Hard, Soft or Floppy?

How do you like it?




Wait… what did you think I was talking about?

This is a comic blog… I’m talking about comics.

When it comes to comics there are three main ways you can enjoy them.  You can purchase your favourite comics as hard cover collections, soft cover trade paperbacks and your traditional monthly floppy comic book (yeah… I heard you, there is digital too, but that is a completely different column).

Boxing Day Comics Purchases

Each of these mediums have their own benefits and drawbacks.

Hard cover collected editions are great if you have a book case or a library.  They store very nicely and look great on a shelf.  They are also very durable.  You can drop them, or kick them around and they will stay in decent shape.  Some of the drawbacks on a hard cover are the costs, and the physical weight of the books.  Hard covers are more expensive than a soft trade paperback.  Usually they will have extra content, that helps justify the extra cost, but usually you will have to put out more cash to buy the same stuff you can find for a better price.  The hard cover books have that extra weight as well.  If you have a large collection, you have some weight there.  And don’t get me going on the “back-breaking-lap-squishing” omnibuses.  I like them, but many people hate them because they are difficult to read.

A soft cover trade paperback will give you everything that a hard cover book provides (mostly) at a more economical price, and an easier to read format.  Soft cover trade paperbacks also store well on a book case.  The only problem is the book is more fragile than a hard cover, and on the premiere books a soft cover trade will be released months after the hard cover has hit the shelves.

The monthly floppy is the most traditional form of comic book, and the one that we are most familiar with.  It is by far the cheapest option to buy on a monthly basis, in relative terms.  (In many cases now, the soft cover trade paperback is your most economical value in purchasing comic books.)  Storage is the biggest challenge when it comes to a floppy comic book.  If you do not have a short or long storage box, you can’t really leave them anywhere.  They don’t sit on book shelves very well either.  And by time you add the storage bag & board, there is a lot of space and weight for each single issue.

I think most comic book collectors have a mix of all three of these comic book varieties in their collections.  I know I do.  On a monthly basis, I will buy floppies or soft cover trades.  I only buy hard cover collections if the price is right.

How about you, how do you like your comic books?

Ed Campbell
Ed Campbell

Ed Campbell is a collector of comics and action figures, primarily G.I. Joe. He is also a Cosplayer with Thor and Captain America as just a few of the characters in his arsenal. When not fulfilling his Comic Book Daily duties, he's "working for a living", volunteering his time for his local Fall Fair, and spending as much time with his family as possible. Use the links below to get in contact with him.

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11 years ago

I love omnibus and Compendiums. Yes they do have alot of weight and are annoying to read such a big book but everything is there all in one spot. I will gladly deal with a big book instead of keeping track of several trade volumes

Tom Berry
Tom Berry
11 years ago

I only buy Gold, Silver, Bronze and some Modern age books as floppies, unless they are not affordable. Actually, most of what is printed today is much more expensive if you buy them as floppies and you would save money buying the trade or hardback. However most trades and hardbacks are reprints, so if you have hope they might be worth something someday you may or may not get your money back, but if you just enjoy the art and the story, trades and hardbacks are the way to go. As far as digital, I have about 20 DVDs of classic runs such as Vampirella, Creepy, Batman, Eerie and some classic Golden Age horror, but I’ve found I prefer the paper format. Don’t like lying in bed with a Nook or laptop in my hands.