Change of Pace Interlude: The Great Trade Debate W/Poll!

Gail Simone: Helping John Ostrander pt.1

We’re opening up the concept a little bit to talk about one of the most debated points in recent years: delivery format.  Everyone has a format that they follow more than another due to habit or budget or other factors.  We want to talk about some of the physical formats and some of the purchasing formats to see where you, the readership, stand.

Physical Format

In a nutshell, what’s your preferred delivery system for how you read?

The Single:  You like following the stories in serialized format, as Stan & Jack intended.

The Trade:  You wait for the trade for reasons of convenience, budget, or preference.

The OGN:  You’re not so much a mainstream reader, but you’ll run out to grab a new Craig Thompson when it hits.

The Digest:  You dig the smaller-sized collection, be it manga or all-ages collections (for example, the ways in which Boom! collected The Incredibles or DC does their Johnny DC line).

Digital Edition:  Maybe you still love holding an actual print book, but you’re totally fine with reading something in the form of downloadable content.

Webcomics:  You enjoy various strips on the internet just as much as the regular books.

Other:  Maybe I forgot one.  Remind me.

Here’s one more iteration of the physical format question:

Hardcover vs. Softcover:  Which one do you prefer?  The biggest argument I hear against hardcovers, frankly, come from people that choose to buy the softcover for budget reasons.  They don’t begrudge the existence of the hardcover, but they do express irritation that they frequently have to wait even longer before the softcover becomes available.  This is a frequent occurrence these days with both DC and Marvel programs.  Granted, it follows the traditional bookstore novel journey, in which most books used to arrive as hardcovers and went to trade/paperback after a period of time.  On the other hand, it seems that reader demand would influence product choice in certain cases.

Purchasing Formats

Comic Shop Regular:  You’re there every Wednesday (or Thursday, after those four damn holidays) without fail.

Frequent Comic Shop Shopper:  You don’t make it every week, but you’re there once or twice a month to pick up singles, trades, etc.

Online Buyer:  You get your comics from an internet vendor, whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.

Occasional Buyer Only:  Whether you trade-wait, follow certain “art comic” creators, or just don’t have the ready budget, you typically buy collections or OGNs.  However, you don’t necessarily do it every month.

Digital Buyer:  You’re totally fine with downloading everything you read; you just wish that the companies would catch up with putting all of their material online.

Library Borrower:  You read a ton of books.  You just borrow them from the library for free.

Other:  Again, I’ll allow that maybe I forgot one.  Tell me.

And here’s a final bit to ponder: what’s your single-issue price threshold?  Is there a single issue price that you WILL NOT pay?  Many books are now $3.99 at DC and Marvel, although books from IDW and others have been $3.99 for some time.  If that went to $4.50, would you be done?  How about $4.99?  What’s your limit, or did comics already catch it?  Let us know.

Okay, readers; the ball is in your court.  Tell us your preference and give us your reasons.  Who knows?  Maybe you’ll responsible for someone looking over their habits and deciding that they’re the one that needs a change of pace.

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