May 2012 Previews: A Month of Reprint Editions

Recommendations

What an exciting discovery! AAM Markosia is bringing out a reprint of one of my favorite indy comic series from the late 1990s. Sleaze Castle Etcetera: The inComplete Final Cut ($49.99, MAY12 0787, due July) is almost 500 pages, reprinting the four director’s cut volumes and Petra Etcetera by Dave McKinnon, Adrian Kermode, and Terry Wiley. It’s an oddly intriguing combination of slice-of-university-life comics starring Jo, a pop culture student, and science fiction with her friend Panda, who’s royalty from another universe. I loved this series, and I have fond hopes that this giant reprint means the slight possibility of more comics sometime in the future. Forbidden Planet has more details and sample art, showing how fun this series could be.

Also coming back into print is the first volume of Mark Oakley’s Thieves & Kings, this time in hardcover from Archaia ($24.95, MAY12 0840, due September). This fantasy story will fit right in with that publisher’s line.

Looks like Harker, the British mystery comic I reviewed a couple of years ago, is getting a collected edition from Titan Books ($19.95, MAY12 1287, due July). The Book of Solomon reprints the first four issues.

I’ve already talked about the Scott Pilgrim color hardcover (Oni, $24.99, MAY12 1234, due August 8) and Muppets #1 (Marvel, $2.99, MAY12 0704, due July 4).

Snarky Comments

There is not a single female-led comic issue coming from Archie Comics this month. The only series they still have appear to be Archie, Jughead, and Kevin Keller.

We’re starting to see sentences in the DC section of Previews that should never be appearing, of the form “the new 52 debut of (old character name)”. If this reboot was truly an excuse to tell new stories, then we shouldn’t be seeing such reintroductions. That kind of promo only makes sense to old readers — but they’re the ones still reading the Previews catalog, I guess.

It could be worse — we could be seeing more use of old DC trademarks as new character names, as is happening in Batgirl, with the introduction of the villain Knightfall.

Then again, if new character names are along the lines of Bleez, Atrocitus, and Abysmus, all Red Lanterns, maybe it’s better to stick with the old classics.

When did it become a thing to call collections of entire runs of short-lived series “Volume 1″, as they’re doing with Hawk & Dove? Why does a book sufficient in itself need a volume number?

If IDW is promoting “creator-owned favorites”, then I’d think it would make more sense to actually list the creators’ names, instead of just the title, format, price, and ISBN (which doesn’t make sense in the comic market anyway). Image did the same thing, only without the ISBN. Either way, if your sales pitch is “creator-owned”, then name the creators!

It seems that the academic publishers have discovered the Previews audience, as there are a number of similar-sounding collections of critical essays in the Books section, most at $40 or more for 200+-page volumes. And I bet most don’t have many pictures at all.


2 Responses to “May 2012 Previews: A Month of Reprint Editions”

  1. Anthony Says:

    Looking over Archie’s subscription site (which still hasn’t billed my credit card for the gift subscription I bought last Christmas for my niece, despite emailing them/her still getting issues), they’re down to just four floppy comics: Archie (monthly), Jughead, Kevin Keller, and Betty & Veronica (all bimonthly). The girls still headline two digests though (B&V Double Digest and B&V Friends Double Digest). Guess Archie’s opted to focus on the more-profitable digests?

  2. Johanna Says:

    Reprints are certainly cheaper than creating new material. For years, the fear was that one of these companies with long histories and big backlogs of material would realize that they didn’t need to support ongoing comics to license their works and put out collections. Perhaps Archie is leaning that way now. Although, as I noted in my most recent sales figure post, they are still putting out Life With Archie as a periodical, too.




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