Mike Gold: Comic Books Are Heavier Than Ever!
This time around the honor of writing the last ComicMix column of 2014 falls to me, and I am grateful for the opportunity to taunt the gods and goddesses of irony once more before the Cherub of the New Year arrives, gets a good look around, and shits his diaper.
Many, if not all of my friends seem to be happy that this year is coming to an end. String theory tells us that such optimism is silly, but since I’m starting 2015 with a left arm different from the one I had last January – and the anesthesia almost killed me – well, sayonara old bastard and take your scythe with you.
Now that I’ve got off my chest, when it comes to the Wonderful World Of Comic Books it’s been a pretty good year. For the incurably wealthy, we have all these Artist’s Edition books, entire stories shot from original art. Will Eisner, Simon and Kirby , the EC artists, Jim Steranko, Joe Kubert, Walter Simonson and a whole lot of others who are equally gifted… damn, these books are as beautiful as they are large, heavy and impossible to store. I don’t care; I’ve got about a half-dozen.
Huge books that are equally expensive were the thing for 2014. The Complete Zap Comix is both, well, complete and retailing at $500.00 a copy. I’d love to have one, so if you’ve got a copy and gift-giving is on your bucket list, please remember ol’ man Mike.
Last month saw the release of The Complete Little Nemo, and it, too, is complete. I can hear my fellow Winsor McCay fans drooling (yes, I can hear drooling; it’s my super-power) and Amazon has it for a mere $126.00, but if you want one you’re going to have to go to the gym first. The book is 708 pages, it’s about 15” x 20” and it weighs over 18 pounds. It may be the heaviest comic book ever published since the Stone Age. Warning: you cannot read this book propped up on your lap while in bed.
Archie Comics has been releasing quite a few digest-sized newsprint collections that run either 400 or 1,000 pages each. They started this last year, and it is logical to assume they’re doing well as they keep on coming out. Because they’re digest-sized and printed on newsprint, the price is quite low – about fifteen bucks retail for the 1,000 pagers. Better still, they are available on digital along with numerous digital-only Archie anthologies.
There’s more, of course. In comic books, there’s always more. If you’ve got some money left over from the holidays, give yourself a present. You probably deserve it.
And, for the record and on behalf of the entire ComicMix crew, have the happiest of New Years!