Top 10 Reasons That You Should Be Reading Single Issues of Comics (in no particular order)
1.) You get to support local business
If you are like me, you understand the benefit of supporting local business. We don’t want everything in our lives to come from big-box stores or the internet, right? I bet every one reading this at one point or another had a dream of opening a store, so let’s reward the brave and buy local. Plus many single issues never even get made into trades, so how many cool stories have you already missed out on? And think about it, what if you keep waiting for a trade that never comes, and something that could have been your favorite comic gets cancelled…that would stink.
2.) They are much more collectible than trades
Trades do not go up in value (usually), issue can. Look at a book like The Walking Dead. That first issue is worth mad amounts of money right now. I’m not saying that your collection will for sure be worth a fortune, but it can be worth something more than a trade. I’m looking to sell my The Walking Dead books now, and I’m going to get more than I paid for them. Just something to think about, but you’d better keep them in good condition.
3.) They build suspense
You remember watching Breaking Bad, and having to wait until the next week for the crazy stuff to play out?! You hated it, but it not only gave you something to look forward to, but it gave you something to talk about around the water cooler. I still have no idea why networks put entire series on streaming all at once. Lazy networks and impatient peeps have ruined the suspense of good television.
4.) It may be cheaper
If you buy just to buy, sometimes a trade can be more expensive. I subscribe to a bunch of books, but if they become something that I do not dig or cannot get into, I stop reading and cancel my subscription to that book. I can get out of a series for $6.00-$7.00. And please don’t continue reading something that you do not like just because you started it. That makes no sense; there are so many cool titles out there to read (books and comics) that it makes no sense to continue reading something just to spite the title.
5.) It’s less daunting to read
You can breeze through a single issue in no time. And while this can be frustrating for the impatient readers, think about the benefits: you can read more titles; it helps reluctant readers feel a sense of accomplishment; it’s easier to pick up. I’ve had this one Stephen King book on my night stand for weeks now…such a big book it’s scary! But the single issues that I bring to bed, get read.
6.) Back matter
Unlike a lot of trades, single issue have cool back matter (the stuff after the story, at the back of the issue) like letters to creators, previews, variant art, etc.
7.) Variant art
If you are a collector, then variant art covers are for you! Some issues have a number of ultra-cool variant covers by different artists that speak to the collector in us all. And this ties directly to number 8.
8.) They are cooler to get signed
Having an artist or writer sign a trade is cool…I guess. But having them sign the actual issue that made you fall in love with the series is amazing! And getting that variant signed is even cooler. One word of advice though: if you are one of those people that brings crates of issues…literal crates…to conventions to have an artist sign all 679 of your issues, please don’t. No one is happy about this, not the artist, not the fans in line, not even you (well, if you knew what you looked like with the crates on that silly cart roaming around the convention center you wouldn’t be happy). Leave the crates of comics at home, and let others get a chance to get an autograph before the artist’s Sharpie runs out on your books.
9.) Easier to share/spread around
If you care more about getting the word out about a book than the condition of your book, single issues are super easy to share and spread around. Spread the word quickly! And you won’t get mad when the $3.00 issue does not make it back to you. Less mad, at least, than when the $15.00 trade does not make it back to you.
10.) Cool extras…like one shots
If you subscribe to a title, there can be some cool special extra issues that will not make it into the trade. For example, subscribing to The Walking Dead, and Locke & Key had me discovering neat one-shot issues waiting for me at the store when I went to pick up my books. Cool issues that continued the story, or added to the world. For the fans, so become a fan.
Let me know what you think about my list. I hope I changed a couple of minds here. Buy local. Buy often. Spread the word!
Thanks to The Comic Book Teacher for his thoughts here…check out his blog at,
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