I have never been a fan of the Punisher. What this means is that when the Punisher first arrived on the scene he just wasn't my bag. Because of that, I have always been able to avoid buying Punisher titles. I am a fan of Garth Ennis, but I came to that sort of reluctantly as well. I have a natural inclination to like things that are nice and fun and not overly acidic or dark or heavy, or whatever. There are a lot of things that I did not read when they first came out for that reason. Once I got sufficiently older and started having friends recommend things to me, I rediscovered a lot of things I had avoided initially, including Preacher. So these days, I am a fan, and I can handle almost anything if it is written well and makes sense. I have enjoyed the Ennis I have read.
Yesterday the bookstore had the Punisher(MAX) v1, v2, v3 hardcovers for 15 dollars each in perfect condition. Yes they are available new on Amazon for about twenty bucks each, but fifteen and available right now is even better. They also had trade paperbacks of The Punisher: Born, Daredevil: Marked for Death, and The Elektra Saga. I had to pick up the Two Daredevil books because they cover runs that I have always been nostalgic about. I have the floppies from when they came out, but I am happy to have the trades to keep on the shelf and read.
I read Punisher: Born, and really enjoyed it. That was my first introduction to Garth Ennis's Punisher. I know it is different from the main series, but it was very well written. It was dark like Platoon or Full Metal Jacket, but well written and an enjoyable enough read for me. War comics are not a genre I have ever really read before. I am hoping the series is good as well. All told, I spent less than 70 bucks and got 3 decent trades and 3 big hardbacks.
I kind of love having hardbacks, but I will almost never buy them. There are a few titles that merit my having them in hardback. Batman Year One is the main one. If I can get them for the price of a trade, or close to it, then I will pick up the hardcover. It makes me feel fancy...