This past weekend something wild happened. A customer dropped all his monthly comics from his list except for Fables, which he switched over to TPBs. He also reassured me that he would still be coming in at the same frequency, but just buying TPBs and HCs from now on.

This in itself is not all that unusual. I have several customers that are TPB-only or TPB-mostly on their pull list. Some have always bought them that way, some have converted.

The unusual thing is that the number of people subscribing to Fables in TPB form is, as of this customer's switch, now 30% higher than the number of people who buy the monthly comics!

Add to that the fact that Fables is my #1 selling TPB series to people that are not subscribers (walk-in customers and such), and who never plan on buying the individual comics, and this becomes a little alarming.

A lot of retailers have been watching this trend, and expect the day to come when the collections outsold the monthlies. I think a lot of us still think that day to be a long way off. I'm afraid that it may already be here.

I have some further thoughts on this, but I want to see what you folks think first.

What do you think? Are monthly comics already giving way to the longer TPBs? Will they ever? What format do you read and buy your comics? What format would you prefer to read buy your comics?

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Chris Fluit said:
I'll back up Jeff Carter on this one. Final Crisis didn't make sense all on its own. That had nothing to do with what may or may not have happened in the other titles.

Well, this is an argument for waiting for the trades. Submit and Superman Beyond were both nessecary for understanding the whole thing. (As much as anyone could :-) ) They were both included in the trade and you have a complete reading experience there (as much as ...etc).

When the comics were coming out, DC was obligated to its shareholders to get the dummies readers buying as much old crap as possible with the pretence that it was tied in, and the essential Morrison written books got lost in the flood. He had said they were part of his overall plan for FC, but DC couldn't really emphasise this without giving away the game that the rest was only the usual tie-in 'bait and switch'.


In terms of the monthly comics, I only knew which ones to get as I'd been following Morrison's interviews very closely in the lead up to it. For all other crossovers I've bought the issues that had next to nothing to do with the story I'd been following and left out the ones that had a bearing on the main stary. Every. Single. Time.

The comics companies aren't going to put out a comic that says "Only vaguely and somewhat cynically connected to the mega-selling crossover X!" on the cover.
Well, I wasn't trying to say that Final Crisis didn't make sense--I thought it made pretty good sense, personally. I just have to say that none of the "tie-ins" actually tied in. We totally agree, except for our perceptions of FC.

I thought the trade made everything much more clear, actually. Reading it all at once made me very happy.
I've weeded my periodical comics buying down quite a bit in favor of trades. I'm down to just titles I want to support:

* Flash: Rebirth (and I'll add the subsequent Flash titles as they come up)
* Adventure Comics (for the Legion and the legacy title)
* Detective Comics
* Jonah Hex
* Wednesday Comics
* Terry Moore's Echo
* Various Star Trek minis from IDW (although I'm dropping these when the current batch on my list end in favor of trades)

Basically, I found I no longer had time to read my weekly or bi-weekly comic purchases as I buy them. The comics would pile up and Iwith the result being I'd have a trade's worh of issues to read at once. Or worse, I'd have read and boxed the first part of a story and the subsequent parts werer ready to be read months later, but I couldn't remember what I read earlier or remember which box it was in!

Trades resolve a lot of this.

Someone wrote about wishihng they could replace their collection with trades. I'm there. It's comparable to replacing records with CDs. Keep the special ones, and replace the rest that are just taking up space.

Neak (my first post in Ning and in a couple of years in this forum in general)
Welcome, uh, Neak! We're glad you're back!

(You too, Neal... ;)
I think THAT is what the big difference between fans is. Collectors vs. readers. I'm DEFINITELY a reader. I don't care if I have all the issues, I only want to read the good stuff.
Going back to Rob's comment from a few days back: I definitely agree that communities like this, as well as really good LCS communities, encourage purchase of monthlies over trades. Before I joined the Legionnaires, I would do what I call "trade-reading" of my monthlies. I would wait for all the parts of a story to be released and then read the issues in one fell swoop. Doing so allowed me to enjoy the trade reading experience without waiting for a trade to be released. However, once I became an active member, I wanted to discuss and therefore needed to be up-to-date.

Sure enough, as graduate school ate into my comics discussion time (How dare it?! I know.), the less compelled I felt to keep up with the monthlies. In fact, my last few months of graduate school were so reading-intensive that several titles stacked up on me, and so I've decided to "trade-read" those now.

Why not just wait for the trade? As Alan mentioned, DC's trade release schedule lags WAY behind Marvel's and pretty much every other company's schedule.
Mark S. Ogilvie said:
Read for myself, collect for that un-known alien archeologist.

His name is Martin.

"Age is not a particularly interesting subject. Anyone can get old. All you have to do is live long enough." -Groucho Marx

Check out the Secret Headquarters (my store) website! It's a pretty lame website, but I did it myself, so tough noogies

Listen to, it's the future of rock-n-roll!

They'll probably think they're histories.

And be amazed.

"Age is not a particularly interesting subject. Anyone can get old. All you have to do is live long enough." -Groucho Marx

Check out the Secret Headquarters (my store) website! It's a pretty lame website, but I did it myself, so tough noogies

Listen to, it's the future of rock-n-roll!

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