Monday, July 29, 2013

The Dilemma of Single Issues and Collected Editions

I just finished the recent Greg Rucka/Michael Lark collaboration Lazarus #1 and really enjoyed it. During the past six months, I’ve also read and enjoyed some of Rucka’s earlier work, including Stumptown and Queen & Country. Rucka is quickly turning into a “must buy sight unseen” comic book writer, so when he offers anything extra in his work beyond the comic itself, I pay attention. 

Rucka does this at the end of Lazarus #1 with “Forever Yours,” a space that will eventually be devoted to fan letters. Since this is the first issue, Rucka gives us not one or two, but six full pages of his ideas, thoughts and research on the creative process behind Lazarus and much more. I’d probably have paid the $2.99 cover price just for these pages; they’re that good.

Now let me stop for a moment to say that I don’t buy a lot of single floppy comic books. When I hear about a new comic that interests me, I’ll usually buy one or two issues to see if I like it. If I do, I’ll stop buying the single issues and just wait for the trade collected edition to come out. (Reasons: Collected editions are easier to store on bookshelves and I don’t have the storage space for long or short boxes of single issues.) Every now and then I’ll buy a single issue in digital format, but I feel bad that my money isn’t going to support my local comic shop, so when I buy, I usually buy the hardcopy locally. 

I realize that such a practice is probably not good for those individual titles I’ve stopped buying. If a title isn’t selling in floppies (especially the non-Marvel and DC titles), it runs the risk of not being published as a collected edition at all. 


But if Rucka keeps these extras going, I’m going to be very tempted to keep buying the floppies, since I’m fairly certain the supplemental material won’t be collected in the trades. (This is the reason I bought the single issues of the Ed Brubaker/Sean Phillips collaboration The Last of the Innocent and the first several issues of Matt Kindt’s Mind Mgmt.)

I’m interested in hearing what other comic book buyers do. Do you double-dip and buy both floppies and the collected editions? Do you determine which issues include supplemental material that probably won’t be collected and ignore the collected editions? If you buy a few issues to see if you’re going to like a series and end up buying the collected editions, what do you do with the floppies? 

I’m interested in hearing your thoughts. Thanks in advance.

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