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March 14th, 2005 - Trickle of Consciousness — LiveJournal
I wound up in the bookstore this weekend. And while I've largely made it through the comics portion of The Stack of Unread Shame, there's still a lot of prose there, so I told myself I could only get one manga volume.

The store had the second volumes of both Fruits Basket and Juvenile Orion, so I had a choice to make. My thought process went something like this: the former is still ongoing, and is also one of the best-selling manga series out there, put out by one of the big two of manga. The latter is actually finished, and is put out by a smaller company (smaller than Tokyopop, at least). Basically, then, I figured Fruits Basket and Tokyopop would be just fine if I waited to pick up the book, so I snagged Juvenile Orion.

I've done this kind of thinking a couple of times. I wind up having to decide between two books--comics series or trade collections or what have you--and I wind up picking the book that "needs" me more. So I'll buy the collection of a low-selling current ongoing before a collection of an early Grant Morrison super hero title. Snag the low-selling title in monthlies and hold of on high-selling series until they're in trade. I'll grab the release from a smaller publisher and leave the Marvel collection for another time.

Partly, I'm sure this is just a heaping load of Fanboy's Guilt. I make these purchasing decisions and convince myself I'm doing "something good for comics" or some blather. But really, it's just as much selfishness as anything else. I mean, it's not like, by passing on a copy of Fruits Basket now, the store's not going to re-stock if they sell through. Trade collections of Ultimate Spider-Man or New Avengers are pretty much inevitable. I'm not choosing the underdog so much as frontloading it. I get things I'm not so sure will be there later, and leave the sturdier commercial properties for later.

It's kind of a holdover collector's mentality, isn't it? I mean, I've long since grown immune to "First Issue Collector's Item!!!!" cover copy. But maybe the lower-selling critical darlings are working on me the same way. The looming specter of cancellation, then, is my new holofoil cover. Or something.

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