When trades are just not enough

When I first returned to monthly comic book subscriptions last year I made a fatal mistake. I went in blind because the New 52 had held my attention then. So after that disaster I swore that buying trade collections was the way to go and would focus my reading, reducing the number of poor previous decisions I made on titles. Did it work? I like to believe it did…

Of the trades I picked up last year, a good number have now been read. Most of my choices have been good and of a quality that will see me buying further trades in those series; Fables and The Walking Dead are two such titles. Some I’m less inclined to continue after the first few trade collections are Chew and American Vampire. While more recently a few new trades I’ve picked up, but not yet read, look like winners; Saga, DMZ, The Spider and The Unwritten.

While trade-buying is paying dividends I’ve been tempted to subscribe to a few monthly titles. I’m allowing myself a total of five on-going titles but will wait for the trades of any mini-series that comes along(see Mara & Snapshot). Two of the five I have already sampled in trade form while two are via recommendations and two being a reboot of sorts;


Constantine replaces Hellblazer, DC replaces Vertigo

The biggest risk I’m taking is with Constantine which begins in March placing our favourite anti-hero firmly in the world of DC comics. Could this be a mistake as again I’m going into this title blind? Surely with writer Jeff Lemire at the helm this wont disappoint?

In the ’90s when I was subscribing to Sandman, Hellblazer became my yin title to Gaiman’s yang. I use to read regularly as a kind of counter-balance; a rough to the smooth so to speak. The worlds of both did intersect and with Sandman returning as a mini-series later in the year, I hope the magic is relit.


cover for Revival issue 6

I fell in love with Revival from the first few pages of the first trade. There’s no risk here in subscribing to it monthly which start with issue 6 for me. Rural noir undead with a strong female lead, excellent story and characterisations – I just couldn’t resist this one arriving every month!


cover of Saga issue 5

Am working my way through the first trade of Saga with just a few pages in. This comic book should be excellent reading – a sci-fi that includes a love story between two characters from the opposing races. Early days for me here to comment and only a very small risk here that it doesn’t grab me quiet the way I expected it too.


cover of creator-owned Rachel Rising issue 2

Knowing very little about Rachel Rising, I plumped for the first two trades based on some excellent feedback and that the comic book is written and inked by Terry Moore. Creator-owned comic books deserve to be supported and this title will be the one I’ll be holding my breath on.


cover of The Spider issue 1

No more superheroes! But wait what’s this in my subs? The Spider? Hmm…

A pulp character relaunched into the 21st century says Mr Liss? Who am I to argue? Am waiting on the first trade to drop through my letterbox with the sub in place and a few back issues also added in. I now see where both Batman and Spider-Man got their origins because they both pay homage to The Spider. That sold me…

So five subs it is. It’s been hard work to keep it to just the five and I’ll probably buy the trades of these too if I continue with them. So reader what comics do you have in your subs this year?

My inspiration for this post was from the excellent post by Laura Sneddon. I suggest you go read her!

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  • http://twitter.com/arbitrarygenius Bex (arbitrary)

    We got Saga for work and Unwritten too (the first few trade paperbacks), couldn’t get Revival though. I’m planning to get Revival (1st TP) and Kill Shakespeare (whole thing) as a treat to myself. I know we have some of the new 52 TPs on order for work, and we also got a bunch of cool sounding stuff.

    So on my wishlist at the moment is Saucer Country, Kill Shakespeare, Revival and Fairest (about the women in Fables). But not sure how many I’ll get.

    One of the big problems with having little money and working in a library, is that a lot of my reading is free and will remain so. And spending even £10 on a TP seems like a lot, however much I enjoy it.. and so my comic experience has lessened sharply over the years and I really only buy trades because they’re better value. Which saddens me, but at least means I don’t fixate on keeping pristine comics any more.

    Very very interested in Constantine though, hell, I have a tattoo of him on my leg, which says a lot about how much I love the char..

    • http://www.blackenedskull.net/blog/ dmosbon

      Money is always key. I had a set budget for comic subs once I cancelled a number of magazine subs(I didn’t read enough from them) that I had.

      I know keeping to five subs will be difficult as I discover other titles but I get the feeling I may drop one or two along the way too.

      What I have found odd is how difficult it is to find trades of Hellraiser. I’d love to collect them all now that the title has come to a close.

      • http://twitter.com/arbitrarygenius Bex (arbitrary)

        Good point and a valid one. We have around 5 at work, there were around 5 in the shop, but to get them all is tough. I’d like to do the same, plus read some Swamp Thing!

        • http://www.blackenedskull.net/blog/ dmosbon

          I only ever got to read the first trade and then the rest has been via individual issues. That needs correcting! Which story arc has been your fav in Hellraiser so far?

          • http://twitter.com/arbitrarygenius Bex (arbitrary)

            NEWCASTLE :-) (of course ;p)

          • http://www.blackenedskull.net/blog/ dmosbon

            Is that a one issue story? Issue 11? Need to get a copy of Original Sins trade asap.