First off, hello hello to everyone! It's been a long time since I posted!

So, with the upcoming release of the Marvel Horror Omnibus I've decided to pursue an old goal of mine: owning all of the 1970s Marvel horror output featuring continuing characters. With the purchase of the Omnibus (which I pre-ordered yesterday!), a couple of trade paperbacks, and a handful of single issue B&W magazines, I'll have basically everything, including the third and fourth-rate characters (Hodiah Twist, anyone?) and the one-offs who were clearly considered as possible ongoing characters but didn't even come close to making it (Lady Daemon, Manphibian). Only two things are stymieing me: the lack of a comprehensive Morbius collection (although I suspect one may be coming, as a similar Man-Wolf collection is scheduled for release this fall), and friggin' Tomb Of Dracula.

Why Tomb, arguably the most famous, best-written of them all? Because there are so many collected variations I can't figure out which one to buy, especially when they all seem to have their problems. The Essentials are off the table since I want the color comics in color. There are three Omnibuses which appear to collect everything (including the B&W magazine material, which I want), but two of them are out of print and fetching absurd, delusional Amazon seller prices. Another TPB collected edition seems to have been discontinued halfway through the series, and the current "Complete" TPB collection isn't complete (yet) so there's no way of knowing if the magazines will be included. And, of course, the first "Complete" volume is already OOP.

So, finally, my question. Those of you who have purchased any of the above: What are your opinions of the version you have? Are you happy with it? Is it relatively complete, including the Giant Size and magazine appearances? Would you trade the version you have for another, if possible? In short, which version do you think is the best/most comprehesive?

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Welcome back, Mr. Satanism! Long time no see! welcom photo welcomeani.gif

Regarding your questions, somebody else will have to answer those, but you know this bunch is pretty good about that.

As for me, I bought all the original Tomb of Dracula issues long ago and have them in a safe place.  photo biggrin.gif

BRAAAADD!

I have ToD in "Essential" format. I generally prefer color volumes, but Gene Colan's art looks so darn good in black and white! Plus the "Essential" came out first. I had to wait long enough for those (four, I think) and I didn't hold out much hope for color volumes. I have noted the same availability you have and wondered the same things. I eventually got rid of my b&w Daredevil "Essentials" in forvor of the Masterworks, but I haven't made the jump with ToD... not yet, anyway.

Hey there, Mr. S! Good to see ya!

Yep, I've got the Essentials too, and love 'em. And if I ever get a hankering to read them in color, I'd look 'em up on Marvel Unlimited, where I presume they're collected in their entirety.

Otherwise, I'd probably go for the Omnibuses, hoping for eventual second printings or to chance upon a cheaper one at a convention. 

So after reading these comments I checked Amazon and the first Omni was nearly half off, so... I took the plunge. It's a second pressing (released last year) so hopefully the second one is due for a reprint as well. Even if not, that's still half of the color issues in one fell swoop, at a great price. If I have to fill in with TPB versions, so be it.

Believe it or not, I have never read these. I have the Werewolf By Night crossover issue, and I read the first 5 of so issues in the Essentials format, but that's it, so all these comics will be new to me!

There's also a crossover with Doctor Strange, also drawn by Gene Colan and Tom Palmer, although if memory serves, Steve Englehart was the writer. 

I have, somewhere in the pile, a "Dr. Strange vs Dracula" tpb. I'm guessing that crossover is also included there, though my memory regarding it is fuzzy

ClarkKent_DC said:

There's also a crossover with Doctor Strange, also drawn by Gene Colan and Tom Palmer, although if memory serves, Steve Englehart was the writer. 

I actually have the first Essentials, but I just couldn't get through it in B&W. The "raw" art is nice to see, but those stories need COLOR, dang it!

Jeff of Earth-J said:

BRAAAADD!

I have ToD in "Essential" format. I generally prefer color volumes, but Gene Colan's art looks so darn good in black and white! Plus the "Essential" came out first. I had to wait long enough for those (four, I think) and I didn't hold out much hope for color volumes. I have noted the same availability you have and wondered the same things. I eventually got rid of my b&w Daredevil "Essentials" in forvor of the Masterworks, but I haven't made the jump with ToD... not yet, anyway.

The Essentials and DC's Showcases are better than nothing, but I find that comics intended to be colored usually don't come off well in B&W. Comics intended to be B&W tend to have more shading/gray tones, which make them easier on the eye.   

Yeah ... I often see people claiming that the Gene Colan/Tom Palmer art looks fantastic in black and white. I think it looks better than other comics drawn for color that are reprinted in black and white, but something is still lacking.

Guess what? It's the color!

To add insult to injury, one of the few Essentials I bought (Howard the Duck) has a detail in a panel that was originally printed in color ink. Instead of making sure that it was printed in black ink, they dropped the ball. It's just a blank space where the art should be.

Richard Willis said:

To add insult to injury, one of the few Essentials I bought (Howard the Duck) has a detail in a panel that was originally printed in color ink. Instead of making sure that it was printed in black ink, they dropped the ball. It's just a blank space where the art should be.

I had the same experience with a Showcase Presents: World's Finest volume, where important text on the cover of one issue was in red ink on the original, and was simply a white space in the B&W collection. I went online to mycomicshop.com to look at the cover in color to find out what was written there, but still. A little quality control, please?

As to Tomb of Dracula, I have to beg off as well, as I have all the originals and have never felt the need for duplication. I will say that it's the series Gene Colan was born to draw. Also, if any collection includes Dracula Lives material, you should snatch it up. Some of it was mediocre, but some was very good. Roy Thomas and Neal Adams crafted an origin for Vlad Tepes involving the historical Turkish attacks on Wallachia, and it delighted the Lil Capn. I assume it holds up.

In my own defense, as far as the b&w ToD is concerned, it's not just the Gene Colan artwork (I did replace Gene Colan Daredevil Essentials with Masterworks, after all), but also the subject matter. For me, reading a ToD Essential is like watching an old Universal Studios horror film.

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