Oh, dear. The always interesting Sean T. Collins has thrown out the p-word. "Pamphlets", that is- and that word still makes me cringe. But the article he drops it in is an interesting one, so he gets a pass.
Me, I'm not necessarily against the demise of the "pamphlet", especially if it means creators, working in a larger, less deadline-strict format, can stay on a project from beginning till completion and produce a more cohesive work. Still, I have two reservations. One, price. I would have loved to have bought Selina's Big Score in its hardcover version, but just can't afford it. It's supposed to come out in softcover tomorrow, and I'm supposed to be getting it in my holds but I'm still not looking forward to dropping 15 bucks on one book, no matter what its size. Also, the effect of reading a collection or a novel sized TPB is akin to sitting down and watching 6 episodes of your favorite TV show back to back to back...and while this may be nirvana to some, I tend to lose interest unless the book in question is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece of engaging storytelling. I still like reading a chapter at a time. I recently obtained the final TPB collection of Paul Grist's Kane, and while it was engrossing and quite good, and everyone knows how much I love Grist's work, I still couldnt read it in one sitting. Maybe it's ADD on my part, who knows.
The rumor of the demise of the "pamphlet" has been with us for years and years, and somehow I suspect that it will be a few more years before it comes to pass. Whether or not this is a good thing I leave up to you.
Update 7/16 I suppose I should mention that I bought the softcover trade of Darwyn Cooke's eighteen dollar Catwoman opus Selina's Big Score today. I think I'm a bit more amenable to this, a story written and illustrated with the knowledge from day one that it's going to be a self-contained story, rather than collections of single "booklets" as many TPBs tend to be these days. They tend to be less episodic, I suppose. And to underline what I said before, instead of the twenty dollar tab I would have had if I had not chosen to purchase Score, I wound up spending forty. Now whether or not this would be a deterrent to the non-comics-fan Barnes & Noble browser I can't say for sure.
Also, after reading Bill Sherman's commentary on this and Sean's posts, it occurred to me that I have purchased trades in the past to give me an idea if I want to start buying a series that has already seen a number of issues printed...and the example he gave of X-Statix nee Force was the opposite of my experience! He bought a single issue or two of X-Statix to see if he wanted to continue picking it up, but by the time I got interested in it there had already been eight or so issues released so I decieded "in for a penny, in for a pound" and picked up the first collection...liking it enough to buy the series regularly for another year or so.