Friday, June 27, 2008

That's it! I GIVE UP!

First up: Hey, whaddaya know -- I had to reorder checks, and I found Green Lantern ones!

They're in a set with Supes, Bats, Wondy, and Barry (The Flash) Allen. Fun! ‘Course, they show only Hal in all of his Silver Age glory (and I think I have a T-shirt somewhere with this image on it), but I’m not complaining.

However, I AM going to complain about something right here and now. A thousand apologies to all comic book sellers out there because this is the kind of thing you don't like to see -- and a thousand apologies to everyone else because I'm not known to fly off the handle like this -- but I’M NOT BUYING COMICS ANYMORE!

Well, okay, that’s not entirely true -- I AM going to continue buying Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps, simply because they’re my current favorites and I’m too impatient to wait for them to be reprinted in trade form. But as for all other comics, that’s IT. From now on, it’s trade reprints all the way.

Why the change of heart? Well, I just found out that all of the Golden Age Green Lama comics have been/are being reprinted in hardcover archive editions. As has happened many times throughout my lifetime of collecting comics, I’m once again confronted by the dilemma of, WHY BOTHER trying to accumulate and hang onto comic books when even the OBSCURE ones are being reprinted (and reprinted very nicely) in book form?

Yes, yes, I know -- the trade reprints aren’t always accurate reproductions of the original comics. But, darn it, I’m not sure the differences are enough to deter me anymore. There are just too many annoyances involved:

- Comic books are a pain in the patootie to read and store. It’s so much easier to just pull a book off a shelf than to go digging through a box full of plastic-wrapped comics -- and then making sure I’ve grabbed ALL of the ones of whatever story arc I want to read.

- Sure, there have been attempts to design comic book boxes that store and display comics more efficiently, but it’s still easier (and CHEAPER) to pull a book off a shelf.

- Comic book bags are -- and always have been -- a pain in the @$$ to deal with, and I’m not sure protecting ALL of my old comics is worth the effort anymore. I know I’m not the only one who’s noticed that, in many cases, the value of a comic plummets the minute a publishing company reprints it in a trade book or archive.

- Some trade books are very expensive, particularly hardback editions in color. However, in almost all instances, buying a collected trade book is CHEAPER than buying all of the comics in their original form.

- Driving to the comic book shop once a week to pick up new comics is getting too darned expensive. It’s easier (and cheaper) to wait for the trade reprints to be released -- and those can be mailed to my house (often on the release date) without me having to go pick ‘em up.

- Yeah, I’ve tried getting comic book subscriptions before -- and fairly recently, too. And too many times, issues either didn’t show up, or were torn up before making it to my mailbox. And subscribing doesn’t work for mini series or one-offs. Not worth it for me.

Bottom line: I. JUST. WANNA. READ. THE. COMICS. And trade reprints seem to be the cheapest and easiest way to do so.

So, next weekend (since it’s a four-day weekend for me) I’m gonna go through all of my comic book boxes and CLEAR OUT all of the ones that have been reprinted in book form -- which is darned near 80% of my collection, and my collection is rather large. I’m either gonna take ‘em to Comic Store Guy, or let Mighty Mite have ‘em to tear through when she’s old enough to read. Unless someone can give me a darned good reason why I shouldn’t do this!

And, no, I haven’t been possessed by Parallax!


Pete said...

"Bottom line: I. JUST. WANNA. READ. THE. COMICS."

Back in the 90's Marvel #1 Issue! heyday, my cousin managed to snap up all the rarest variants of the new Spidey and X-books, before giving me the entirety of his collection a few short years later. He always used to harp on me about opening the rare ones up and reading them, and my response was always, "What's the value of a book if you're not allowed to read the story contained in it?"

Also, reading through that other post of yours you linked to, and your subsequent comment about DC "pulling a George Lucas", I'm struck with the image of Jar Jar Binks with a GL power ring.

It's a horrible, horrible image. I mean, not that he'd have the willpower to use it, but still...just picture it.

SallyP said...

I've never quite understood the whole mindset of collecting a comic, but never reading it, because that would somehow diminish its value. That's like buying an action figure, and then never taking it out of the box to play with!

Crazy talk!

I admire your fortitude, Sea, and I understand that getting the books in Trade, is indeed the sensible, and fiscally prudent thing to do. But...but I just can't do it myself, unless it is when I'm looking for back issues, and then I'm completely with you.

But I LOVE going to the store every week, coming home, and sitting down with a nice hot stack of new books. I don't have the patience, NOR the willpower to wait.

SallyP said...

Oh, and I LOVE the cheques!

FoldedSoup said...


I've wrestled with my obsessive collective mentality often enough to call it what it is: I just like the whole massive, organized, bagged and boarded comic collecting subculture thing. There, I've said it. I know about it. I accept it.

I still actively try to get my favorite series in loose comic form, no matter how often they're collected in trades. Sometimes, I get two copies of the run just to have a "reading" copy (Finally got that last Morrison Doom Patrol issue I needed. So now I have 2 issues of each of the run, plus all the trade reprints. Reprints so that I can actually read them. Don't want to mess up either copy of the actual comic, you know! You see the problem.)

I accept my 'gotta have it in loose issues' problem. If I could, I promise you I would try and do exactly what you're trying. It's just too hard to me - I'm hardwired with that completest's mentality. Sigh.

It's too late for me... run, girl - RUN!

And don't look back!

googum said...

Even for a book that arguably would read better in trades like B.P.R.D. or Hellboy, I don't want to wait an extra six months or more for the collections. Also, there's something to be said for the cliffhanger, and a lot of books I read as they come out, then sit down with the whole lot when they're completed.

Oh, and I read a lot at the kitchen table, with the book lying flat. Good luck with that, tradewaiter!

But even I have to admit, there are books I should wait for the trade. I'm enjoying Black Summer, for instance, but I'd enjoy it a helluva lot more if it was done.

Sea_of_Green said...

Well ... I'm astonished! I anticipated a chorus of "DON'T DO IT!" Instead, I get a measure of support. It looks like it's well worth it to proceed with my plan. :-)

Pete, I will never forgive you for the Jar Jar Binks image that's now stuck in my head. NEVER, I say!

Sally, I agree with you completely: The purpose of a comic book is to be READ. It's the collector fandom that causes people to think they need to keep all the blasted things and go through ridiculous means to store them.

Soup, I once tried to do what you did and have two of each comic. So, I do have some duplicates. I think I gave up because I ended up reading both issues anyway.

Googum, you've definitely hit upon the biggest challenge I'm going to face once my collection is pruned down: WAITING for the trades to come out!

THANKS, all! :-)

Anonymous said...

Drat! Too late to snap up old comics. But yeah, I don't really have the patience to wait. Time preference thing.