Thursday, 9 February 2012

Objects of Desire; Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus 2


Despite the comic reading world becoming increasingly aware of the tiny, if any, royalty cheques silver age artists get from Marvel for reprinting their work, I still crave this book. Due out in a couple of months, it collects together Amazing Spider-Man issues 39 to 67 as well as annuals and other odd and sods from the first couple of years after Steve Ditko stopped drawing the character.

I can’t help it. I love Marvels Omnibus books. Actually, I love Marvel’s Omnibus books when they collect comics from this period. I don’t really care for material from the mid eighties onwards, but prior to that, I’m usually very tempted and if it features artwork by Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, then I am usually overcome with desire. Unnerving, middle-aged longing. Of course, this book doesn’t feature artwork by either of those guys, it’s mainly by John Romita SR, an artist who I will confess passed me by a bit when I was a kid, so my pining for it makes it all the irrational.

Unfortunately, getting a copy of this book cheaply is proving to be very difficult. I’ve been watching it on Amazon UK and the lowest the price has got (for the tribute cover) has been £49. Currently, it’s listed at £56. I have a copy on order from Forbidden Planet International for £46 including P&P. If you order it from them now, then you can get it for fifty quid but I was able to order it for less because of a promotion they had when the book was first offered by Marvel a couple of months back.

Anyway, if Marvel are reading this, please can you publish the following Omnibus books; Fantastic Four Vol 3 (by Lee and Kirby), SHIELD (Silver Age Kirby and Steranko), Sgt Fury (Lee and Kirby) and Doctor Strange (by Steve Ditko)? I did tweet you this request a couple of months ago but nothing’s happened yet. You’re not ignoring me are you?

12 comments:

  1. While I think the Omnibus (what is the plural?) are great I actually ended up selling a couple including the Miller DD one as I find them too big to read comfortably while slummed like a lump on the couch.

    Give me a nice light weight floppie Essentials anyday!

    Does that make me a bad person?

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    1. Yes. :-)

      A lot of people seem to have issues with the size of the Omnibus but I'm okay with it. Mind you, I am currently reading Popeye 2 and that's huge!!

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  2. I have bought several Marvel Omnibus books over the years but have ended up selling all but one of the ones I have read (I've still got the Thor by Walter Simonson one and the Captain America by Jack Kirby one in my reading pile), partly because, as Colin said, they are too big to read comfortably. If I fell asleep reading an Omnibus book in bed, I could possibly crush my pretty face. The only one I have read and then kept is the Amazing Fantasy Omnibus, which is a relatively slim one (it's also a great book).

    Also, Omnibus Editions are a bit too luxurious (and expensive) for my liking. I sold my Tomb of Dracula Omnibus editions, got a really good price for them, and replaced them with Essentials books, which I'm just as happy with (the Gene Colan art just didn't look right recoloured and on glossy paper). Although I have warmed to them a bit in recent years, I have never really been that keen on hardcovers, and would much rather buy an affordable softcover. Still, it's nice to know that you can buy pretty much all the Spider-Man comics you ever really need to read in two massive books.

    Welcome back, Paul!

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    1. Thanks Rob. One thing I like about an Omnibus is that they feel new for longer. That's very appealing to me.

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  3. I'm going to ignore Rob's comment about "all the Spider-Man comics you ever really need" because obviously we'd also need an Omnibus of the Stern / Romita Jr. years and the DeMatteis / Sal Buscema issues of PPSM and, and, and... oh, sorry, I was supposed to be ignoring that wasn't I?

    Like Paul, I crave this book, despite the fact that it will mark about the 150th time I have bought some of these stories, starting with the old Marvel UK pocket books, through Marvel Tales, Essentials and the hardback Marvel Masterworks I currently own of this run (not to mention a large run of the original issues which I managed to put together over the years before poverty forced me to sell them).

    The only saving grace about my buying this book is that I should be able to sell two or three volumes of those MMW on eBay and hopefully get a good enough price to be able to comfortably afford it (to go with the Ditko edition), and maybe even a little more besides.

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  4. Well, maybe it's not quite all the Spider-Man comics you would ever want to read. I've never read the DeMatteis / Sal Buscema stuff but I'd like to read all the Stern / Romita Jr stuff again, as I haven't read it since I was a kid, and I'd like to at least look at all the Spider-Man stuff John Romita Jr has drawn. I've got a real soft spot for all the '70s stuff, a lot of which I still haven't read but think of fondly because they were comics I really wanted to read when I was a kid, as well as a soft spot for Marvel Team-Up, which was my favourite comic as a kid, and lots of other random Spider-Man stories. I'm not saying that there weren't any good Spider-Man comics published after this, but I also don't think it would have been the end of the world if Spider-Man had ceased publication after the Ditko and Romita Sr runs ended (I know you are a huge Spider-Man fan so feel free to punch me for saying that). Maybe it's because I read those 1970s Marvel paperback reprints so many times as a kid, but I would go even further and say that the first dozen or so issues of Spider-Man, the first dozen or so issues of the FF, the first six issues of the Hulk (etc.), all of which are perfect super-hero comics, are all you really need to read. It's been mostly down hill since then.

    P.S. I've got the hardcover Marvel Masterworks and am thinking of downgrading to the softcover MMs, as even they are too fancy for me.

    P.P.S. Can we at least meet half way and agree that Marvel Comics should have ceased publishing comics at the end of the 1980s?

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    1. The definitive Spider-Man for me is the Ditko run. Anything after that, no matter how good, is a tribute/cover version/remix, as far as I am concerned, even the Romita Snr run.

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    2. That's not to say that there haven't been SM stories that I not loved since. The Mantlo/Hannigan PPSM run, for example.

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  5. The next Essential Spidey volume will start to cover much of the Stern Romita Jr stuff and is due in time for the movie. Can't weight for that fella.

    There are so many great Spidey runs, most mentioned here already but pending an approaching re-read I'd defo say Dikto's stuff is the definitive... though if I was lending to a novice I'd go with Last Hunt I reckon. A typical put pulls people in.

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    1. That was meant to say atypical and while there's normally little point me correcting my oh so numerous typos that one is kinda necessary!

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  6. I'm late to the game here, but I'm with you, Paul -- I love Marvel's Silver Age Omnibus editions. I have a ridiculous number of them (over 20 Omnibuses total, most of them collecting Silver Age material). The second ASM Omnibus has been at the top of my wish list ever since I got my paws on the first one (almost five years ago!), so it's hard for me to resist counting down the days at this point.

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