Friday, February 7, 2014

Marvel Essentials and DC Showcases

I have said, on this blog and other places, I don't read comic books any more.  This isn't quite true.  I should say I don't read NEW comic books any more.  I have a LOT of these fine reprint books, from both DC and Marvel.  These are great books, lots of stories for about $20.  Back before there were comic book stores (and comic readership was in the millions) you could never be sure to find an issue of a comic you were looking for.  I had a series of stores I would hit on a regular basis, hoping that I would find all the comics I was reading.  This of course only applies to comics from about 1973 on.  The only way I got to read older comic books was from friends who's older siblings had a collection. 

Sometimes this route worked and I found the comics I was looking for, sometimes it didn't, and I bought something different.  I'm really happy to get nice reprints from the stories I was too young to read back then as well.  Early Spider-man, Green Lantern and my two favorites, the JLA and the Avengers.

One of the interesting things I've found is that good art trumps color.  These reprints are all in b/w and the truly great artists don't need color.  Kirby, Ditko, Kane, Sekowsky, Andru... clean simple lines still look great in black and white.  There are some great artists that suffer a bit with poor reproduction here and there (John Buscema and Don Heck in some Avengers books) but I think that's more a production deal.

The problem I have is that I am never sure when to stop getting the volumes.  I got about seven Fantastic Four volumes, but realized I really only wanted to read the first three.  I stopped Spider-man after two, and I think Avengers #9 (pictured) will be my final one in that series.  Probably the same # with the JLA.  Some, like Werewolf By Night or the first run of the Hal Jordan Green Lantern end in two or three or four volumes, which makes it easier.

I wonder if I can check some of them out of the library... that would make things easier!

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