Related to my last couple of posts about rereading comics from your collection, is the purchasing of stories one already owns in trade paperback form. For the most part, I do try to avoid doing that, just for purely financial reasons. However, there are times when I feel compelled, like when they finally reprinted all of Len Wein’s Swamp Thing stories in the Roots of the Swamp Thing hardcover (and not just the ones drawn by Bernie Wrightson), or that Firestorm trade that had an appealing cover and put all those old comics on nice, white paper. That’s one way to get me to reread some of my old comics…give ’em to me in a new presentation that will make me want to look at them again.
Now, since I’m a Swamp Thing fan, I’m not going to get rid of my original Swamp Thing comics after rebuying the stories in collected form, because I have a sickness and I need help. But as has been my semi-regular habit, I will happily replace my original issues with collected editions…like, for example, the early issues of Sandman. There was a time when those early issues were in high demand and sold for crazy money, and when that slipcased set of three paperbacks reprinting the first 20-something issues was released, I was perfectly fine with selling off those issues, getting the slipcased set, and using the extra money for food, gas money, and well, okay, probably just more comics.
I’ve done that a few times over the years…I bought the Watchmen paperback collection when it originally came out, but it took my acquiring of the Absolute Watchmen oversized hardcover to finally get me to throw my original run on the eBay. And I sold off my original Dark Knight Returns issues when I figured I was perfectly happy with having the story in the Longmeadow Press edition.
Over the last day or so I mentioned the Starblaze/Donning editions of the original Mage series by Matt Wagner, and I thought I’d throw the cover of the third one up here on the site just ’cause:
Mage was another one of those series where I ended up buying the collected editions because they were just so nicely done and they were in a larger format (about 8 1/2 by 11 inches, versus the standard comic book size), which resulted in me selling off the original comics. Well, actually, I used those comics as trade bait at a convention, and, like with the Sandman comics I sold, used them to get even more comics, so the vicious cycle continued. The only slight problem with this is that the Mage series included Grendel back-ups, and I didn’t want to lose those, but thankfully there was this album collecting all those stories:
This has been reprinted several times in comic book sized editions by Dark Horse, but I think this larger-formatted collection from Comico remains my favorite version.