Its been quite a while since my last piece for ICN. As is usual with these things, life, work, news editing and those full interviews I have gotten in the habit of doing (which I hope people are enjoying). With the recent move of Sub-City from their 20 year home on Exchequer Street to their new larger space on Dame Street, I have been thinking about my history of collecting comics. It turns out it is 15 years and counting since my best friend got me a copy of Daredevil volume two issue one that he picked up in a shop he had “discovered” in town. There is nothing like popping into your local comic shop to shoot the breeze about what you’re reading, getting some recommendations or debating the merits of your favourite creators. I’ve heard some horror stories about shops in the US but, in Dublin, we are blessed with great shops with friendly staff who like nothing better than talking about comics.

Sadly, about 2 years ago, I had to make the move to digital for my weekly collecting. It became a space issue. Try moving a comic collection twice in two years and you’d have to rethink things too. After much soul searching, I picked up an iPad and started using ComiXology and haven’t looked back. Well mostly. The days of my physical collection are far from over. I enjoy “trade waiting” for certain books, like Saga, and certain writers as I think they read better that way (it helps that you don’t have to wait long for your favourite series to brought in a trade these days). I also like having collections on my book shelf. Also, Irish comics tend to take a bit longer to appear in collections or on ComiXology so I pick those up as they appear (this doesn’t stop me from getting the trade or buying them on ComiXology when they do appear). I also make occasional exceptions for mainstream books by Irish creators. I bought all the single issues (with variant covers) of Half Past Danger and got that beautiful hardcover when it came out. It has some cool extras and it looks great on my shelf. Also, IDW are, in my opinion, the leading light when it comes to collected editions.

Nowadays is a wonderful time for hardcovers. IDW are bringing out Artist Editions (original art sized versions of issues from great works like Walt Simonson’s Thor) and it seems that everything that ever existed is being brought out in Omnibus form. The way I collect comics may have changed but I still like popping in my LCS, talking about comics and taking a look at those tempting hardcovers on their shelves.