a lot of TPs of stuff simply because that's the only way it's available (Sandman, Preacher, Transmet, Maus, V for Vendetta, Batman this or that, and many, many other classics).
- I love me a huge, thick Absolute or Omnibus. HCs are reserved for when i REALLY, REALLY dig something and want to immortalize it for re-reading and re-reading, and well... just admiring on the shelf at times given the royal treatment (TWD V1, Invincible V1, Alias Omnibus, Absolute Hush, Absolute League of Extraordinary Gentlemen V1, Powers V1, and the Goon HC).
- HCs are def the most difficult of all formats to handle, but i struggle through (esp difficult since i do most of my comic reading on my back). Ah well. They are gorgeous though.
- Though i'm not good at selling my flop runs when i buy a trade of something, i AM good at selling my trades when i buy the HC. Usually you can turn these around for a good chunk of what you pay for the biggun HC so that's a plus.