DC September 2009 Solitications: Wonder Woman in simultaneous HC, TPB release

Monday, June 15, 2009

Wonder Woman: Rise of the Olympian, to be released in hardcover and trade paperback on the same day!

Wow. I mean, wow. Wowser-wow-wow-wow. Wow.

Hate to interrupt Guest Review Month, but I couldn't let this one go by. For all the discussing, all the back and forth we've had on the Collected Editions blog about hardcovers versus trade paperbacks, how some people have collected paperbacks all along and that's what they like, while others find the hardcovers sturdier, how hardcovers may have better production values but they slow the release of the paperback, how if you want to stay current many feel they're roped in to paying more for a hardcover ...

Could those days be over?

I won't jump right now to how this could radically change trade paperback comic book collecting as we know it (but it could!). DC Comics is not doing this with every collection release, at least not as far as September 2009 is concerned. This could just as much be a fluke of the scheduling as a marketing attempt to get more people reading Wonder Woman. There could be a lot of reasons. But this really, really bears watching.

In the same vein, thumbs down to DC for switching Green Lantern Corps over to hardcovers with Emerald Eclipse. Yeah, I know it's all part of the big run-up to Blackest Night, but I dislike that this series that started in paperback now switches format (and expense). Wish they'd taken the cue from Wonder Woman and released both formats simultaneously; I tell you, what Blackest Night has to live up to gets greater all the time.

So which Wonder Woman collection format will you buy? What else caught your eye?

More guest reviews coming this week. And next month, the Collected Editions blog returns to regular programming as we head toward our review of Final Crisis. Don't miss it!
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  1. I'm planning on getting the hardcover, it'll match the rest of my WW g.n.s and it'll last longer as well.

  2. ^that, basically. I'm glad to see that they aren't switching to the softcover format, because I prefer hardcovers.

  3. I wouldn't have bought it at all if it was only in hardcover, but I'll gladly buy this because it's cheaper than the individual issues. Hardcovers defeat the (financial) purpose of trade-waiting.

  4. Definitely planning on getting the Hardcover.

  5. I thought the whole Solicit was a mistake, since the issues included were way off. If it's not, way cool. I'll still pick up the Hardcover, but later when it's cheaper. :)

  6. I've been waiting for the softcover on Gail Simone's Wonder Woman anyway, so softcover it is. Here's the problem: the Circle is only due at the end of the year, right? Presumably the second softcover (Ends of the Earth I believe) would arrive months after that. So even if Olympian comes out in softcover as scheduled, I won't be able to pick it up till the second WW book comes out.

  7. As much as it irritates me as a consumer the issues->hardcover->softcover business model makes complete business sense and I don't hold it against DC or Marvel, other than the fact that I wish it was applied consistently across the board, one way or another. Book publishers release primarily HC then PB so why should comics be any different? It's not as if we don't have the option of buying the issues if we're so impatient.

    And if a particular comic is "special" enough I'll buy the hardcover (most recently Final Crisis, Batman RIP) but for the most part I have no probably TPB-waiting.

    Simultaneous SC/HC releases make no sense that I can see, unless the HC has some really, really sweet value-added content. (Like the difference between single and 2-disc simultaneous DVD releases.)

  8. I think it'll be a good experiment not only for DC Collected Editions, but for Wonder Woman, as well. Dark Horse releases Conan in both HC and TPB on the same day. Dynamite has done this with a few of their books, too.
    Personally, I like the idea. It gives the consumer the choice right away rather then having to wait a few extra months for the opposite format of you want to be released.
    (who is late with his guest review)

  9. Though I won't ever buy one (I find the cost prohibitive and would be annoyed by the sight of a random HC in amongst my SCs), I don't have a problem with the hardcover format -- except when I feel it isn't justified. I hate when publishers split up a story arc that could easily fit into one book, and publish each of these 150p trades as HCs. Maybe it's just me, but I think something like Sinestro Corps War which, if you add the tales of the sinestro corps, is three pretty small trades, would look silly in HC format. Now, combine those three and release it as a HC and I think you've got a winner, something worthy of the higher cost of the format.

    I disagree on the longevity issue. My trades are in great shape. I've yet to break a spine on one of them and can still easily make out details and words printed near the binding. I find dust jackets are much more susceptible to wear and tear. Perhaps HCs are better cared for by their owners because they cost more.

    As long as people are buying them, it's definitely a better business model to release HCs first, but I'm hoping some accountant has figured out they can sell a lot more if they keep costs down, and we see more simultaneous or softcover-first releases.

  10. It took a while for me to buy a hardcover, but once i had a few it became easier:) Now I prefer them as they feel more quality (And you used to get them sooner)

    Coming from the UK I'm glad I got into hardcovers as the exchange rate against the US$ has changed so much that the softcovers coming out today are the same price as the hardcover was a year ago. There has been a price rise in the UK of about US$4 on each release in the last 3 months.... not good for the wallet:)

  11. My attitude on hardcovers (tongue-in-cheek) is that I like them except when they're not convenient for me, and then I don't like them. Silly and unrealistic, I know, but that's why the prospect of simultaneous hardcover/paperback release is so enticing -- I could decide in what format I want to collect what series, not the publisher, and without having to wait if I decide I want the paperback. We'll see if this translates to other titles ...

  12. Did anyone else get annoyed DC is switching GL Corps to hardcovers? This really burns me as they have been TPBs all along.

  13. Anonymous: Yeah, I remember seeing that on Amazon a couple of weeks ago. I was on the fence on whether I should pick up Sins of the Star Sapphire; the previous GLC book didn't exactly set my world on fire. This switch to hardcover just made my decision easier.

  14. It's a while 'til Blackest Night is collected; I wonder if I wait on the new GLC book, it'll be out in paperback before I "have" to read it.

  15. It's odd, I'm the opposite of most here. I like hardcover and don't mind the expense for a more durable (and what looks better, in my opinion) collection on the shelf. But I do wish Green Lantern Corps had been collected in hardcover from the start.

    Emerald Eclipse is pretty darn good, if a bit messy - but arguably does more for the mood than Johns' Green Lantern does. Are you waiting for the softcover to review?

  16. I'm waiting for the softcover to buy Emerald Eclipse, but I'd like to read it before I read Blackest Night, and I'm not about to wait another month or so with Blackest Night trades in hand before I read Emerald Eclipse (not even Hal Jordan has that much willpower!).

    Probably I'll see if I can borrow a copy of the hardcover in advance of the paper, but the whole situation still annoys me a bit.