What Is the Best Way to Buy Comicbooks?
If you're reading this blog, then chances are, you want to start reading comicbooks, but you're not really too sure where to start.
If you're wanting to find out what stories or superheroes you should be reading, then I'm afraid this isn't the article for you.
However, buying comicbooks can be done in several different ways. Which one is best depends on what you like and what you can realistically afford.
Buying the paper copy every week
This method is probably the most old school of all of them on the list today.
It's how comics were originally brought, and for many people, how they still are today.
The way this works is rather simple. Every week, new comics are realised. Those who are following a particular storyline or superhero will buy their comicbook, read it, and then wait a week for the next one to be realised.
Obviously, the main benefit of this, is that it's quickest way to read the comicbooks. This means that you will be able to talk to other readers of it, without having to worry about them spoiling anything for you. It also ensures that you give regular support to your local comicbook retailer.
However, the biggest drawback of this is that it can be very expensive. Each comicbook normally costs around £3. That's because they have to be imported all the way from America. The average storyline normally consists of about 10-20 of the weekly comics. That means you'll be spending £30-£60 per story!
Another drawback is that it does require you to visit your comicbook shop weekly, something that not everybody will have time for.
In summary, if you're very passionate about comics, and you have a fair amount of money, and enough time to spare, then by all means, this is a good option.
However, if you're more of a moderate comicbook fan, or if you're on a lower budget, perhaps one of the alternatives would be better.
Waiting until the entire story is published into one graphic novel
When one storyline has come to an end, the comicbook publishers will often publish the entire story in one book. This is true of pretty much all publishers, particularly the large ones such as Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, and Image.
The main reason why most people choose this option over buying weekly comics is that it's much cheaper. Instead of paying £30-£60 over the course of a month or two, you'll instead be paying about £10-£20 in one single payment.
It also requires less frequent trips to the comicbook shop, which can be more convenient for people who live busy lives.
Not to mention, that you can just put them on the shelf, and treat them like regular books as you can see the names on the side- not something you can do with the thin weekly comics.
However, the main negative of this method is that you will have to wait. In order to avoid spoilers, you might have to avoid certain discussions about certain comicbooks.
Another negative is that it's not quite as good for your local comicbook shop as you won't be buying from them that often, and you will also be giving them less money overall.
If you want to have the latest comics as soon as they come out, then buying the graphic novels probably isn't the best idea.
However, if you enjoy a good superhero story but don't really care too much about always keeping up to date, then this option could work very well for you.
Paying to download comicbooks.
This one could technically come under two separate categories. You could pay for the weekly comicbooks, or you could pay for the graphic novels.
These have similar benefits and drawbacks to the paper versions.
The most popular website to do this from is Comixology, a website that's owned by Amazon.
In order to download a comicbook, you simply select the one you want, select 'add to cart' and then pay. You can access your comicbooks on a laptop, tablet or mobile phone.
A huge benefit to this is that the comicbooks are significantly cheaper than they would be in a shop as you do not need to cover the costs of printing. You will also be able to directly help the publishers, writers, and artists, and you'd still be paying for the work that they've done.
However, it does still have quite a few drawbacks. One of them being that you don't get that same physical gratification that many readers find comicbooks to give them.
You also won't be supporting your local comicbook shop.
This option is probably best for people with a very limited budget but who still want to help the industry as much as they can.
If you enjoy the physical feeling of books, then this option is not for you.
Downloading comicbooks for free
This option is similar to the last one, but with one crucial difference. You don't pay for the comicbooks.
There are hundreds of websites that let you download comicbooks for free which you can then move onto your tablet or phone to enable you to read them anywhere.
The obvious benefit of this one is that it's free. You can get access to some amazing story lines, fantastic literature, and awesome art work, without having to spend a single penny.
However, there are more drawbacks than there are benefits.
The first drawback is that you're not supporting the creators of the comicbook. This includes the writer, artist, and publisher. You're also not helping any local businesses at all either!
Same as with paying to download, you miss out on the wonder feeling of paper between your fingers.
As well as that, you may have to wait a bit longer for the one you want to become available.
This option could be good for deciding what you want. But the reality is that if everyone downloaded comics without paying for them, then pretty soon, there wouldn't be any comics to download.
Which method of buying comicbooks works best for you? Or is there another option that I've managed to miss?
Please let me know in the comments!