Features
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Features could be original writing that doesn’t fit into Essays, Reviews, or News – but a feature post will more likely be composed of fun pictures or general nuttiness. We need some place to put it, right?

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By | Monday, May 10, 2010 | 9:13 pm | 0 Comments | Blog > Features

This is in response to a forum thread over at Comic Book Resources, in which user Hotrodimus asked about “Vertigo’s” Sandman (dream) in relation to mainstream DC books. There’s a lot of good discussion there, but I wanted to bring this bit here as well:

The major point is that Vertigo Universe and Vertigo Imprint are two separate concepts.

It’s just like how some books are published with the DC logo, but aren’t part of the DC Universe. DC is just the publisher.

So a lot of books are under the Vertigo banner, but don’t have the same shared universe. The ones you mention fall under that – Preacher, Transmet and so on. Those are self contained. (In addition to being creator owned – there are some creator owned characters or concepts that are still part of various continuities)

However, there is most definitely a Vertigo Universe (though my list is still kinda unsorted for that one). The definitions can be sketchy at times, just like the DC Universe, but this is what I’ve been devoting the past couple years to charting and it’s definitely there. It’s a strange one, because it’s kinda a subsection of the DC Universe (I think someone on this forum called it the shady underbelly, which works. I have a lot of the books on both lists.)

Another Imprint/Universe is Wildstorm. There are some books that take place in the Wildstorm Universe (like The Authority, Planetary, Stormwatch) and others that are just printed under the Wildstorm Imprint (Ex Machina – which is awesome btw, Fringe, etc)

Fables is a series under Vertigo that has its own shared universe between two or three ongoing related titles.

There are even some shared universes that don’t belong to any one publisher, because they are mainly creator driven. The Buffyverse is an example of that – since it’s split between Dark Horse and IDW, both publishing titles that share some of the same characters from the original Fox/Joss Whedon shows.

Hopefully that clears up a little confusion! Right now, there are a lot of self contained books in this database, just sitting in Unplaced Books (because they will be tagged with creator tags that put them on various writer/artist lists) but I’m not sure exactly what to call their eventual home. It might just be “Self Contained,” actually. It would be an alphabetically sorted list.

As always let me know if you have any questions – this kinda thing is my passion!

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By | Monday, May 10, 2010 | 3:19 pm | 0 Comments | Blog > Features

So I just picked up my first ever DC Archive Editions book, The Black Canary Archives Volume 1. This is a big hint for what is coming soon to this website (hopefully later today).

While doing research for this site, I found it on Amazon for 15 dollars (ok 18.99 including shipping) and just couldn’t resist! There’s actually still another copy up there for that price, but mine was marked as “Like New” from someone’s personal collection, haha.

I’ve been avoiding them, even though they have a natural appeal to someone who love the Golden Age and introductions in his books.

The reasons I’ve been unsure about them:

1. A lot of them collect by series and not by character – so you get Detective Comics but not Batman in the same volume (unlike Chronicles, which I’m loving). I’d rather have things in order than in seperate volumes – but apparently DC heard that complaint, which is why we have Chronicles now.

2. They’re hardcover – I actually don’t like hardcovers, they take up more room on the shelf, I find them harder to hold (shut up), and I feel worse if they get a nick or ding.

3. They’re expensive! 50 bucks a book? Really? I tend to spend between 6-10 dollars on a book, unless it’s Nightwing: Rough Justice, which was a super special exception and I couldn’t find it for any cheaper after looking for a year. (Currently going for between 70 and 80ish on Amazon! Insane! I got it for much cheaper than that.)

4. They’re slightly redundant. If you already have Showcase books and are collecting Chronicles, you probably don’t need the Silver Age Green Lantern archives, for example.

Reasons I’ve been slowly caving:

1. They’re essential for catching up on the Golden Age! There’s no other way to read a lot of amazing stories in collected edition, and the single issues are super expensive! I’m crossing my fingers for a JSA Chronicles at least, but will they ever release Golden Age Spectre Chronicles? I kinda doubt it… but one can hope.

2. Sometimes they go under 20 used. I can manage that. I’ll treat myself to maybe one or two a year and cross my fingers for some kind of crazy All Stars Archives lot on Ebay.

3. They have introductions! I dislike that the Chronicles books don’t really include any academic or historical context. As Chronicles go, they’re great reproductions (so far) and wonderfully inexpensive ways to read early Superman and Batman, but I wish there was a little essay. From what I’ve read, the text in the Archives books isn’t bad, and I’m a historian at heart, so I’m looking forward to it.

4. I’ve got a completion-ism complex (in case you didn’t notice.) It’s really hard for me to know there are stories out there I haven’t read that are technically available in trade. This is why I own Batman: Digital Justice, for example. Which is actually pretty entertaining as a case study for how not to use computers to create comic books.

So now I’ve got my first Archives book on its way.

I’m really looking forward to it and I’m actually happy that it turned out to be this book. Golden Age Black Canary is a character I’ve never known enough about – no idea about her origin, early stories, early life. I only really know her character design through her Silver and Modern Age incarnations. That’s about it.

Do you guys have any other Archives books to recommend?

I’m not really going to jump on Superman and Batman, I think, since they have Chronicles coming out. Same with Wonder Woman and all the Silver Age stuff.

So I’m only really jonesning for those All Star books – the JSA includes my favorite weirdos in tights.

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