Why I Trade Wait (Sometimes)

This looks AWESOME.

I dig the title (Flags of our Fathers), I like the writing in the preview, I like the Denys Cowan art in the preview, and I'm a sucker for World War II stories... particularly those featuring Captain America and The Howling Commandos.

This is a comic book that I want.

But... 22 pages of story for $3.99 is a tough sell and this is why some people, myself included, have a tendency to trade wait for books like this.

The series is four issues long, so that's sixteen dollars for 88 pages (which, ratios being what they are, is the same 5.5 page/dollar ratio as the book). Now, it's possible that they'll release it as an even more expensive hardcover first, but if I'm waiting I can wait for the trade and here's why:

If I wait for the trade, the most it'll cost me is $15 dollars- and, because the page count is so low, I expect it will be less, even cheaper if I track it down on Amazon. The ratio continues to get lower and lower if I'm willing to wait a couple of months.

This is why people trade wait- because comics are expensive, and trades are, quite simply, a lot cheaper. Contra Jon's objections (and, for the most part, I agree with them, which is why I buy most of my books on a monthly basis), trades allow for comic book readers to consume many more panels for a much, much lower price. This is also true of most $3 dollar books, like the first volume of Chew, for instance (which includes the series' first five issues and costs $9.99, which is hella savings), or, as is more common, like the first volume of Thor ($14.99 for six issues, and much cheaper on Amazon). Even in the latter case, waiting for the trade is the price of a comic book. If I'm willing to wait for some series I want to read (Chew, for instance) I save myself several books worth of money. If the move to $4 books continues, I think I'm going to trade wait more and more.

Again, this is not to say I disagree with Jon; in fact I think most of the comic-buying audience continues to prefer the single-issues, except in cases when they come to a series, writer or artist late in the game (which, I suspect, was the original purpose of the collections). This is, I suspect, because there's something compelling about a pamphlet, something beautiful and something worth keeping. There's a tension, though, because saving money (and, in particular saving money in such a way that it helps me buy more comics) is also compelling. The future of the comics industry is going to be in finding the balance, if we haven't already found it.

The Comic Symposium Is Upon Us....

On April 10th, Bard College will host its Fifth Annual Comic Symposium. Clare and I have been planning it for months, and it's nearly here. Featuring presentations from both Clare and myself as well as other members of the Bard community and, most excitingly, Bard grad and comic legend Chris Claremont. Above is the poster that I designed, and I think it's pretty sweet.

Hope to see y'all there.