This is already back up to £83.09 now. Hope people got it while they could!
I was waiting for a hardcover anyway.
Wow, that’s quite the jump.
See, everyone? Here be the lesson: Always read the Trades Thread frequently.
I finished reading that big Dork hardcover earlier today. As I said upthread, it covers most of what was published in Dork 1-5 and 7-11, plus the House of Fun strips originally published in Dark Horse Presents and later collected in a one-shot. The missing elements are all the Eltingville Comic Club stories (Dork 6 was only Eltingville stories, so it’s completely missing), plus all bar two Milk and Cheese strips, and Kyle and Evan: Critics at Large. The former two are absent because Dark Horse collected them prior to this book, and the latter is left out for “copyright/headache reasons”.
And it’s a very mixed bag. Like I said a while back when I found a copy of the first Tick TPB, stuff I found hilarious as a teenager doesn’t always tickle me the same way now, (and honestly, I think Milk and Cheese and Eltingville are the funniest things Dorkin has done), but even with that in mind there’s a lot to enjoy here. Dorkin’s art is always great, and you get to see it evolve and change over the 10-odd years of comics in this book.
While a lot of the throwaway gag strips are amusing, the best work here is the stuff Dorkin is angry about - be it the comics industry (and so little has changed since his vitrolic rants in the early issues), music, or in a few cases society. The ultimate highlight is ‘Circling the Drain’, which made up the bulk of Dork 7, and is a heartfelt and powerful story about Dorkin’s nervous breakdown, and the pivotal part his wife (comics pro and frequent collaborator Sarah Dyer) played in keeping him steady afterwards. This is especially ironic as he spends a lot of time elsewhere railing against navel-gazing autobiographical comics.
I have a few nitpicks in terms of presentation though. While the strips are presented in order of publication, there’s no delineation point between issues, except for the issues that had separate contents pages. All the covers, back covers where they had art or strips, and inside covers are in the book, but segregated to a gallery at the back. It’s a bit of a mish-mash
I don’t know if I’d say everyone should rush out and buy this, but there’s a lot to offer here. It’s a great example of the critically acclaimed small-press work that was coming out in the 90s, with all that entails. And it’s super cheap, which is always good.
It’s a pretty extreme swing. Dropping so far, and then rebounding so fast. Their pricing algorithms must be pretty gonzo.
They pretty much are! But we can really benefit from it.
I’m now on issue 10 of my Sandman re-read, first time I’ve read it since it came out.
Whilst I’ve always regarded it as special, and read the early issues a number of times, I’m almost ashamed to admit I’ve forgotten how utterly fucking phenomenal the series is.
Although I do rememeber bits and pieces of it, i almost feel like I’m reading it for the first time, given that I was in my pretty early teens when I first read it and i don’t think I’ve read any of these issues again since my late teens/early 20s - obviously approaching this as an older man(child) I’m seeing it though very diffferent eyes.
What strikes my most is how creative it is and how much freedom the artists have been given to experiment, even behind Dave McKean’s incredible covers.
Whatever became of Dringenberg? His shifting styles are endlessly (no pun intended) amazing and really elevate the reading experience.
I almost feel like although comics have evolved a lot in the 20 odd years since this was made, there’s very little that pushes the boundaries in the same way. Almost everything else published today either feels safe or amateur in comparison.
I’d love to see this level of artistic freedom again in the books that are soon to be launched by Vertigo. Although Gaiman probably is one of a kind.
Whenever I re-read Sandman I realized I’ve forgotten just how incredible it is. It’s really in a class of it’s own.
Aw man, Chris. You’ve got me jonesing to read it again. Like you I haven’t read it for 20 years or so, and I’m sure I wasn’t equipped to fully appreciate it at the time. I think I’ll enjoy it a lot more now.
I don’t think you’ll regret it.
I don’t know if I immaturely played the series down in my mind a bit or something because it because it got noticed and quoted in the mainstream and outside the industry.
I was a bit like that when I was younger I think - like ‘fuck you, this is our world’.
I read the complete Sandman for the first time in the last few years. It was a huge delight.
@davidm, all the Rebirth era collections have a blue-and-white banner at the top/spine. They’re pretty distinguishable, as are the New 52 volumes, which all have a black spine with a blue box for “DC Comics.” That’s what I always assumed DC was doing, starting with New 52, standardizing the trade dress so it’d be easier to read through a series of volumes. They no doubt saw how popular Sandman and Fables were in bookstores, and wanted to try and capture some of that crowd. I don’t know if they were successful, but they at least made the effort. Lazy booksellers making no effort to keep everything in order, meanwhile, is entirely out of their control…
I haven’t read Sandman through in full since the Absolutes came out, so I guess for about ten years. I should remedy that.
Mignolaverse fans, UK-only:
Looking forward to this one.
Forbidden Planet offering the Captain Marvel (by which they really mean Ms Marvel) omnibus at 40% off for a limited time only:
Nearer the time, SpeedyHen might offer it for pre-order price of around £48.
When out, Books Etc might go as low as £43-45.
Problem is, that’s a “might”, whereas the FP offer will expire if you wait.
Nah, easy - place FP order now.
Place SH order when active.
Cancel FP order.
If spotted at bargain price on BooksEtc, cancel SH order.
I just know I’m going to screw up something that complicated and end up with either nothing at all or three copies