Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Upgrade Central

Noticed a bad trend happening over at DC. For the second time I've noticed an oversize hardcover of material already collected in tradepaperback. This time it's Gotham Central, my all-time favorite series set in Gotham City. But just like Ex Machina, I already own all of the trades. So do I need to upgrade my reading material?

I'm not even sure if this is really a collector's question. It's not the collector in me that is considering the upgrade. I don't feel this urge to own every version of the books I like. As far as the collector goes, all I care about is the first rendition of my favorite stories. For novels, that means a first edition hardcover. For a comic, that's the monthly issue. This is neither.

Instead, it's all about my preferred format. Book publishers make this so easy on me. I love hardcovers and I love the first rendition of a book. Well, those are one in the same. So for me, this is uncharted territory. I dig hardcovers and the oversize art, but does that equate to spending more money on the same story?

I skipped the Ex Machina hardcover collection, but I'll be tempted again once I actually see or hold the thing. Yet one driving factor will be whether or not DC will publish the rest of the material in hardcover, or will my bookcases always look stupid with a mix of hardcovers and softcovers of the same title?

I know it's all about money, but why can't there be a little rhyme and reason behind how comic publishers produce their collected material?

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