It looks like DC Comics are using the Omnibus format as their current way to collect classic material in chronological order.  In the past, there have been the Archives series (hardcover, full color), the Showcase Presents series (softcover, black and white, usually twice the page count of an Archive), and the Chronicles series (softcover, full color, smaller page count than an Archive).  In the past few years, all of these lines have been quietly shuttered, and now DC is releasing Omnibus collections in both hardcover and softcover formats.

As you would expect, the Omnibus hardcovers are huge.  Two Silver Age volumes collected the first 76 issues of JLA (along with Brave and Bold 28-30 and Mystery in Space 75), for example.  Earlier this year, DC released JLA: The Bronze Age Omnibus Volume 1, collecting JLA # 77-113.  That's almost half of the original series collected in this way, which for a fan like me is great news.  The JLA Archives had 10 volumes, collected the first 93 issues, and the first volume and last volume were released twenty-two years apart.  The first JLA Omnibus came out in 2014.

DC is also releasing these collections in trade paperbacks with a smaller page count than the hardcovers.  The great thing is that these TPBs collect more issues than the Archives did!  The material collected in the first JLA Silver Age Omnibus has all been released in 3 TPBs.

I have the first JLA Silver Age TPB, and I loved it!  I also have the first JLA Showcase Presents, but I find that without color, I just don't enjoy the stories as much as I could.  Actually, I find I enjoy most Silver Age comics more in color versus reading them in Showcase Presents and Essential Marvel.

I wonder how many of the rest of you are buying and reading these Omnibus collections, and what you think of the format.

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It's a mix, Dennis.

I have some of the Cochran B&W books, which stand apart from the rest of my EC reprint collection, as they are considerably different in size/format. What I consider my actual collection -- and is reflected by the list above -- are the  Gemstone and Dark Horse hardcovers. The Gemstone and Dark Horse books have much the same format, and I can't tell the difference unless I get close enough to read logos.

For fans who are willing to spend money for consistency, Dark Horse has been reprinting the Gemstone books. I haven't been buying them, as what I have satisfies me. Dark Horse has also begun reprinting the New Trend line in softcover.

This is only DC-adjacent, but this thread seems the best place to pose this question:

Has PS Artbooks' Blackhawk Vol. 1 been released?

I ask this because I missed my chance to order it on Westfield -- it was "Softee" and not HC, so I skipped over it, not realizing that PS didn't plan on a hardcover release. When I realized my mistake, I ordered the next one offered -- Volume Three -- and have been waiting for Vols. 1 and 2 to be released on Instocktrades. I just saw that Volume Two is planned for a release later this month, but I've never seen Volume One. Amazon doesn't offer it, and a Google search is a mixed bag -- some retailers say it hasn't come out yet, while some say it's sold out.

Anybody know?

I don't know, but I do know I'm becoming increasingly frustrated with PS Artbooks' releasing volumes in a series out of order, switching up formats, and generally being noncommunicative to consumer queries. I have tried contacting them through their website five or six times and have never heard back. they have a Facebook presence, but I don't do Facebook. Don't know if they'd be any more communicative there. I has the owner of my LCS inquire via Diamond about some the other "missing" (?) volumes we have discussed and they're response was, "When they ship you'll get them." My guess (and it's only a guess) is that those Blackhawk volumes haven't been released yet. I don't order the "softees" by my retailer shelves them, and I haven't noticed them come through my shop. 

I have never tried to contact PS Artworks, Jeff, but if I had, and had endured your experience, I would be angry as well.

Heck, I'm angry for you!

I'm not exactly happy with the publisher either, having paid for dozens of books for years through Westfield that I haven't received. As I write this, Westfield has charged me close to $1,000 for books I haven't seen yet, and don't know if I ever will see. I keep ordering, and the books keep not arriving, and when they do, they just replace the new orders, and I remain at all times about $1,000 in the hole.

I used to be a lot more angry about it, but now that we have Gwandanaland as an alternative (thanks, Richard Willis!), I am less so. I'll get what I want in one place or the other. Or, if need be, I'll just read it online.

And I'll tell you this as a columnist, with the weight of players like McClatchey, Scripps-Howard and the Chicago Tribune behind me, getting PR people, who were literally paid to respond to people like me to respond to people like me, was a chore. Or I had to promise things I wasn't willing to promise, and then when I didn't, was cut off entirely. Often I had to go above their heads, find an alternative source or just give up. In the journalism game -- and in the consumer game -- PR is now king, and we are all peasants.

And this is the death of journalism. Which we all know is happening. You used to be able to get a response from a company because they were afraid you'd complain to the press, and they didn't want the bad publicity.

Now they're not afraid of that. Now, the corporate PR people call the shots. And if you're a journalist, you either play ball, or you're on the outside. Some journalists sell out and become FOX, and some drop off the radar.

So Jeff, that is the state of the world now. You're in the basement, yes, but so is everyone else. There's the 10%, and the rest of us.

I'm not happy to be sharing the basement with you. We both deserve better. But that's where we are.

"You used to be able to get a response from a company..."

Speaking of Gwandanaland, Lance Jones (the guy who runs it) is very responsive. He usually responds to e-mails within minutes

Also, an order I placed through Manuscript Press was lost in the mail. I corresponded with someone named Chris who took care of the problem quickly and efficiently. 

I mentioned Gwandaland here a couple years back. And Lance must be the hardest working guy in this biz. Not only is he seemingly reprinting everything, if he redoes a book because better copies of the comics have become available he will replace your original book for free. He'll also make custom collections and is always running sales of one kind or another. I believe that all of his new books are always offered as both paperback and hardback, and I think the plan is to be able to offer everything that way. I second Jeff of Earth-J's comments about Lance's responsiveness. I gave up on PS a long long time ago.

Captain Comics said:

You used to be able to get a response from a company because they were afraid you'd complain to the press, and they didn't want the bad publicity.

Now they're not afraid of that.

You know what companies are afraid of today? Twitter and Yelp. Make your complaints there, and companies respond.

Dennis Summers said:

I mentioned Gwandaland here a couple years back. 

I remember. For whatever reason, I didn't follow up on it then.

Captain Comics said:

I have never tried to contact PS Artworks, Jeff, but if I had, and had endured your experience, I would be angry as well.

There seems to be a disease on the Internet. Every site has an email contact listed and then either no one looks at the inbox or chooses to not answer.

I'm not exactly happy with the publisher either, having paid for dozens of books for years through Westfield that I haven't received. As I write this, Westfield has charged me close to $1,000 for books I haven't seen yet, and don't know if I ever will see. I keep ordering, and the books keep not arriving, and when they do, they just replace the new orders, and I remain at all times about $1,000 in the hole.

When I order from eBay, Amazon, MyComicShop.com or my LCS they don’t actually get paid until the items are shipped or ready to be picked-up. So far, I haven’t ordered from Westfield. Who is keeping your money? Westfield or the publishers?

I used to be a lot more angry about it, but now that we have Gwandanaland as an alternative (thanks, Richard Willis!), I am less so. I'll get what I want in one place or the other. Or, if need be, I'll just read it online.

I think I’m being thanked instead of someone else.

Good news, everybody! Over in the just-posted DC Comics for August 2022, there are listings for:

  • The Phantom Stranger Omnibus
  • Golden Age Wonder Woman Omibus Volume 5
  • Silver Age Batman Omnibus Volume 1

Well, as usual, the collections and OGNs in the "August" list are actually solicited for considerably later. GA Wonder Woman v5 and SA Batman v1 are solicited for October release, and Phantom Stranger for November. But as you say, even that isn't especially trustworthy.

Fantagraphics lists Carl Barks Library Vol 27 for September!

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