Anyone who reads my stuff (or that of Jeff of Earth-J) has heard the phrase "Golden Age of Reprints."
Because it is. I've been collecting comics since 1963, and for many decades finding a reprint from before the Silver Age was hard to come by. I have many hundreds of those reprints, of course, from a variety of venues, like Fantasy Masterpieces or DC Super Specials. But there are hundreds of thousands of stories from before (say) 1960 that the Young Cap'n, the Young Adult Cap'n, and now the Middle-Age Cap'n simply had no way to read. Even the crappy back issues of oddball comics still cost too much to buy.
This was so distressing to the 1963 Captain that he actually wept when he saw the (high) issue number of certain copy of an 80-Page Giant Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen. (True story.) How could I read everything that I needed to read? How could I collect what I needed to collect? How could I be knowledgeable in this field, when there was so much denied to me?
But now, so much has become available. My collection of '60s Gold Key is spotty, and I was never going to fill in the blanks, especially when the price of a back issue of Doctor Solar Man Of The Atom always kept pace with a car payment. But here comes Dark Horse, which has not only collected every superhero comic Gold Key ever published, but also every superhero comic ACG ever did! And the Archives editions of those series cost as much as a SINGLE back issue. Bliss!
Then there's all the non-superhero stuff which -- before the Silver Age -- was the overwhelming bulk of American comics. There is tons of this stuff, which I'd never read. But now I'm getting to read it. By the Spork of Odin, it's wonderful!
But what about what's missing? From my own perspective, there's plenty of stuff that's not published yet, or may never be published. Where is it? I'm not getting any younger, you know. Let's have it!
So here's an off-the-cuff list of things I want reprinted that I haven't seen yet. And I want to hear from each of you what YOU want reprinted, and haven't seen yet.
Here's my list (again, off the cuff):
* 1950s Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman: Yeah, these characters are getting reprinted like crazy these days, and I'm grateful for that. But the Archives/Showcase/Chronology books for all three characters are lapping each other, and not covering any new ground. All are working on two tracks: Early stuff, starting with the debut of the characters, and Silver Age to present. In all three cases, the early stuff has only hit about 1946, and the Silver Age starts in 1958 (or in Batman's case, 1964). There's this huge gap between 1947 to 1957 that I haven't read, from Action, Batman, Detective, Sensation, Superman, Wonder Woman and World's Finest. For God's sake, reprint those books before I retire!
* Jughead Archives: Dark Horse says it's going to start reprinting all Archie material from 1941 to present. Cool. However, I haven't seen any of those books. And Archie and Dynamite are doing "Best of" and holiday collections. And that's cool, too. But there's a lot of other Archie material I want to see: The Collected Bob Montana. The Collected Dan DeCarlo. And the Jughead Guy.
Who? Well, I used to collect Jughead in the 1960s and '70s, specifically because of the writer/artist on the material. Who was he? I don't know. No credits. And I never saw him on any other Archie titles, and he disappeared around 1985. But I sold my Jugheads and I want to see that guy's work again. C'mon, dudes, reprint 1970s Jughead!
* Crime Does Not Pay: One of the most famous and pivotal comic books of all time, and I have not read a single issue.
* Romance Comics: Not just the Simon/Kirby stuff. Give me a whole run of something, so I can see how the genre changed, and which writers and artists came and went. Think of it: There's tons of Buscema, Romita and Infantino stuff out there. Bring it on!
OK, that's just a taste of what I want. (Yes, Mrs. Captain, I DO want to own every comic book ever published!) But what would YOU guys like to see? Sound off, and maybe we can find a consensus and push for something. Who knows? Just a decade ago I wouldn't have given odds on Mighty Samson getting reprinted, but here it comes!