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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I'm one of those guys who, try as I might, can't warm up to Sekowsky's work. But that's what makes horse races, and I'm always interested to hear from someone that likes something I don't to see what it is I'm missing. On occasion someone will point out an angle I've missed about a given artist or story, and I learn to look at it from a different perspective. 

As for Sekowsky's Supergirl run, that was in Adventure Comics, right? I don't recall those stories ever being reprinted. The GCD doesn't list any reprints, either.

Dennis Summers said:

For what it's worth, I know that Sekowsky isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I've always loved his work. Does anyone know if his Supergirl stint has been reprinted in color in any format yet? (BTW I'm a proud owner of 2 pages of his original art, one Supergirl, one Wonder Woman).

Yup Adventure Comics (what a great old lost title). I'm not even sure I could put into words what I like about the Sekowsky style. I think it has to do with a couple of things, one was that his characters often seem to be in awkward poses, totally unlike the "classical" Infantino look, or the "action" Kirby look, but seemingly awkward in a real life sort of way. Another thing were his faces which looked often like they were from b-movies or something. Of course not everyone likes b-movies ;-)

Mike Sekowsky may not be DC's best Silver Age artist but he does get major props from taking on Justice League of America when most artists wouldn't. With Bernard Sachs, he gave those early JLAs such a distinct look and it got better with Sid Greene's inks, IMO.

Of course on Wonder Woman, he had Dick Giordano so that helped immensely.

That said, Metal Men, Supergirl and his Brave & Bold work are not favorites of mine.

Ha, that's so right! It's like he rounded up the character actors on the Warner Brothers lot and cast the as the Justice League! I think one of the things I like about his work is the expressiveness of the characters -- and their more distinctive faces played a big part in that. 

Dennis Summers said:

Yup Adventure Comics (what a great old lost title). I'm not even sure I could put into words what I like about the Sekowsky style. I think it has to do with a couple of things, one was that his characters often seem to be in awkward poses, totally unlike the "classical" Infantino look, or the "action" Kirby look, but seemingly awkward in a real life sort of way. Another thing were his faces which looked often like they were from b-movies or something. Of course not everyone likes b-movies ;-)

When I was younger I almost hated Sekowsky's art. Back then I thought everyone should draw like Infantino, though I never had a problem with Kirby or Ditko. I liked Gil Kane better when he was trying to tone down his style than when he started swinging for the fences. Over the years I've grown to appreciate different art styles and have less of a problem with Sekowsky's stuff. It is an acquired taste.

I think Mark Evanier one said Mike Sekowsky used to have a sign on his desk that read something like, "Take a number if you used to hate my art style as a child but now you like it."

I remember when Neal Adams took over the Spectre from Murphy Anderson I was horrified by this sudden switch to weird awful art from Anderson's clean lines (which I still love). Rereading the Adams issues a couple of years back, I was forced to concede that just possibly my taste as a child was not of the highest caliber 

Jeff of Earth-J said:

I think Mark Evanier one said Mike Sekowsky used to have a sign on his desk that read something like, "Take a number if you used to hate my art style as a child but now you like it."

As a child I didn't care much for the art of Steve Ditko and even less for that of Jack Kirby's.  I thought I was a big fan of Al Milgrom's but it turns out that I was really a fan of his inker Joe Sinnott.  Other inkers over Milgrom resulted in his work losing its appeal for me.

I always liked George Perez and John Byrne from the first time I encountered their work though.

Clearly this thread is going in a different direction, one in which I seem to have initiated, and will continue ;-) I have never understood what makes Perez so popular. His style to me seems so bland and undistinctive I just don't get it. Can anyone try to explain this to me?

We have a smilie for that! 

threadjack photo threadjack.gif

Dennis Summers said:

Clearly this thread is going in a different direction, one in which I seem to have initiated, and will continue ;-) 

Dennis Summers said:

I have never understood what makes Perez so popular... Can anyone try to explain this to me?

I don't know what the time frame was in which you saw his work. Once he hit his stride his work was packed with detail, precise, and clear; he handled the fantastic elements in the stories imaginatively; and he drew melees well. When he was drawing New Teen Titans he gave the characters distinct faces.

He was sometimes weakly inked early on, and he hadn't yet hit his stride when he did his earliest work.

Jacking the thread back, I got my two Silver Age Green Lantern omnibuses yesterday, making seven Archives superfluous. The two Golden Age Wonder Woman omnibuses have done the same, and when the second Supergirl omnibus arrives (in May?), it will knock out two Archives and two (I think) Showcase Presents. I've also gotten all five Golden Age Superman omnibuses, which renders a shelf of Archives and Chronicles moot. 

I hope somebody knows a market for all these books!

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