Tagged: Penguin

Reprints for the Masses

Sometimes, the best way to look forward is by looking backwards through a rear-view mirror, or in other words, “Let’s talk about reprints!”

THE HISTORY OF COMICS

There would not be comic books without reprints. Heck, the very first comic books EVER were reprinted comic strips stitched together and sold on a magazine stand. Marvel and DC toyed through the ‘70s with book-sized editions of older comics, but it wasn’t until Watchmen that reprinting old stories became the norm. These “Graphic Novels” would usually get a hardcover edition and a softer trade paperback edition… now almost every run on a comic will get a “Trade” reprint somewhere down the line.

COMICS TODAY

These days, reprinting comics can take a variety of forms. Take for example EERIE ARCHIVES VOL. 11, available this week from Dark Horse. Here we have an expensive and beautiful deluxe hardbound edition of ‘70s horror comics, featuring such standards as The Mummy and Mr. Hyde, reprinted for curious fans, hardcore completists and librarian archivists alike. Did you get that? A box of reprints of comics originally printed on crappy newsprint for 75¢ each is now painstakingly reproduced on beautiful archival paper for $49.99.

Then there is Batman Beyond Unlimited #8, a new comic from DC, which features three tales of a futuristic Batman which originally ran online. That’s right: It reprints something for $3.99 which has NEVER been physically printed, only published online for free.

It gets weirder.

You see, we also have Penguin: Pain and Prejudice, the trade reprinting the five-issue miniseries exploring the origins of Gotham’s most misunderstood tuxedo-wearing Gentleman of Crime. When these issues originally ran, they were about $2.99 each.  Three times five is $14.99, the same cost of the trade, but this trade edition also includes the single issue Joker’s Asylum: The Penguin, a fine feathered periodical originally retailing for $2.99.

So here we have a reprint giving you more of a great story you may have missed, or allowing you to have a “reader” or “lender” copy for your friends to read, saving the value of your original issues, OR allowing you to read it for the first time in one setting LESS than it originally cost.

(Here’s something fun to do: Google image search “Penguin Pride and Prejudice” and the majority of the stuff you will find shall be book covers from the publisher Penguin Books for the Jane Austin classic! I hope Elizabeth Bennet punches Batman in the face! BAM! ZOK! LOOK OUT, CAPED CRUSADER, here comes Mr. Bingley! KER-POW!)

Then there’s good ol’ Marvel…this week alone they have trades, archive editions and reprints of issues published months ago in case you missed them, such as Avengers Vs. X-Men reprints, The Evil Deadpool trade and GLOBS of other books.

THE FUTURE

With more and more comics moving online, or even debuting digitally, will comic book shops take over as reprint houses featuring paper versions of older material? What happens to libraries and other archival institutions as art becomes intangible?

Will we one day see a world where we step into a comic book shop to download single issues onto our tablets at discounted rates?

Who knows… and who cares? All I know is, I get to read about The Mummy, The Penguin, Batman and Deadpool this week! THANKS, Forbidden Planet!

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More musings from Unkiedev, Earth’s own sidekick, can be read at unkiedev.blogspot.com

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Merch Point

The Avengers movie is AWESOME, you have to go see it right now! Well, it was alright. Actually, I kinda’ didn’t like it. I know that’s strange, I mean, the director has done such impressive work, and it had that REALLY hot girl in it…what was her name? Dang it, it’s on the tip of my tongue. You know, she has the crazy red hair and the skin-tight cat suit. UMA THURMAN, that’s the gal.

I don’t see what all the fuss is about…folks have said that the Hulk steals the show, but he wasn’t even IN this picture. Plus, and let’s be honest, it was cool seeing Sean Connery, but the whole weather dominator thing was a little hokey.

I just felt like I wasn’t seeing the same movie as the critics.

WHAT NOW?

Did you know that the Forbidden Planet has a plethora of other, totally fun and non-Avengers related products that you can purchase and enjoy while you try to fill the empty shell that is the wasted time in your life between rewatchings of the Avenger’s movie?

OF COURSE YOU KNEW. You had to walk in the door just to pick this newsletter up, right (or maybe you’re reading this on our blog, between reviews for many of these fine non-Avengers related products)? You must have seen all the kick-ass stuff littering the display cases, shelves and walls. Did you need Doctor Who TARDIS salt and pepper-shakers? Do you need an officially licensed Hellboy or Buffy Ouiji Board? Do you need recreations of old hot rod plastic model kits?

You need it as much as you need this week’s Wonder Woman comic, or the new issue of Amazing Spider-Man. If only there was a place which had new comics AND fun, geeky chotskis, plus t-shirts, GI Joes and spiffy card games.

UPSTAIRS, and yes, I am aware that, to some of you, it is news there is an upstairs; there are card games, role playing games, dice games and MORE! In fact, the upstairs alone is a role playing game…you pretend that you’re a customer looking for nifty manga, and we pretend that we’re clerks. In reality we’re hard-light holograms, and the entire store is one giant holodeck. Continue reading

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The Clone Chores

This has been the easiest column to write of my long career…because I didn’t write it! OR DID I?! No, I did not, but my CLONE did! That’s right, in order to better multitask I have developed a clone-o-matic so that all of my necessary daily tasks (sweeping up the cave, writing my columns, eating, etc.) can be performed while I engage in weightier pursuits…like finally finishing Zelda II: The Adventures of Link. That game is tough!

So let’s just review this document my clone has passed in…we’ll call him CLunkiedev. *Puts on reading glasses, clears throat* Ahem.

GOOD FOR YOUR EYES


Well, I already have to step in to editorialize. Clunkie’s written here “Darhrazz 8” and then a sort of squiggle. Due to me taking this particular clone out of the tank a little early his hands aren’t strictly speaking hands…he can grip but his nailless fingers are sort of boneless and stumpy. I think IT is trying to recommend Dark Horse Presents #8 which, on top of some great new stuff from Brian Wood and Howard Chaykin promises to have a Hellboy B.P.R.D. tie-in story. It’s a good book to cover.

Speaking of which, Clunkiedev has scribbled a sort of moist rectangle with a Superman symbol, the number 6 and a big “X” through it. I think It is as disappointed in the cover to Action Comics #6 as I am…sort of a green and purple blob in which Superman is stuck as though in a Japanese tentacle manga. It reminds me of Clunkie’s forehead…see eyelashes are really hard to clone, and they came out all…never mind. AC #6 has a lousy cover, but I’m sure Grant Morrison’s superlative writing on these Super-books will be top notch.

Two covers that leap off the shelf are Fear Itself The Fearless #8 and The Twelve #9! Fear Itself The Fearless is the spin off series from last summer’s Fear Itself event. Good  Marvel fun. The cover, however, is the best Art Adams has to give! Amazing perspective, detail and poses as only Adams can deliver. Continue reading

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Calender Man: A Date with Death

There’s a dang great cartoonist from Canadiadiadia by the name of Jay Stephens.  AMAZING stuff. You’d really have to track his work down now…he’s one of these talents who realizes there’s more money in doing anything that’s not comics. You guys probably know him best from designing/creating the TV shows “Tutenstein” and “The Secret Saturdays.”

He USED to do a hilarious comic book called Sin, which was reprinted once as The Land Of Nod, which you can still find sometimes. ANYWAY…

In Sin #4 he has his plucky heroes read the latest issue of their favorite comic book only to discover it’s been rebooted all grim and gritty. They properly proceed to throw it across the room with the word balloon “Pew, What a Reek.”

Why bring this up, you ask?

Penguin Pain and Punishment #1 (of 5), Gregg Hurwitz, Szymon Kudranski, DC

Back when it was cool to be a villain with a shtick the Penguin was a top dog. Iconic and simple, he was a squat gentleman thief who used his trick umbrellas and penguin motif to escape from Batman time after time.

But the Golden Age is over. Now? From Tim Burton to Alan Grant, writers have struggled to make this character modern. Is he a mutant? A Fence? A Snitch? Is he crazy or sane, dangerous or campy? In all these variations only three things seem consistent. ONE) He wears a tux, topper, monocle and spats. TWO) He’s got a big schnoz. THREE) He has parent issues.

SO GET READY for the bold new direction for the Penguin in the NEW 52 universe!  It promises Pain and Punishment! It will be crazy modern, to be sure. Continue reading

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