10 Things Publishers Do With Paperbacks That Annoy Fans


Comics and comics were very rarely reprinted before the year 2000. They were just released and became collectibles; no paperbacks, no hardcovers, and certainly no digital downloads. Fans could only get one-in-a-gen editions like the 1972 ones Batman: 1930s to 1970s or collections of major shorts like JM DeMatteis and Mike Zeck’s “Kraven’s Last Hunt.”

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Slowly, as the graphic novel became popular, major publishers realized that readers were also interested in getting their monthly comic book material into collections. In theory, that means entire worlds of characters, from DC’s Earth-2 universe to Robert Kirkman’s. The Walking Dead, could be bound neatly on shelves. Making it work in practice is a whole different story, and sometimes the editors’ picks can leave readers and collectors scratching their heads.

10/10 Renumbering of volumes makes it difficult to follow the story

Book numbering should be simple. Unfortunately, when it comes to titles with decades of stories, publishers don’t want to advertise a Wonder Woman book with a high number on the back because it can leave the reader feeling like they can never. catch up.

Editors need to find the most convenient point to renumber. Story reboots are the perfect time to tag a number one on the next collection. However, sometimes there is nothing so dramatic. Publishers often use writers’ or artists’ mandates for faster breaks. Readers may therefore find, after reading volume seven or eight, that they need a new volume one to continue the character’s story.

9/10 Odd Reprint Orders Jumble The Reading Experience

To be fair, publishers sometimes don’t have the best choice in reprint order. There’s the full release order, or the chronological order of an entire story, or keeping the keystones of the plot and dropping unimportant pieces. The timeline seems like the obvious choice, but that’s not always possible with the shared-universe storytelling that is favored by superhero books.

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The new collections of the classic Jim Starlin and Jim Aparo Batman story “A Death in the Family” also contains “A Lonely Place of Dying”, the Marv Wolfman story drawn by Aparo and George Pérez, from the Next year. The result is Jason Todd’s last story as Robin without his debut and Tim Drake’s first appearance without his debut as the new Robin. It’s out of order, but that leaves a lot out.

8/10 Redrawn or recolored illustrations change the feel of the comics

Since the launch of the Marvel Masterworks line in 1987, comic books and comics have been modified into reprints. A work could be redesigned to rightly erase the choices that preserved harmful stereotypes, as Hergé had been asked for the third The Adventures of Tintin tale “Tintin in America”.

Often this is done simply to give the art a cleaner look for readers who expect a more modern look, such as with Neil Gaiman. The sand man. On rare occasions, a cartoonist and a colorist have different visions for the tone of the story. Alan Moore’s famous comic strip Batman: The Killing Jokewhich was drawn and recolored by Brian Bolland (but originally colored by John Higgins), therefore exists in two very different versions.

7/10 Alterations to attire to fine-tune the visual feel of a book

In the design world, trade dress is a term for the small details that “dress up” a product’s packaging. This can range from the subtitle font above the table of contents to the publisher’s logo on the spine of the book.

Granted, a casual reader won’t care (or maybe even notice) when these things change, but collectors can be very detail-oriented. Collectors don’t like to wait for the latest graphic novel or collection of reprints of their favorite comics and comics to find a completely unexpected outfit change applied to the look of the new volume.

In the grind of collecting it all, editors sometimes link up unrelated stories. Grant Morrison has finished writing his tenure Batman featuring an oversized 700th anniversary issue by a variety of artists titled “Time and the Batman”, which took place throughout DC’s timeline. Next, Morrison wrote a two-part flashback story, drawn by Tony S. Daniel, which fleshed out Batman’s role in Final Crisisa crossover they wrote years earlier.

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Presumably for page count, the last three issues of Morrison’s famous series were combined with a filler issue written by Fabian Nicieza and drawn by Cliff Richards. The title of the collection is Batman: Time and Batman for, despite reprinting these comics in exact publishing order, DC was unable to tie these four months of stories together.

5/10 Spine lettering misalignment creates awkward shelf visuals

Undeniably, the most picky problem collectors have with comic book and comic book collections is the alignment of the words on the spines. Search enough on an Internet forum devoted to comics and eventually someone will post a picture, frustrated with the choices of the Marvel Comics collection designers.

The back of a 2002 hardcover reprinting part of the series by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev daredevil is particularly hated. The Marvel title and logo are so offbeat that they look completely different from the spines of the other volumes. Even the most argumentative fans online agree that these thorns just look wrong side-by-side. A YouTuber even made a video demonstrating how to create a custom cover to fix it.

4/10 Separating double pages ruins their impact

The spread (a single image or panel layout read directly from the page from left to right) is one of the most powerful tools in the comic book artist’s arsenal. This is the closest comic to an explosive spectacle on the big screen.

That’s why it’s disheartening that the publisher doesn’t reprint these two pages right side-by-side, as they’re supposed to be. A double page spread may be separated from the rest of the story pages by an additional blank page or, although very rare, even split into two non-facing pages. This completely interrupts the reading experience.

3/10 Distorted material in book fold cannot be seen

A saddle-stitched comic book can lay flat, but a hardcover book cannot. Care should be taken when reprinting a collection so that portions of the comic’s artwork or dialogue are not lost where the books’ pages bend along the center.

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A significant moment like a kiss between two major superheroes should be the most visible thing on a page, especially when the artist has drawn it that way. At Charles Soule and Tony S. Daniel Superman/Wonder Woman volume a “Power Couple” collection, readers arrive at a pivotal moment and discover the heads of the main characters completely obscured by the curve of the pages that bend into the crease, ruining the moment.

2/10 Unnecessary forewords and afterwords distract from stories

Many graphic novels and collections open or close with prose essays. While often containing a bit of historical context or behind-the-scenes fun, these essays can sometimes eat up pages and add nothing.

When a former Marvel Comics writer and editor like Roy Thomas helps introduce a collection of The Avengers issues, it adds context, but when a random celebrity is chosen to write the intro, it adds nothing to the overall enjoyment of the collection. No one’s saying publishers should never do another intro again, though readers probably could do fewer celebrities who have little to do with comics.

1/10 Cross-events spread across volumes mean shutdown and startup

The most frustrating limitation of comic book collections is reading a crossover event. The story was probably crafted by ten or more writers and woven through multiple comic book miniseries, issues of multiple ongoing series, and maybe one or two. This ensures that cross stories are splintered across many volumes.

The crossover events leave a reader who missed the original releases with three choices: rummage through boxes of back issues in the comic book store for them, buy an expensive and unwieldy omnibus, or order a dozen volumes. The latter option may be too expensive and forces the reader to use multiple bookmarks to read the volumes simultaneously but slowly, looking for clues to stop reading one collection and start another.

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