I don’t remember the first trade I owned but I remember my introduction to them. I started receiving catalogs in the mail for all things comics; t-shirts, toys, and, most importantly, trades. I would wear out the catalogues staring at the pictures, reading and re-reading the solicitations. I could never afford anything but it introduced me to the trade. At that point, I hadn’t even read or touched or even seen one in person but I already loved them.
Ten years later trades come in new forms for us to enjoy; hardcovers, oversized hardcovers, and digests. And best of all this was because of the popularity of comics that so much material is in print. Practically every monthly comic book under the sun is being produced as a trade. The popularity of the trade has many writers writing specifically to fit them, for good or bad. This surge in popularity has publishers trying new things, mainly, Essentials and Showcase Presents. Sure these massive 500-pagers come in black and white, but were else can you get a huge run on a series like Tomb of Dracula for such a low price?
Indie publishers are also benefiting. Many people (myself included) tend to try indie titles because they hear good word of mouth or they see something they’ve never seen before on a shelf next to Batman or another famous character. Image recently solicited three compendium editions for their titles, then they solicited Savage Dragon Archives. The compendium editions contain between 40 to 50 issues each and the archive contains 24 issues all for a very fair price. The Big Two should take notice from Image, you can have huge collections in color and not have them be hardcovers.
I could go on about trades and my love for them, but I’m starting to sound like a shill. So like I was saying before, I was flipping through Red Sonja Vol.1 and I got to the extras in the back. They published all the variant covers to the series, 37 in all. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for all the saps that bought all the covers, and all I had to do was wait for the trade.
Posted originally: 2006-11-17 22:02:59