Omnibus Ridiculousness

The new Fantastic Four by John Byrne Omnibus is out and it’s ridiculously heavy.  Amazon does a nice job of listing book specs and lets us know this book is 7.3 pounds and 2.5 inches thick.  Or to put it another way, unmanageable.

Marvel seems to have started the omnibus craze and is on a roll, providing more and more material in one volume.  The problem is you can’t read them anywhere except on a table, since the weight and girth make it more than a person can hold for any length of time.

I picked up the Thor By Walter Simonson Omnibus the summer because Diamond was offering an amazing deal and I didn’t have all the material already in a collected format.  It’s 7.7 pounds and 3 inches thick: again, unwieldy and a serious health risk.

It doesn’t have to be this way.  Collected material as an omnibus should be issued as multiple volumes in a slipcase.  Here are two recent examples: The Collected Calvin And Hobbes and Usagi Yojimbo Special Edition.


Here are two sets of books that collect a large amount of material, yet present to the reader in a size that can be held comfortably with one hand.  Marvel, take notice!


Scott VanderPloeg
Scott VanderPloeg

Scott works in I.T. but lives to eat and read. His other ramblings can be found at AE Index and eBabble. Art collection at Comic Art Fans.

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  1. I found with my Thor Omnibus, once I found a way to hold the book comfortably it was very easy to read. It was easier to read when I got to the middle of the book.

    I like the size, format and style of the Marvel Omnibus’ and I wouldn’t change them. I look forward to grabbing the FF book.

  2. But the same could be said for reading comics on an Iphone, Ipad or Kindle. Every presentation medium has their own quirks and personality. Reading a comic on an Iphone has it’s own style. Once you get used to reading it a certain way, then it becomes easier.

    The shear size of the Omnibus is part of the books personality. It is just part of the experience of reading that particular book.

  3. I put mine on a table and read it that way without problems. I thought they did a great job on the colouring and I thought the material has never looked better – much nicer than the Byrne Visionaries trades. The weight of it doesn’t bother me at all, although I do find myself jokingly referring to it as “a doorstop”. Looking forward to Volume 2… hopefully Marvel solicits that sooner than later.

  4. I was reading my Thor Omnibus on the table. I then moved over to my recliner and at the right angle I could set the book on my legs and it was quite comfortable to read.

    My kids were joking that the Thor Omnibus was bigger than the family bible that my ancestor’s brought over in 1831.

  5. I like to read on the couch and that Thor omnibus hurts my wrists. I couldn’t read for more than 15 min or so. I’ll be selling mine.

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