The Curious Case of Multiple Printings

When I visited my college town of San Luis Obispo during Christmas last year, I noticed that a new comic shop had opened up in downtown called Dr. Cain’s Comics and Games. Of course, I had to swing by and check it out and it was actually stocked with a formidable amount of comics, trade paperbacks, and games. As I was perusing the aisle of new releases, I picked up a 3rd Printing of  Thor #1. I had heard about this new Thor being a woman which the idea was intriguing to me, but I hadn’t picked it up when it was first released. What amazed me was that the issue I was holding was the 3rd Printing!


Now, as a comic book collector, I’m all about the First Printing, in other word’s, the first print run. We hope that it turns out to be a gem in disguise because we don’t know if the series will become popular like how The Walking Dead did; or how other Image Comics properties went “viral”. My buddy and I would joke that we would just pick up any Image Comics’ #1 issue and put in a safe so when the series made it big, we would have the #1 issue and essentially could offload it for a substantial amount of cash. Yeah, like that would actually happen!

So as I stood there holding up that 3rd Printing of Thor #1, I asked the gentleman behind the counter about the hype of the new Thor book. He said that the 3rd Printing said it all. As customers, we make a statement by purchasing books. Yes, money talks in this case. And to see Thor #1 making it to the 3rd Printing not only shows that we want to read stories like this but it hopefully tells the publisher to increase their print runs. Now, like I said before, I’m all about the first printings and if I can’t get that first issue, I’ll add it to my comic hunting list. But because I enjoy reading comics digitally, I’ll grab the digital issue for my iPad. For those who don’t purchase digital comics and/or prefer a physical copy instead, the 2nd and 3rd printings is for them. It’s a chance for them to read the story along with the rest of us.

In our day of collecting and scouring to find the first appearances of certain characters, I often forgot that there are people out there who just enjoy reading comics. They may not want to bag and board that single issue or grab a trade paperback to place on their shelf. They may just want to read the issue and pass it along so others can enjoy it too. It’s such a simple idea and one that really humbles me. Now that comics have become so mainstream, some forget that it struggled a lot in the early days. Being able to read these imaginative and creative stories is a testament to the people and publishers who work tirelessly at their craft. And, I for one, am proud to be able to share these stories, new and old, with my nephews and my own son, when they are old enough, of course. At their core, comics tell a story. And these stories will hopefully shape young minds and open up their imaginations to other worlds, like the minds of those who still visit their local comic shops and spend hours talking about their favorite characters, like me.

So, I implore you to don’t get discouraged if your local comic shop ran out of an issue you wanted to read. Let them know so they can get one for you because this in turn lets the publishers know that we want to read that title. You could say it’s one of the few ways we can voice our opinion on which stories we want to see more of or not. Let your money work for you!

If this is your first time visiting Shortboxed, thanks for stopping by! We want to provide a place online where people new to comics can come and learn about the culture and be introduced to some amazing stories without feeling overwhelmed or intimidated. We’re always adding new content, so please come back soon! You can also follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr at @shortboxed.

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