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Saturday, 6 November 2010

About... Grey Spines. A Consumer Warning

By and large we’re a positive bunch at New Readers… Start Here but today, for one post only, I will be dwelling on the negative and tell you about something you should not buy:

Marvel collections with a grey spine.

The reason this warning has not come before is because I was not convinced it was a general problem but rather that I was just unlucky. The books with grey spines represent an inferior British binding of Marvel graphic novels, quite simply the glue connecting the pages to the spine is not strong enough. About a hundred pages of my copy of Planet Hulk fell straight out of the book when I was about halfway through. Once, as they say, is an incident.

I bought the grey spine single edition of Wolverine: Enemy Of The State because it was cheaper than the two volumes the storyline was collected in, with the (as it turned out) superior American binding. It literally fell in half in my shoulder bag before I got it home. Twice, I am told, is a coincidence.

Recently I ordered a copy of Kevin Smith and Joe Quesada’s Daredevil: Guardian Devil from Amazon. When it arrived on my doorstep it was not so much a book as a two-hundred-part jigsaw as three days in the British postal system had detached every single page from the cover. Three times is a pattern.

As I say it is easy enough to spot these cut-price, poorly constructed British bindings: their spines are grey, their back covers white and whilst they are usually cheaper than other bindings the quality does not justify the saving. The other bindings are just as easily available from high street stores such as Waterstones and WHSmith so there need be no extra effort in finding them.

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