Wednesday, September 07, 2011

They Giveth and they Taketh Away

There are days that I think Dark Horse Comics is trying to break me. As the current license holders for the comic book version of Conan, they are not only publishing new Conan comics and collections left and right, but also putting out volumes of older Conan comics and while I'm glad to get these, so that I don't have to dig out my old comic books to reread the stories, the cost of all those collections adds up.
But wait, as they say, there's more. Dark Horse is also putting out nice hardcover reprints of various Gold Key comics that I loved as a kid. The Jesse Marsh Tarzan archives are coming up on volume 10 and they just published volume 3 of the Doctor Spektor archives. (More on the good Doctor later.) Next up are Dagar the Invincible and the Brothers of the Spear. Did I mention all these volumes are fifty bucks a pop? Far far less than you would pay for the original comics but it adds up when the books come fast and furious, as they tend to do toward the Holidays.
Now here's the deal. I just want to read the stories, so I'm just as happy with the reprints as with the actual comics. In fact in some ways I'm happier because I can stick the volumes on a shelf where they are easily accessible and I don't have to worry about damaging an aging comic book when I want to read them. And in the case of the Tarzan comics I could never have afforded the actual comics. So I'm very pleased that these volumes are coming out. The flip side, though is a definite crimp in my wallet.
Dark Horse isn't the only culprit of course. DC comics has been putting out a ton of reprint volumes, including the recent Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko Omnibuses. Next up for them is a Kamandi, the Last Boy on Earth Omnibus. This is kind of interesting because DC had originally started out Kamandi as one of their Archive books, printed on super nice, slick paper, but after the success of the other Kirby Omnibuses, (Fourth World, OMAC,The Demon, etc) which were printed in a different format, they decided to start over with Kamandi in the Omnibus form. Now I don't know how the other people who bought the first couple of Kamandi Archives feel, but I'm delighted to have all my Kirby collections in matching formats. That way I can shelve them all together and just sit and beam at them. Yeah I'm a fanboy. Get over it.
So anyway, while I may occasionally gripe about the money, overall I'm mostly pleased to be getting these collections from Dark Horse and DC. But slow it down a little, will you guys?


Paul R. McNamee said...

I am very late to the comics game, and after collecting DH Conan and some other misc titles for a while, I just opted to stop and wait for graphic novels (collections.)

They just seem easier than watching the comic schedule, bi-weekly trips to the comic store, bagging, shelfspace, etc.

Like you, I'm mostly interested in catching up on the stories, and in interest of physical space in my house, I am very tempted by the arrival of digital comics. I've bought a few DH Conan e-bundles on sale recently. I might follow the new DC revamp but I'm a little miffed that - while their comics and e-comics now arrive same day - the price is the same, too. At least DH e-comics are slightly discounted and occasionally on sale.

Charles R. Rutledge said...

Though I'm not reading any current comics online, I have been buying DVDs of old public domain comics from the Golden Age and I don't mind reading those on the computer at all, and in fact wouldn't mind having full runs of some more recent series available as scans. Some of my favorites though, I enjoy having the physical collections. Won't say that won't change down the line. I keep looking at the shelves and thinking, Hmmm, I could have all that as electronic files... Time will tell.