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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Comics vs Graphic Novels

I have been collecting comics, plus a whole lot of other things, since I met my husband a good number of years ago. When I first started collecting and up until recently, I have been somewhat of a purest. I would pretty much only buy the comics as they came out monthly.

Since a graphic novel is generally several issues, it could be months before the story arc was released in book format. Then there's the cost involved. A single comic can cost on average $3.00 to $5.00. A Graphic Novel on average can cost $20.00 - $25.00. It always seemed easier to put out the few dollars a month than a larger amount all at once.

There's also no guarantee a book will actually be released in graphic novel format. Oh, sure, Batman will and Spiderman and Superman and any other main stream title.  A lot of independent books get released in bound format as well, but some of the smaller indie publishers may not ever be released in bound format, let alone finish the series. So, I've always had that mentality to buy it while you see it because you may not see it again. I'm working on that, by the way.

However, I have recently begun to reconsider my earlier stance. I have been collecting some things in bound volumes, generally hard back Limited Edition volumes, like Hellboy. I was just going through the comics found in the Hellboy Library Edition Volume 5 realizing I didn't actually read any of the comics in that volume and I was now putting them in a to get rid of pile. What is the point of purchasing the single issues if I am going to turn around and buy the collections and then try to get rid of the individual issues?  There is always that level of uncertainty, though.

And I guess with trying to clean out the storage facility, I have come to see that while one comic in and of itself does not take up that much shelf space, thousands of comics do.

So along with a lot of other things I have to purge, we are going to be selling off the majority of our comic book collection along with the majority of our toys, most in package.

So, I'm curious. Comic vs Graphic Novel. A monthly dose or a larger collection in one shot? Boxes upon boxes full of comics or shelf space for the collections? (At least the graphic novels can be shelved in the library) Small monthly cost or larger financial output once or twice a year?

The jury is still out for me, but I am dangerously close to tipping the scales in favor of waiting for the graphic novels. I guess, though,that if you're going to buy a graphic novel, you should be committed to the story. With buying the comics, you can test the waters, try one or two issues to determine if you like the story. If not, you can opt to not pick up any more issues.

Which would you choose?


  1. My vote is for the bound graphic novel collections, as you don't run the risk of missing an issue that way. Plus, they look better on your bookshelf than single issue comics! If you aren't sure if you want to make the commitment, then do what I do with books and read the first few pages. If it doesn't grab you immediately, then move on.... *nods wisely*

  2. The comics don't go on the books shelves, Oh sagely one. The go in specially designed comic book boxes and get put up in the attic where I forget about them. I think I am going to stop picking up the issues of a couple titles, though, and then we'll see where it goes from there.