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TPBs vs. Comics - How do you prefer to read Usagi?

General discussion about Usagi Yojimbo, the comics, the stories, the characters, collectibles, TV appearances, Stan Sakai, Space Usagi, Nilson & Hermy, and all other related topics.

Moderators: Steve Hubbell, Mayhem, Moderators

Which do you prefer to read?

comic books
hardcover trade paperbacks
softcover trade paperbacks
other format
No votes
I don't really care
Total votes : 48

TPBs vs. Comics - How do you prefer to read Usagi?

Postby shaxper » Sat Jan 07, 2006 0:28 +0000

I'm curious as to whether fans of Usagi prefer to read and collect the original comics, the hardcover trade paperbacks, or the inexpensive softcover trade paperbacks. Which format do you prefer and why? What advantages or special kinds of charm does your chosen format add to your reading experience?

Last but not least, Mr. Sakai, if you're reading this, which format do you write for? Do you imagine your stories as being read hot off the shelf in comic book format, or do you prefer to envision them presented together in the trade paperback format?

I ask these questions because I began with the comic book format and, as a comic book collector, never gave it a second thought. Now that I've built up a whole run though, I find myself wishing I could pull a nice softcover tpb off of the shelf instead of fishing for a single comic in a sea of hundreds and then carefully holding it so as not to devalue its condition.

Anyway, please share your thoughts.
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Daimyo <High-Ranking Lord>
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Why not all 3?

Postby go » Sat Jan 07, 2006 7:16 +0000

Dear Readers,
I read all three as they are published.
The single issue is short but sweet.
The trade paperback is long and very nutritious.
The signed and numbered hardback is nirvana.
Best wishes to all.
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Postby Ben » Sat Jan 07, 2006 8:19 +0000

I've always preferred paperbacks myself, as you can enjoy the entire story arc in one sitting. Also, it just FEELS cool to have all the paperbacks on one shelf, available whenever you need a good Usagi fix.
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Postby Todd Shogun » Sat Jan 07, 2006 11:30 +0000

The comics of course. The TPB's are what, about 30% smaller than the comics? The comics themselves are reduced from Stan's original artwork anyway, so anything that's closest to the original sized work would provide the best read for me. Other pluses of the comics:

1) The letter columns
2) The Fan Art
3) Stan's Story notes

The only plus I can see with the trades is that you don't have to switch issues as much, which helps when reading story arcs like Grasscutter.

Maybe one of these days we'll get to see the UY Graphic Album series presented in a larger format, a la Art of UY. Until then, the comics rule!
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Postby Colin Solan » Sat Jan 07, 2006 12:46 +0000

I prefer to read the whole story in one sitting which is why I like the collected editions but they are smaller and you don't get to see the covers (both front and back).
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Postby Steve Hubbell » Sat Jan 07, 2006 13:02 +0000

I buy and read the comics, for much the same reasons that Todd Shogun gave (size of pages, letter columns, and occassional editorial comments), but for a couple other reasons as well.

The fantastic covers of the individul issues which feature Tom Luth's excellent color work.

The comic comes out 9 or 10 times a year, as opposed to maybe 1 or 2 times a year for the collections. That is a long wait between episodes. I follow a couple science fiction / fantasy series, and it can be verry difficult to maintain interest between releases over a couple decades.

If it was not for the sales of the comic version, the publisher might be less inclined to publish the books as frequently as they do, preferring instead to see the sales reports for one book before opting for the next one. The comic also allows the very few and rare mistakes to be noticed, commented on, and corrected in time for the trade collection.

The main reason I buy the comic version is because I have a love of collecting comics, something I've done, off and on, for most of my life. I am not talking about collecting for financial return or speculating on a rise in value, but for enjoyment or as a hobby. I am fortunate because Usagi Yojimbo is one of the few comics I collect, and I can be a little more obsessive in seeking out related items such as prints, calendars, and magazines with interviews.

The trade collections are great for gifts and for sharing with other people who are new to the series. They are also great, as mentioned previously, for reading extended stories (or justed repeated readings).

Unfortunately, I have never actually seen one of the hardcover ltd. ed. volumes, and I have resisted the urge to aquire any because they run a bit more than my my finances can afford. I did buy the hardcover "Art of Usagi Yojimbo Twentieth Anniversary Cooffee Table Book" the same day my local comic shop received it from Diamond Comics Distributors.

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Postby estee » Sat Jan 07, 2006 13:42 +0000

I've always been a comic guy. I don't like TPB. I'm sure they're cheaper and easier to store and re-bagging the entire run of Usagi after reading it is a real pain....ummm...what was my point again...oh yea, I'm a traditionalist....stubbornly clinging to outdated and outmoded means of enjoying comics. :(
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Postby Angelcake the Fox » Sat Jan 07, 2006 18:48 +0000

I personally prefer the TPBs.....though, to be perfectly honest, its pretty difficult to get the UY comics down here in the Southern U.S. which is why I have to order the TPBs from Barnes and Noble.

Heh, let's face it, I'm a sucker for GNs. :)
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Postby Ben » Sun Jan 08, 2006 13:55 +0000

I have the entire #83-89 story arc in comic form, simply because I can't get enough of Noriko. The second I saw her devilish grin on the cover of #86, I knew I had a serious crush. Sure, she'd probably kill me before she'd even look in my general direction, but I'm a fool in love...
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Postby shaxper » Sun Jan 08, 2006 16:02 +0000

Thanks for the helpful comments, guys. You're pretty much echoing the thoughts I've had about the topic. An affordable, full sized GN format would probably rock my world. Until then, I'll probably stick with the individual comics.
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Postby Shishio » Sun Jan 08, 2006 23:18 +0000

I prefer trade paperbacks, myself. I can read individual issues in my local comic shop, so I don't have to worry about waiting for the story.
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Postby hakucho » Mon Jan 09, 2006 7:07 +0000

I'm a sucker for softcover paperbacks, especially as I always want more of a story >_< but I don't mind reading in ordinary comic book form, either.
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Postby cynlee » Mon Jan 09, 2006 10:40 +0000

I like and prefer the comics, but any more I don't always make it to the store to get any-- so for me the trade paperbacks are the option. Hardcover is nice as well, but not as available to me as the trades.

There are not as many shops as there used to be, and finding one with U.Y. is a bit of a trick-- not impossible, but a challenge sometimes. :wink:
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Postby Tim » Mon Jan 09, 2006 14:53 +0000

I love the comics. Opening a TPB just doesn't have the same excitement as coming home from the comic shop with the latest issue (or a missing back issue) in hand.

The difficult part of collecting the comics, however...

Between [b]my[/b] moving around (countless locations in two different states and two different continents) and [b]Usagi's[/b] moving around (three different publishers), I've missed my share of issues. However, I'm planning on using my Christmas bonus to order the elusive dozen or so in the next month...
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Postby DarthNuriko » Mon Jan 09, 2006 18:09 +0000

I prefer trades. Though I would prefer full-sized artwork, but here are my reasons...

1) One large dose. Maybe I'm just a glutton and like one giant dose as opposed to a little one. I can relax for a while and just pour into the whole book.

2) Easy to keep around. My trades sit on special part of the shelf right next to the computer. If I'm waiting for something to load on my comp or just want to sit back and read, they're there for the taking as opposed to fishing out a comic from a box. (Or leaving it somewhere accessible but prone to getting damaged.)

3) I can't keep up. I just don't regular comic shops that often. Missing that one issue, especially part of a story arc, would kill me. And if I can't find a copy, I'd be waiting for the trade anyway.

I'd just rather be patient and then buy it once it's out.
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