I’ve been on this big kick wanting to get my single issue comics bound into larger volumes. I realized many years ago that I am way more likely to sit down with a book than a stack of issues that I have to take out of the bags and boards. I can’t remember when I first heard about getting comics bound, but I think it’s a great idea and finally got around to sending off some books last month to see how things turned out. The books I chose were issues #0-20 of Peter David’s Aquaman and HERO #7-22 (the issues not included in the one and only trade). I chose them because I had all or most of the issues (a quick trip to MyComicShop closed out a lot of holes in the books I’ve been collecting for years for short money) and because I figured they wouldn’t be collected anytime soon. I bought the Aquaman issues when they were coming out for the most part and really dug that series and then read HERO for the first time during my Wizard internship and am still shocked that it hasn’t been collected yet.
So, the first step to getting books bound–after figuring out the actual books–is deciding which place you want to use and how fancy you want your books to be. I’m a bare bones kind of guy so I went with the basic $15 plus shipping model from Library Binding in Texas using Media Male. I put the comics in the correct order, filled out the form and sent the books out. I had a box from something that had been shipped to me, sandwiched between some backing boards and wrapped them in a plastic bag. I meant to take a picture of that, but forgot. The whole process took maybe three weeks because media mail is slower. Anyway, I was really hoping to get them Friday or Saturday, but was still happy to get them today. Here’s what they look like. As you can see the covers are just a solid color. You’ve got your choice of cover and font colors (from a list, not every color in the world, but still a good number of colors). I went with blue for Aquaman with gold lettering and a green cover and purple lettering which are the colors the spine of the existing trade, but reversed. Here’s pics of the spines. I thought the text would have been bigger, but that could be on me and not them. I know you can pay extra to get the actual logo put on the spine, but, again, I’m cheap, so this is the bare bones version. I’m hoping to collect all of Peter David’s Aquaman, hence the 1 on the bottom and his name on the spine.
My concern with getting both of these collections of single issues bound was that there might be too many issues and there would be gutter loss because of the binding. Luckily that is not the case, as you can see in this picture. There’s some loss, but if you just open the book a bit more it’s all good. Plus it’s not like either of these runs have a lot of spreads.
I am incredibly happy with this transaction. The books turned out so well and I can’t wait to get some more shelf space and my hands on more of my collection in order to get most of it bound. There will definitely be some books that I just get the trades for (for instance, I’m trying to get my hands on the Daredevil Bendis hardcovers to replace my single issues). Sometimes it’s just easier and maybe even cheaper for me to get all the Green Arrow or Teen Titans trades than sending all my issues off to get collected. I would definitely use Library Binding again, but I’m also going to look around and see if there are any local book binders who can do the work without me having to ship them out. I might also be able to make a deal with a local place especially if I’m getting my nearly 20 long box strong collection bound (though there are some books my collecting geekiness won’t let me send off and other books I just won’t want to read again). Hopefully this will be the beginning of a beautiful relationship with comic binding.