I’ve written about styles of comic books here before. Hard ones. Soft ones. Floppy ones. Even digital ones. But one of my favourite styles of comic books are big ones.
Omnibus and collected editions are great. Having every issue at your fingertips, in one huge lap crushing bound book is truly unique. But I know not everybody is a fan. I like it because you have every important story by a specific creator in one collection. You don’t have to have multiple floppies or trades kicking around. It’s all right there in one tidy package.
Plus when you buy omnibuses or huge collections, the price point starts to drop, so in reality it is cheaper to buy collections than trying to find old trades or originally released monthlies.
But there are challenges when it comes to reading this big books
First and foremost, the dust jacket. To some it is an outdated useless device that shouldn’t be used anymore. But I like them. It is part of the package which is the book. When I read mine, I like to remove the dust jacket. Put it somewhere for safe keeping, and put it back on the book when I am done.
Another challenge for reading these behemoth books is the sheer size. They are big. They are heavy. They are awkward to hold. And if it sits in your lap too long, you may need medical attention. But that just leads to the experience of reading these books. Every book, not matter the size or dimension has their own particular nuances when it comes to reading them. Omnibuses are no different. In many times the way you read the book at the beginning, will change as you get to the end of the book. But for me it just lends to the overall experience.
Cost is another huge negative to some people, when it comes to huge omnibuses and collections. In some instances the cost can be astronomical. Take The New 52 #1 Collection for example. When that book hit the shelves it had a price tag of $150. That is pretty expensive. I know there are some of you out there who will drop more than that on a single graded comic. But for the most part, dropping $150 on a comic book is pretty expensive. I wanted that book, so I did the unthinkable (if you are a die-hard comic book shop supporter like I am). I bought it on Amazon. I was able to find it online for $110. Still expensive. But more manageable.
The other big book that die-hard collectors love is IDW’s Artist’s Edition series. I own the Daredevil Born Again book and it blew my mind at its awesomeness. The level of detail that is included in the book is absolutely amazing. After having it in my hands, I can’t wait to go out and get more of these awesome books. The Rocketeer by Dave Stevens is next on my list.
The other bonus with the Artist Editions books is they will increase in value. Since they are printed in limited numbers, they are highly sought after by collectors, and their value will go up. This is something to keep in mind if you are thinking of snagging one.
There are positives and negatives to every item you buy. Yes, with these big books you get value for your money, and 20 lbs worth of “comicy” goodness. And they can be pain to read, and your comic shelf will need some heavy duty reinforcement. But I love them. I will be picking up more of them. It’s just another reason why comics is just a really fun hobby.