On the old Ask Mr. Silver Age forum at CBGXtra.com I reviewed more than 40 volumes of the DC Showcase Presents series and kept track of upcoming volumes, based on listings at Amazon and on the DC Comics website. Craig has asked that I continue that here at the good Captain's board, so here we go. There's some good reading ahead for Silver Age fans, and also a couple of head-scratcher selections.
February 23, 2011
Showcase Presents: Justice League of America, Vol. 5
In this value-priced volume collecting stories from issues #84-106, The JLA battles BLACKEST NIGHT villain Solomon Grundy, meets Deadman, faces a cosmic vampire, and teams up with both The Justice Society of America and The Seven Soldiers of Victory.
March 23, 2011
Showcase Presents: The Witching Hour Vol 1
DC's mystery/horror series THE WITCHING HOUR is collected for the first time in a value-priced package featuring issues #1-21!
This volume features artwork by comics luminaries including Neal Adams, Alex Toth, Bernie Wrightson, Michael Wm. Kaluta, Wallace Wood, Gil Kane and more.
April 20, 2011
Showcase Presents: Green Lantern, Vol. 5
Green Lantern's SHOWCASE PRESENTS series continues with issues #76-100, including the famed stories that teamed Green Lantern with Green Arrow, in which the two heroes face issues of the day including women's rights, political corruption, religious intolerance and more — all while battling evil. This volume also includes adventures from GL's 1976 relaunch, collected here for the first time!
Showcase Presents: Doc Savage
Pulp fiction hero Doc Savage is back in this value-priced title collecting his
1970s black-and-white magazine adventures for the first time. Originally published in 1975.
August 3, 2011
Showcase Presents: Trial of the Flash
Following the murder of The Flash’s wife, Iris, by his greatest foe, The Reverse-Flash, the two costumed characters are locked in a round-the-world race and battle – one that ended in the death of the evildoer. This is only the beginning of a startling chain of events for The Fastest Man Alive, as he is arrested on a charge of murder. A police scientist himself in his civilian identity of Barry Allen, The Flash begins to build his defense. But when his famous Rogues Gallery of villains decides to get revenge for the death of one of their own, The Flash must battle their patsy: The massively powerful villain called Big Sir. And that’s all before the trial even begins. Collected from THE FLASH #323-327, 329-336 and 340-350. . .
Also possibly of interest to Silver Age fans:
May 11, 2011
Deadman Vol. 1 [Paperback]
Master comics artist Neal Adams illustrates the original adventures of deceased, revenge-driven hero Deadman, one of the heroes of BRIGHTEST DAY, from STRANGE ADVENTURES #205-213.
These are the stories that introduced costumed high-wire performer Boston Brand, who is assassinated by an unknown marksman in his first adventure, only to return when mysterious deity called Rama Kushna gives him a mission: find his murderer!
Witness the continuing adventures of The Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Dr. Fate, Wildcat and the rest as they are joined by younger heroes Robin, Power Girl and Star-Spangled Kid! The Justice Society's battles with the Psycho-Pirate, the immortal Vandal Savage, the Injustice Society and more.
Ghosts "True Tales of the Weird and Supernatural" was a hit DC comics which ran from 1971-1982 featuring the work of several comic greats.
November 30, 2011
Showcase Presents Batman Vol. 5
Written by FRANK ROBBINS, DENNIS O'NEIL and MIKE FRIEDRICH; Art by IRV NOVICK, NEAL ADAMS and others; Cover by NEAL ADAMS
Showcase Presents: Wonder Woman Vol. 4
In this fourth collection of Wonder Woman stories from the Silver Age of Comics, the Amazon Princess faces Giganta - The Gorilla Girl, Cleopatra, Mister Blizzard and many more!
The slowdown in SP and ESSENTIAL volumes has led me to undertake a journey that will be long but hopefully prosperous, as it's something I've been meaning to do for quite some time now: Reading the entire Silver and Bronze Age of THE AVENGERS, straight through. A number of years ago, it would have to be at least a dozen or more, I picked up a nearly complete set of MARVEL TRIPLE ACTION and got to read something like 50 or so issues, but those of course were notorious for having been sliced-and-diced to fit the 18-page format Marvel had at the time, so every one of those was at least 2 pages light. Yeah, I'm losing out on the color by going the ESSENTIAL route, but this time I'll get every panel, every word balloon.
ESSENTIAL AVENGERS vol. 8, which goes up through issue 184, is scheduled to be published next April, so if I maintain a pace of one issue per day, I should be ready for that one when it arrives... well, I'll of course have to wait a bit past April until the library picks up a copy. But SP: GHOSTS and SP: YOUNG ROMANCE should be out between now and then, so I should have plenty of reprint options available.
I've been thinking of selling my original Silver Age comics -- I can get virtually the entire SA in reprint now, at a fraction of the cost and I wouldn't have to preserve them!
That's not a bad idea. We're in the Golden Age of Reprints, after all!
Capt. Comics said: "I've been thinking of selling my original Silver Age comics -- I can get virtually the entire SA in reprint now, at a fraction of the cost and I wouldn't have to preserve them!"
I've sold or otherwise disposed of almost all my pamphlets (or "floppies," as some call them). All I have left is 3 or 4 longboxes full of stuff I can't part with -- yet -- for sentimental reasons. And if Marvel ever reprints "Not Brand Echh," some of that stuff will go!
It's much more convenient to have those reprint books on a shelf. Can't remember the last time I pulled a floppy out of its plastic bag. That seems really quaint these days -- sort of like watching movies on VHS tape.
I think the market has definitely 'deflated' for reading copies of old floppies/comicbooks.
I was reading some old Kamandi comics yesterday, (that are just about as old as me!) and I did wonder if that old slightly musty paper smell was going to set off an allergic reaction or something in my lungs.
Seriously, there was a short documentary item on BBC radio one time about a BBC DJ called Paul Gambaccini's comic collection. The day they interviewed him he happened to be getting his complete set of early Spider-man comics ready to be sold. He said that with the beautiful Omnibi collections now out, there was no need to keep them.
I could hear the bell tolling right there. If a well-off and obsessive comic fan like him wasn't interested in actually owning the actual comics that hit the shelves back then, it didn't bode well for the value of everyone's collections.
Even reader/collectors like myself did contribute a little to the value of back-issues by occasionally buying a few back issues at some inflated price because there was no other way of getting a hold of the stories.
It's looking like the stories are going to turn out to be much more valuable in the long run than the cheap pamphlets they first appeared in.
As they should be...
"It's looking like the stories are going to turn out to be much more valuable in the long run than the cheap pamphlets they first appeared in.
"As they should be..."
Exactly. It's the stories that matter, not the packaging.
I don't even need the original pamphlets to feel nostalgic. Reading a 1968 Spider-Man story in a black & white Essential volume conjures up memories of the long-gone grocery store where I originally bought the comic, and reading it as I walked home. (Couldn't wait til I got home to read Spidey! I had to read it IMMEDIATELY.)
I don't think there's any question that all the reprints have depressed the price on reading-grade SA comics. The higher-grade, expensive stuff wasn't being bought to read, so that market is separate. Reading copies have little investment potential, so their only value is the story they offer, and that can be obtained in a better package cheaper in the reprints.
Granted, the original have a lot going for them in being the actual package and including the ads and letter pages. But not that many people care about those extras when the price and package are so much better in reprints.
I'm not seeing many reading-grade copies of comics at cons any more; even if dealers have them, they don't want to bring them to the show and take up space for slow-selling, low-margin stuff. About the only way to get them is on the Web, and there the shipping costs often are more than the comic cost.
At the same time, I'm not planning to sell off my SA comics, since that would take a lot of effort for little return. I also haven't bought many reprints for which I have the original comics. If nothing else, I don't have that much shelf space!
I prefer the comic book format myself, even though I have wholeheartedly embraced the ESSENTIAL/SHOWCASE PRESENTS formats since the one thing that offer is an enormous savings of time (and money, of course) -- instead of trying to track down a long extended run of a title, these collections give you the stories all in one place. They're not the original package, and a lot of the fun and mystique of the original comics is totally lost. I can pick up comic books from the Go-Go Checks era and be transported back in time to my childhood just by a house ad in an old FLASH or ACTION.
I'm kind of like Mr. Age here -- I wouldn't mind clearing out a lot of my collection, but it would take a lot of time to winnow the wheat from the chaff, and I'm not sure if there's much of a market for reading-condition SA comics any more.