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  1. #1
    Junior Member dingbat46's Avatar
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    Default Some things that piss me off about Batman TPBs/hardcovers

    I've been a diehard Marvel fan for over 15 years, and only recently have gotten into Batman. I haven't ventured into any other DC characters yet (save for the bat-related ones). In the last 6 months or so, I've gotten over 50 TPBs and hardcovers and a few things really bother me. For the most part, the issues or stories collected aren't listed on the back of the book... making it impossible for someone to know the contents without prior knowledge of the collection. The second thing that I find annoying is why aren't the covers of the individual issues contained in the collections? Yes, sometimes they are, but it's rare. I've heard the arguments that it's more cost-saving, but I always found the cover to be a very important part of the book. It's what grabs you in! The reason I mentioned my love of Marvel is because they always list the contents of their books, and include the covers to the issues when it comes to trades/HCs, so it's not like it can't be done. This all being said, I still love Batman and am very happy I decided to discover the character!!!

  2. #2
    Elder Member Jeff Brady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dingbat46 View Post
    For the most part, the issues or stories collected aren't listed on the back of the book... making it impossible for someone to know the contents without prior knowledge of the collection.
    They absolutely are listed in the book, in very fine print at the start, usually with the copyright information.

    The second thing that I find annoying is why aren't the covers of the individual issues contained in the collections? Yes, sometimes they are, but it's rare. I've heard the arguments that it's more cost-saving, but I always found the cover to be a very important part of the book. It's what grabs you in!
    What? They are always included. They may be altered a little, but they're in there.

    Also, If you're reading a trade, it's already got a cover. You've already been "grabbed in".
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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Brady View Post
    They absolutely are listed in the book, in very fine print at the start, usually with the copyright information.



    What? They are always included. They may be altered a little, but they're in there.
    Yeah, that. They're put in front of each individual issue with any variants, too.

    In fact, here, I'll show you. I'll just grab the nearest Batman tpb/hc to me...

    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4

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    Marvel does make it much, much easier to figure out which issues are collected in a TPB. With DC you generally have to look at the copyright information, which can also be misleading because it tells you where the material was first published but doesn't guarantee that the whole issue is included in the trade.

    For example there was apparently a Ravager subplot in "Teen Titans", when going to trades DC split off the subplot and published it as a separate trade. Using the copyright info to determine which comics were included the same issue numbers can be found in both the regular "Teen Titans" volume and in the "Ravager" volume. Now I wonder what else DC might have left out of their trades. Re-reading some of the trades which were collecting a particular story, I would guess that the 'tie-in' issues referenced in the copyright information only include the pages dealing directly with the cross-over story and left out the rest of the comic.

  5. #5
    Junior Member dingbat46's Avatar
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    Yes, they're in the front with the fine print... but it's much more inconvenient to have the info there as opposed to on the back cover. If someone is browsing through books and sees a bunch of sealed Batman hardcovers, they'd have no way of knowing what they're getting. There'd be no way to know the sequence of each book in relation to each other. As far as the covers, no, they are definitely not always there. I'm at work right now... but when I get home, I'll name a few particular books that don't have the covers.

  6. #6
    Elder Member Jeff Brady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dingbat46 View Post
    Yes, they're in the front with the fine print... but it's much more inconvenient to have the info there as opposed to on the back cover.
    Your convenience doesn't particularly matter. I already know what's going to be printed in a trade before I even order it.

    If someone is browsing through books and sees a bunch of sealed Batman hardcovers, they'd have no way of knowing what they're getting. There'd be no way to know the sequence of each book in relation to each other.
    Sure there is. Unseal it. Alternatively, they could ask the nice person behind the counter if they know anything about it.

    As far as the covers, no, they are definitely not always there. I'm at work right now... but when I get home, I'll name a few particular books that don't have the covers.
    I am looking forward to not caring.
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  7. #7
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    To be fair, quite a few of the classic collections omit covers - I'm thinking of the Don Newton ones and stuff like that. There's an argument that they weren't down by the artist, but I'd rather have pin-ups or something to break up the flow of artist-centric books, especially since they aren't (with the exception of Marshall Rogers work on Strange Apparitions) one story. There are some modern-ish collections that do similar things. Can't think of an example off the top of my head, but they're out there.

    Even when they're written as an arc, there's still a monthly chapter structure with the final page possibly appearing as a cliffhanger. No space between the cliffhanger and the resolution diminishes the reading experience, in my opinion. Even television two-parters edited into movies still keep the ominous music swell and fade to black to let the ending sink in. (Unrelated to Batman, but this really irked me about the Ex Machina collections.)

    Then again, doctors differ and patients die. It isn't a huge problem, but I'd prefer they were there. Won't stop me buying the collection, but I'd pay more to have 'em. But sadly DC doesn't publish collections just for me. (Nor, in case sarcasm doesn't come across well, should they.) It's good to get the stories reprinted in any hardcover format.
    Last edited by Darren Mooney; 11-19-2012 at 09:21 AM.

  8. #8
    Junior Member dingbat46's Avatar
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    Well, speaking as a relatively new reader, I care a lot in regards to what is printed in each book. I'd rather go to a comic shop and know what I'm getting, instead of having to check out online what's printed in what. It makes it a lot easier in helping to pick out what to get. For example, some of the first Bat books I got were when Dick was in the suit. I had no idea whatsoever what was going on. Had I known what was in what, I may have had a clue as to what to buy... instead of just choosing blindly and being confused afterwards.

  9. #9
    Junior Member dingbat46's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Brady View Post
    Sure there is. Unseal it. Alternatively, they could ask the nice person behind the counter if they know anything about it.
    I don't think the "nice person behind the counter" would appreciate someone unsealing their books, even though they aren't properly labeled.

  10. #10
    Elder Member Jeff Brady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dingbat46 View Post
    Well, speaking as a relatively new reader, I care a lot in regards to what is printed in each book. I'd rather go to a comic shop and know what I'm getting, instead of having to check out online what's printed in what. It makes it a lot easier in helping to pick out what to get. For example, some of the first Bat books I got were when Dick was in the suit. I had no idea whatsoever what was going on. Had I known what was in what, I may have had a clue as to what to buy... instead of just choosing blindly and being confused afterwards.
    How does knowing the issue numbers tell you what what the book is about?

    Quote Originally Posted by dingbat46 View Post
    I don't think the "nice person behind the counter" would appreciate someone unsealing their books, even though they aren't properly labeled.
    It's just shrink wrap. It doesn't make it mint. But that's why you can always ask them first. The nice person behind the counter wants to sell books. If you show interest, they are going to help you.

    Seriously, if you have access to a computer, there is no excuse for buying anything blindly. And even if you don't, you can always ask someone else.
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Brady View Post
    A new, casual reader isn't going to care what issues are reprinted in a trade. They're going to pick it up, flip through it, and decide for themselves. The original issues don't matter until after they've read it, and want to jump into the monthly series.
    A slightly less new reader, who has picked up a number of trades and has moved on to picking up back-issues to fill in the blanks between the trades they already own would care quite a bit.

    The copyright information tells you which issues the content of the trade originally came from, it does not guarantee that all the material in the original comic is included in the trade. That uncertainty is fairly annoying when I'm trying to decide if I should get back issues or digital copies of "Robin" solo-issues which are included in collections like "War Games" or "No Man's Land". Marvel does tend to include notes like 'and material from __________" if they don't reprint the whole issue, DC doesn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Brady View Post
    How does knowing the issue numbers tell you what what the book is about?
    It can help you to figure out where a trade falls in the larger series. The numbering system on trades is not terribly reliable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Brady View Post
    Seriously, if you have access to a computer, there is no excuse for buying anything blindly. And even if you don't, you can always ask someone else.
    Marvel does a better job packaging their Trades. You don't have to ask, open shrink wrap, or dig through copy right information to figure out which issues are included. It is printed clearly and unambiguously on the back cover.

    In this particular area Marvel is doing a better job than DC. Why does it bother you so much when someone calls them on that?
    Last edited by Kizmet; 11-19-2012 at 10:51 AM.

  12. #12
    Junior Member Bob Fett's Avatar
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    Great debate.Being a longtime reader,I know what I'm getting into with any trade I buy.I do research or rely on opinions of fellow readers.Example,Mark Waid's Daredevil.If I was a casual reader,I would also do a little research on what I'm getting into.As far as the trades go,the info is there if you look for it.
    That is DC 's system and it doesn't look like its going to change.Take it or leave it.

  13. #13
    Elder Member Jeff Brady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kizmet View Post
    A slightly less new reader, who has picked up a number of trades and has moved on to picking up back-issues to fill in the blanks between the trades they already own would care quite a bit.
    Yes, but the info is still there. If you don't buy the book, the info doesn't matter. If you do, you just have to open it up.

    The copyright information tells you which issues the content of the trade originally came from, it does not guarantee that all the material in the original comic is included in the trade. That uncertainty is fairly annoying when I'm trying to decide if I should get back issues or digital copies of "Robin" solo-issues which are included in collections like "War Games" or "No Man's Land". Marvel does tend to include notes like 'and material from __________" if they don't reprint the whole issue, DC doesn't.
    I don't care. Sorry.

    It can help you to figure out where a trade falls in the larger series. The numbering system on trades is not terribly reliable.
    Again, the info is still there.

    Marvel does a better job packaging their Trades. You don't have to ask, open shrink wrap, or dig through copy right information to figure out which issues are included. It is printed clearly and unambiguously on the back cover.

    In this particular area Marvel is doing a better job than DC. Why does it bother you so much when someone calls them on that?
    I'm mostly bothered by the laziness & helplessness. I don't particularly care about the details.
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Brady View Post
    I'm mostly bothered by the laziness & helplessness. I don't particularly care about the details.
    Yes DC is lazy in how they present the information about the contents of their trades and slow to improve the packaging of their product.

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    I'm looking right now at the back covers of the most recent TPB collections of Nightwing and Red Hood and the Outlaws--both books in the Batman family--and they both have the issue numbers for the contents clearly indicated on the back cover.

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