The Illustrious Q

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  1. Just discovered a company that binds comics in hardcovers. Sounds pretty awesome to me. What do you think? Does it make sense to bother?

    1. The Illustrious Q

      The Illustrious Q

      I take it you're talking about Houchen Bindery.

      Custom binding a comic book is not a cheap process—there is a reason why the individual comic issues are bound with staples. Furthermore, you're binding actual comic books, which have a couple of drawbacks.

      1) You're binding actual comic books. This is not a send them a digital file of the comic, you're literally shipping the company comics to bind. So you're paying for shipping twice. Once to send the comics to the company, and then once to get the completed bound book back to you.

      2) You will be losing comic art. I'm not going to beat around the bush on this one. Normal Comic Books don't have what is known as a gutter, which is a space on the left side of the page designated for binding. You'll be losing about 1/4 of an inch of comic material in the binding process right there, and that's before we get to the trimming process. The trimming process causes the comics to lose even more comic art. Once the comics are bound, the book is trimmed so that the pages are all uniformed once placed inside its cover.

      3) You'll destroy any potential value these comics might have had in the future. I'm not saying that the IDW MLP comics will be worth a ton of money, but they might be worth something further down the line.

      4) IDW is already putting out Trade Paperback collections of their My Little Pony Comics at a reasonable clip. Generally it's 2-3 months after every 4-5 issues come out that you end up with a new trade collection coming out.

      Now with that said, if you have the disposable income where you can comfortably afford a project like this, there are a couple of positives to doing this.

      1) You're not rebuying the comic stories you already own. So you're technically saving money there. Keep in mind that money is being redirected into these custom books.

      2) The trade edition is more or less under your complete control. If you're particularly good at Graphic design, there is some pretty slick stuff that you can do with these custom hardcovers that no one else can really do.

      3) It makes it a breeze to access your comic collection. I'm not joking about this one. Looking for a specific comic in a comic storage box is not an easy process. Even if you're highly organized—like I am—physically moving the boxes your comics are stored in is a pain in the back. Literally. Binding the comic into hardcovers makes it so that your comics can be stored on a bookshelf. Which works incredibly well when you want to revisit your favorite comic stories.

      4) Convert the whole collection and you get rid of the comic storage boxes. Bookshelves look a whole heck of a lot better than the storage boxes in your house.

      Ultimately, it is up to you to decide what you're comfortable with. For me, I wouldn't do it. I also couldn't afford it, but that is neither here nor there. I enjoy collecting the comics.