Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

March 15, 2006

New Books to Look Forward To

imageDC has released plans for more books in its Absolute series, a format/approach about which I have mixed feelings -- and not the good kind of mixed feelings where you take conflicting messages and hold them both in equal standing because both have validity, but the kind of mixed feelings where you're just confused and have a dumb look on your face because you haven't sorted things out yet.

Here's the deal. On the one hand, I think under-one-cover books are important for the next step in backlist as a core category in comics retail. Logic dictates that limited shelf space and an explosion of titles would make one-book offerings a way to 1) maximize shelf space with one cover to show instead of 11 volumes' worth or whatever, and 2) make some perennial comics easier to find and access, because there's no longer an intimidating explanation that precedes a newbie's purchase about which volumes start what and which is the best to read first and all that.

On the other hand, I'm kind of confused how the more collector-style elements of these Absolute books might make titles less suitable for easy shelving in the long term, and/or mitigate against the "You want Title X? Well here it is!" [THUMP] simplicity of dedicating a title to a single format over time. I'm not sure every book has or will return the value to the same extent as the other books, either, in a way that makes me think there may be another re-packaging at a future date. This seems a potential waste of resources, less The Complete Calvin and Hobbes than that (admittedly cool but hardly a bookstore staple) Monster Society of Evil book from years back. Or some vaguely dissatisfying mix of the two.

In other news, and to explain the art above, I seem to be physically incapable of drawing attention to a story a month or so old by now, that Vertical is going to do a version of Osamu Tezuka's Ode to Kirihito. Kind of a news-stutter. So it's good to finally have that out.
posted 1:24 am PST | Permalink

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