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The $40 perception of value

books for comparison

I posted on this subject a few weeks ago, but have noticed it again a couple times recently.

The pricing—all publishers are guilty, but I’ve mostly noticed it with Marvel books—just seems so out of proportion when books are compared to each other.

Where I’d thought it fairly standard that a six-issue “standard size” TPB would be $14.99 or so…I found that the first volume of Ultimate Comics Avengers, collecting the first six issues of that series, carries a PAPERBACK cover price of $19.99.

As shown to the left of this text, the huge, quasi-omnibus sized Civil War: Spider-Man volume carries a $39.99 cover price. Next to it, the SIGNIFICANTLY smaller in physical dimensions/thickness Deadpool & Cable volume…is also $39.99.

Granted, both volumes contain roughly 18 issues of content, from presumably regularly-sized issues of ongoing series (at the time the series were published). But that hardcover collection is made up of pages enlarged—taller and wider than “standard comic size”…and it’s a hardcover collection. And it’s got the same price as the scrawney-by-comparison paperback.

Really makes the paperback seem like not only an inferior product, but a bad value by comparison, phsyically.

I’ve gotta imagine it’s much cheaper to produce a paperback edition than hardcover. Factor in the extra paper involved by the larger physical dimensions, and honestly…I just don’t “get” it.

$40 is a lotta money…and it’s one thing to drop it on a huge, heavy hardcover. But to see it as the price on a thin little paperback…geez.

Of course, even within the line…the volume containing the only-7-issues Civil War main event itself is also $39.99…and much more comparably sized, at least physically.

These also put the $50 Starman Omnibus volume to shame.

And this is why I buy from Amazon or Half-Price Books, or wait for 33% and 40% coupons from Borders (not even getting into the developing fate of Borders).

books for comparison

The Walking Dead and zombie flicks


It’s only been a few years, but I’ve become quite a fan, in my own way, of the zombie horror “genre.”

However…I don’t tend to like just “any” zombie flick out there. I’m particularly a fan of George Romero’s zombie flicks. However, I can appreciate the much faster ones as seen in Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead remake, and the not-quite-zombies-rage-virus creatures of the 28 Days/Weeks Later, and the virus-spawned creatures of the Resident Evil series.

And of course, The Walking Dead, which to me at present surpasses even Romero’s best.

Can’t leave out Shaun of the Dead…the film that was a huge part of my getting “into” zombie films.

What I do not like are the talking zombies, smart zombies, or “I’m still me with memories and personality but I’m [un]dead” zombies. I’ll make exceptions here and there—particularly Kirkman’s original Marvel Zombies mini—but by and large…these aren’t my type.

While I can appreciate its place in all things zombie…even the brain-seeking/eating zombies aren’t my thing.

The Walking Dead season one is out on DVD now. I’ve just re-watched all 6 episodes in 3 nights, plus a bunch of extras—and still have quite a bit of stuff to watch to finish the extras.

As I said the other night when I posted some thoughts on the new release…I don’t care if these featurettes might be available online somewhere or youtube or whatever…they’re all these great things to watch of behind the scenes stuff and interesting…they’re adding at least a couple extra hours of entertainment to the set.

And where AMC really steps up and gains my respect…to best of my knowledge, the extras on the DVD correspond with the extras on the Blu-Ray. None of that crap of holding CONTENT hostage to force a choice in FORMAT.


Snake-Eyes: Declassified #6 [Review]

Quick Rating: Good!
Title: Untitled

An early Joe mission creates the Snake-Eyes readers were introduced to in the original G.I. Joe # 1…

snakeeyesdeclassified006Story: Brandon Jerwa
Pencils: Emiliano Santalucia
Colors: Jason Jensen
Letters: Brian Crowley
Cover Art: Emiliano Santalucia & Jeremy Roberts
Publisher: Devil’s Due

This issue wraps up the Snake-Eyes Declassified story, detailing in six issues the true "origin" of the man known to us only as Snake-Eyes.

This issue takes us into Snake-Eyes’ earliest days with the G.I. Joe team, and details the mission that largely shaped the character, particularly as he was first seen in the original Marvel series, way back in # 1.

As a reader who’s not terribly familiar with the character, I can say only that I enjoyed this issue, and that it seems to have certain elements I was aware of from flashbacks. Discussing the issue with a friend, it seems that not only this issue, but throughout the series, there have been scenes taken directly from those earliest issues, and given that, lends even more credibility/authenticity to this story.
After trauma in/surrounding his service to his country, Snake-Eyes has been through a lot, and has ultimately wound up on a "daring, highly-trained special mission force" where he can put his experience/training/abilities to good use. The Joes are sent on a rescue mission, but a mechanical failure with a helicopter leads to disaster, and in the midst of the disaster, several key things occur that close the gap between previous issues of this mini and the first issue of the Marvel series.

The art works very well here, conveying exactly what needs to be gotten across to the reader, including something as simple and subtle as the shifting of eyes in a 3-panel sequence at the beginning.
In the end, this story works very well as a story in and of itself–of a man’s trauma and the things he goes through as he deals with loss and hurt–but it also places into a single coherent chronicle the backstory to what is arguably one of (if not the) most popular characters of the G.I. Joe saga.

Though a "#6 of 6" is not necessarily the best jumping-on point, if you’ve followed this series thus far, I highly recommend getting this final issue. And if you’ve passe don the series–do consider checking out the TPB when it (inevitably) comes out.

Highly recommended.


Story: 4/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

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