Ever since the New 52 came around, I’ve been collecting floppies for the first time since I was little. Just a few titles, Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Batwoman. Before that, I was just collecting trade paperbacks when it came to mainstream comics. Now I remember why.
While I understand that single-issue comics are very important to the American comic industry in that they gauge interest (via sales) before a comic is published as a trade paperback, but floppies are the most annoying way of reading comics.
First of all, the advertising is such that it’s incredibly distracting. I could almost understand having all those pages of ads in such a short amount of pages, the money has to come from somewhere, but I hate the way the ads interrupt the story. As I was reading an issue of Batwoman last night, the sequence of pages went as such: 14 pages, ad, ad, page, double-page spread ad, page, ad, ad, page, ad, 5 pages, end of comic material. Batgirl was laid out similarly: 4 pages, ad, 3 pages, ad, page, ad, ad, 3 pages, ad, ad, 2 pages, ad, 3 pages, ad, 3 pages, ad, page, end of comic material.
It made me really mad that the story I was reading kept being interrupted. Being familiar with the publishing world, I know I must put up with advertising to keep such publications afloat, but I would rather quit buying floppies entirely than have to deal with this. Putting all the ads at either the beginning or the end of the comic seems like an acceptable option to me, but clearly DC thinks otherwise.
Then there’s the amount of pages you get for each single-issue comic you buy. Argh. 20-22 pages an issue is far too little to truly enjoy for me. It’s all the fault of my long-term manga collecting habit, I know.
See, advertising in manga isn’t as invasive. Even in the original magazine you don’t get full-page ads in the middle of a chapter. Ads wait til the end, or are off to the side, only taking up part of the page. These small in-page ads do interrupt the story a bit, but are far easier to either ignore or skim without breaking up the reader’s concentration too hard.
But also, for the price of three floppies, I can get 10 times the pages for my money with manga. I know this is because mainstream comics rely on color and shiny paper. I know this, and yet I can’t feel like I’ve gotten my money’s worth. And I’m fairly certain that manga publishers need my dollars more than Marvel and DC do.
I’m just going to give up and give in to my illogical hatred of single-issue comics.
Man, am I glad manga isn’t published like that anymore.