This past weekend I redeemed my Google Offer deal to buy some manga at my local comic book store. I forgot how good it feels to enter a comic book store, knowing what you want to get and then leaving the store with what you wanted.
As I browsed the shelves for the volumes I wanted, I saw the omnibus or big book versions of manga I have already collected or still need to collect. The omnibus that caught my attention was the Cardcaptor Sakura one. Not only did it have the first three volumes in one book, but it also included color art and I think a better translation of CCS than the Tokyopop versions did.
I have all the volumes of CCS and I have for a while now. Seeing the omnibus version made it tempting to want to buy this new re-release. The only problem that kept me from wanting to really purchase it was the size of the book. It’s huge and super thick. It reminded me of those thick paperback textbooks I used to carry around with me in high school and college. Buying one of these omnibus editions will make it even harder for me to find a place for it among my individual, regular sized manga volumes.
It also pissed me off to know that publishing companies now decided to do three volumes in one book in the last few years. Where were you when I was in the process of collecting and reading certain manga series? The price of the omnibus editions are quite expensive, but in the long run it’s a good investment. Spending $9.99 or $8.95 on one volume for each series over the span of several years would end up being much more costly compared with buying one big book with three volumes already included. The omnibus editions are probably more practical to get if you are collecting a long series. Even better if you are just starting to collect a new series and the series is published as an omnibus.
When you are in the middle of collecting a series and an omnibus edition is already released for it, there is the dilemma of deciding whether or not to continue collecting the individual volumes or continue the series in omnibus form. One series that comes to mind for me is Hot Gimmick. I have the first three volumes on my shelf, but haven’t gotten around to continuing with the series. There is now an omnibus edition of this series. Part of me wants to continue with the individual volumes for uniformity reasons and the other part of me knows that the individual volumes of Hot Gimmick might be harder to find with the release of the omnibus edition. These big versions of long series is kind of a pain for collectors who have already started collecting the individual volumes but had to put them on hold in favor of older series. Going back to it later to discover that the publisher is no longer printing the individual volumes is not so great. If you want to continue the series then you are most likely going to be forced into getting the big books.
I prefer to collect the individual volumes of series I started collecting from way back when. Not only will it keep my library of manga series looking the same and neatly stacked on top of each other, but I enjoy the new cover art you get with each volume. The omnibus editions don’t give you too much of the varied artwork you get for every one volume of a 24 volume long series for instance. The omnibus is three volumes in one so cover art will be limited, but collecting all volumes will be a shorter experience than collecting multiple volumes.
If I don’t already own a manga series I would like to read and the omnibus edition is available, then I would go for it. If I already have the individual volumes, I may just stick with those if I can.
What do my fellow manga readers think? Do you prefer collecting individual volumes of series you currently own or would you toss that aside if there is an omnibus edition?