Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Empty Spaces

Marvel Comics is content to present its trade paperback collections as what they are: collections of stories that originally appeared in shorter periodicals, complete with covers, titles and credits. DC, on the other hand, wants to pretend that it is producing proper books. Covers are relegated to the back of the volume, along with other supporting material like concept sketches and author interviews. And, nowadays, titles and credits are deleted from splash pages.

Mostly, this is merely ugly and irritating. Sometimes, it is worse. Take, for example, the opening page of “Frankenstein in Fairyland”. Above is how it first appeared in issue 4 of Frankenstein. Below is how it appeared in Seven Soldiers of Victory, Volume 4.

So, instead of the narration building to the climax of “Can you imagine … Frankenstein in Fairyland,” we are given instead the dying fall of “Can you imagine…” And we are left to wonder what it is that we should imagine.

Presumably not an imaginary story. Because this is what the editors of DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore have done to the opening page of “Whatever Happened To The Man of Tomorrow?”

Whereas the Frankenstein omission could have been an oversight, here we can only conclude that someone at DC thought that it was worth sacrificing this …

… for an expanse of yellow space.

These are some of the worst examples that I have noticed. But there are plenty of stories that I have read only in trade paperback collections. So who knows what I have missed?

Panels: “Frankenstein in Fairyland” by Grant Morrison (writer), Doug Mahnke (artist), Nathan Eyring (colourist) and Phil Balsman (letterer), Frankenstein 4, DC Comics, May 2006.

“Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” by Alan Moore (writer), Curt Swan and George Pérez (artists), Gene D’Angelo (colourist) and Todd Klein (letterer), Superman 423, DC Comics, September 1986.

1 comment:

WildCard said...

I get my comics as monthly and very few as collections. Seeing this stears me away from DC collections. I expect them to be reprints of what is in the monthlies, with maybe non-story stuff like the letter columns removed. If they changed the actual artwork/lettering then they changed the story itself. That I do NOT like. Thank you for making us aware of this issue.