The iFanboy Letter Column – 10.22.2010

Friday means many things to many people. For some, Friday means movie night. For others, Friday means pure unbridled hedonism. For some, it’s both. For others, neither.

At iFanboy, Friday means it’s letter column time.

You write. We answer. Very simple.

As always, if you want to have your e-mail read on the any of our shows or answered here, keep them coming –

I’m starting to get more and more into Absolute Editions and Omnibus Editions and was wondering which ones you think are the best for both story and value for money. I have Absolute Sandman, Death, The Boys, Vol. One, Planetary, and Astonishing X-Men. Also I think this discussion would make a great video show.


If you’re looking at Marvel Omniboo colections and you’re talking the best bang for your buck look no further than The Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus, Vol. 1. It retails for $99.99 and Amazon has it for $62.99 and it is gigantic. Coming in at a whopping 1,088 pages of classic Stan Lee and Steve Ditko goodness it is the single biggest collection that I own. But maybe that Classic Mighty Marvel Style isn’t your bag. It’s certainly not for everyone. If something more modern is your thing I’d got with Alias Omnibus or Daredevil by Brian Michael Bendis & Alex Maleev Omnibus, Vol. 1 or Captain America Omnibus (if you can find them, all are criminally out of print). You’ve already got Astonishing X-Men Omnibus so I’m out of ideas.

Among the DC Absolute Editions I’d look to Absolute DC: The New Frontier, Absolute Watchmen (strangely out of print) or Absolute Dark Knight. Those are probably my three favorite Absolute Editions. They are all fantastic stories and the art looks wonderful in the oversized format. Plus they’re all pretty hefty so they offer a good bang for your buck.

These giant books are a good topic for the video show which is why they’ve come up a lot already in various episodes. Maybe one day we’ll do a show just on Absolutes and Omniboo.

Conor Kilpatrick



My wife is constantly telling me that if I had super powers, I would absolutely be a supervillain. I tend to sympathize with the villains in most cases, and feel they usually have better ideas than the heroes. I believe Magneto is greatly misunderstood, Doctor Doom gets a bum rap, and I think Ozymandias had absolutely the right idea. Not Red Skull though, cause he’s a Nazi. I have my limits. But I think if I did have powers, I probably would try and take over the world. ‘Course my wife says she would stop me (we have an awesome marriage where we discuss things like this).

So my question is, are there any villains you sympathize with, or can relate to? And if you had super powers, would you be a hero or a villain?

Brody from Reno, Nevada

First of all, you’re terrifying, because you and your wife both know that underneath it all, you’re evil. So back off!

I would be a hero, because when I play video games where you have the choice to go one way or the other, I always play as a good guy. I don’t know why. Must be Catholic school. But I didn’t go to Catholic school, so I can’t explain that.

I recently stopped buying single issues and swapped to buying trades only. I did it for two reasons, it’s cheaper and I prefer reading something a bit more substantial, not just 22 pages. I know I will be reading stories I love less often but I’m liking it better. Trouble is… am I a traitor to comics? I’ve got thousands of single issues and I love that buzz of going to the comic shop as often as possible but doing the trades things is too good to stop. Have I betrayed my fellow fan or can I still be considered a true fanboy?

James from England, UK

You think you’re betraying comics? Buy them one way or another, and the creators and retailers still make money. Whoever put it into your head that you should consume comics one way or another is a nut bag. If they didn’t want you to buy them in different formats, they wouldn’t be offered that way. Consume at your leisure, and get over your guilty conscience. It does you no good.

As much as I love comics and the characters, sometimes a comic book just doesn’t do it for me. Whether due to poorly drawn art, poorly written story/dialogue, or some x-factor some comic books just make me want to stop reading. So I was wondering, at what point do you guys throw down the book and declare that you’ve had enough? How do you “justify” that decision? What happens when this occurs to a series/character that you love? How do you deal with not following the story for the issues that you miss?

Simon T.

Stop reading when you’re not enjoying it anymore. I’ll drop a book I’m on the fence about after a couple of so-so issues. Or just when I lose interest. Something can even be good, but I won’t be interested in it. You don’t have to know everything that’s happening in every comic. That’s how they get you. I move on and usually find out I don’t care all that much. Just cut the cord and buy something you’re excited for. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your money and time.

I’ve discovered a Mellow Mushroom Pizza place (Decatur, GA) that once a month has actors dress up like superheroes for about 20 artists to sketch while eating pizza. Have you discovered any cool little comic related activities (besides the whole podcast thing) that have added to your comic experience (at a shop? a con? among friends? among very special friends?)?

Bob from Dacula, Georgia

You ready for the big jaded response? I get more than enough comic books in my life from this website. It’s my job. All day every day. The last thing I’m looking for is more comics in my life. There’s a coffee bar around here, and once a week, they have a comic book club meeting, and for the briefest of moments, I wondered if I might want to attend. But then I remembered that I live my life in a comic book club, and when I have some free time, I make comics. Plus, who’s better than all you people? Am I right?!

My question regards buying comics and trade paperbacks. Is it unusual to buy comics as they come out and as soon as the paperback for the story arc comes trading the comics for the paperback? I like reading the comics as they come out however after I’m done reading it I bag and board them. I would like to re-read them I just don’t want to go through the hassle of taking them out.

Josh L.

What you’ve got there is obsessive compulsive disorder. Seriously, if you don’t want to take them out… what are you doing it for? Are you preserving these books solely for the purpose of preserving them? It’s ritual. They are, by and large, not going to be worth anything. Whatever one random comic will ever tick up to $5 in value, you’ve spent way way more in bags, boards, storage space, and different copies! I’ve bought stuff that I have in single issues that I want to put on the shelf, but in all but a few instances, that means I don’t need the comics any more.  Examples of comics I have in hardcover and single issues where I’m keeping them both include Queen and Country and Powers. I understand that this is irrational, and I’m wasting energy and space. To do that with everything is just illness. But your question is whether it was unusual. For comics? No.

I’ve been listening to the show for years. Thank you for the weeks of entertainment you have provided me. Speaking of entertainment, I recently saw The Social Network. Personal feelings about the film aside, it left me asking — who will be cast as Ron, Conor, and Josh in The Comic Book Podcast.


I would probably be played by Daniel Craig. Or Alexander Skarsgard. Conor would be played by Vincent D’Onofrio from 1987. Ron would be played by Robert De Niro.

My girlfriend is going through that “Well you love comics and I love you so I am going to give comics a try” phase. She has enjoyed some random stuff here or there like Asterios Polyp and has avoided superheroes. She is a big vampire fan and always has been and this has lead her to the first comics she has ever bought: issues of the True Blood adaption and the first Buffy Omnibus (both franchises she loved before). I just lent her issues of American Vampire as well for her to read. So, my question, are there any other great vampire series out there? It’s never really been my thing per se.

Russ from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

She loves you? Let’s hope she never gets to know the real you. I have one suggestion. I have no idea if it’s available anywhere, but it was real good.  Check out Blood + Water written by Judd Winick from Vertigo Comics. Great stuff. Trust me.

After seeing a recent post on your site about the small cuts, bruises, and blisters bestowed upon Conor at the New York Comic Con I was wondering what the worst comic convention injuries or mishaps have fallen upon you. The reason I bring this up is because at this past NYCC I was hit with a door by none other than Stan Lee. I sustained a small bruise on my face and had a very interesting story to tell after.


No, I will not be a witness at the trial. This isn’t even a question. Jeez.

I don’t know about you, but I was very disappointed to see that back-up… er, co-features will be disappearing from DC titles. Do you think this was a surprise to the creators involved, too? Do you think they were contracted to make issues that will never be published now? Is there any chance of an ongoing Adventures of Commissioner Gordon and Jimmy Olsen book? I would buy the hell out of that.

Brian B.

There is absolutely no chance of that book being published, and I don’t think you really would buy it, other than as a sort of novelty gag, like when I bought an Aunt Beru action figure.

Josh Flanagan


  1. Great concise answers!

    I’d also mention ‘Preacher’ for the woman who liked vampires but not superheroes.  It’s not strictly a vampire story but, as Josh and Scott Snyder discussed in the American Vampire talksplode (which was awesome, btw) Cassidy is one of the great vampire characters.

  2. I’d pay to see the movie Josh just cast.

    RE: Absolutes – I’d steer clear of the Sandman absolutes.  Not because of the content, but because the books are poorly assembled/designed.  The first volume my library has is falling apart (despite pretty low circulation). 

  3. good ol aunt beru

  4. Thanks for the feedback on the vampire comics Josh.

  5. I can only assume Josh has been waiting to compare something to the time he bought an Aunt Beru figure for years.  sadly, those 90s Kenner figures were awful.  everybody was all bulked up in truest 90s fashion.

    I also imagine it’s very hard to answer the Omnibus/Absolute question over and over again, when so many greats are out of print.  I remember a year or two ago, when I said to myself, "ok, I’m finally ready to tackle Frank Miller’s Daredevil.  where’s that Omni… oh."

  6. wow josh was in super curmudgeonly old man mode on this one lol

  7. I think a "Big Book" show would be simply awesome. Omnibus and Absolutes may be what first comes to mind, but look at those Hellboy Library Editions, Walking Dead Omnibus. Many publishers are starting to offer things in this format.

    Oh, and don’t do the show until Absolute All Star Superman comes out. This is going to be the Superman Bible to own.

  8. Plus, show us examples of how to use these books as weapons. All in self-defense of course. Someone has to take a beating in the name of research and all that.

  9. as far as the "Betraying Comics" topic, i have heard a few times on the podcast over the years you guys talking about how buying single issues, is what determines the lifespan of a series and whether or not it gets put into trade. Isn’t that how it works? I think thats kinda what the letter writer was maybe getting at?

    I battle with that myself….and here’s a wrinkle..i buy most of my trades used or on sale through Amazon or Borders. Ultimately i have to take care of myself first and squeezing nickels into Quarters within my budget. Sorry that i can’t support my LCS all the time with full price books…I buy comics and it doesn’t necessarily help creators or sales data…it is what it is.  

  10. I want Micheal to adopt me.

  11. @wallythegreenoster: There’s no hard and fast rule. We have heard, for instance, that many Vertigo books survive (or don’t) based on the sales of their second trade since Vertigo books don’t sell well in issues and the first trade is usually discounted. Word is UNKNOWN SOLDIER was canceled because the second trade sales were poor.

  12. @conor: If you don’t mind me saying, I think Unknown Soldier was announced to be cancelled before the 2nd trade came out.

  13. @TNC: Incorrect. (First story.)

  14. @conor/josh: Thanks for the response….and banter!

  15. OMG!  I love Mellow Mushroom.  Geez I miss that pizza.  

  16. You know you have been reading the iFanboy letter column for a long time when you know who is answering the e-mail before you get to the name.

    @TNC PUT YOUR OLD AVATAR BACK! I don’t like change 🙁 

  17. @Brody from Reno, NV

    I think what you may have meant to say was, you’d intend to be a hero by taking control and making the world a better place. But after taking contro, the power will corrupt you and you’ll become a super-villain. 

  18. @ Brian Baer & Josh

    They should just publish the backups in the trade for the main story. 

  19. I know it isn’t an "absolute edition" or whatever, but the big Local hardcover from Oni is one of my prized possessions.  I’d definitely recommend that.  


    Yesterday as I read the Return of Bruce Wayne – Commissioner Gordon one-shot, I was totally thinking the same thing as Brian regarding a Commissioner Gordon series (or mini, or whatever).  I would totally buy that, too!  One of my favorite characters in the DCU for sure.  

  20. aunt beru Rocks – She was hot….Well, it was Tatooine after all…

  21. I’m still struggling to wrap my mind around 2 things: that there was an Aunt Beru action figure, and that someone right up the road from me wrote in. Bob in Dacula. I’m in Buford. Small world.

    Regarding "betraying" the comics industry: they serve us, not the other way around. It grates on my nerves when I hear people talking about comics like they’re on the same level as marriage, something like that, instead of a customer-merchant relationship. I have favorite restaurants, dry cleaners, whatever, but I’m not going to worry about what would happen to them if I find a better/cheaper/more convenient place. But maybe I’m a cynic.

    Brody: all the best supervillains are the best because they’re sympathetic and/or understandable (except Joker). Doom, Magneto, and Two-Face most of all.

  22. @mistershaw–i totally agree with you. When i hear people talk about "supporting the industry" or "Betraying it" and all that i think, they don’t support me or care about my life. Writer X didn’t send me a gift when i got married, artist X didn’t send ‘get wells" when I had to go to the hospital. I don’t really care if one of their books gets cancelled. Just because you’re a fan doesn’t mean they are your friends.

  23. Reading the Uncanny X-men growing up I totaly sympathized with Magneto!In a nutshell he was just into selfpreservation and tired of watching his people get picked on!So what he had no regard for human life.(I kid)

    Aunt Beru action figure? Didn’t she die, like in the first hour of Star wars? What, does she spontaneously combust as a toy?

  24. Did Uncle Owen get an action figure, too? Could you buy them as a set? Or maybe a 4 pack, with before and after versions?

  25. lol at the Justified picture

  26. So Im not the only one who had the idea for ‘World’s Finest Buddies featuring Jimmy Olsen and Jim Gordon"

    Also, reguarding the ‘supporting the idusty/buying singles" issue: Im starting to think of the direct market as a drug habit the publishers need to shake. If they drop it suddenly all at once its going to be bad for lots and lots of people but eventually its only going to be only digital and trades.
    So what Im saying is I dont want to be an enabler by buying book just to ‘support the industry’ so im just buying the singles im interested in. (Which is somewhere between 2 and 3 a month now)

  27. Josh would be played by chris evans c. the losers movie. ron would be jon hamm. conor would be played by grell the robot from stargate sg1, or else they’d probably use CGI.

  28. @Russ from Philadelphia, PA

    Check out Bite Club for Vampy goodness!