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DC-Why so few Omnibuses?

Old 05-11-15, 08:34 PM
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DC-Why so few Omnibuses?

Is there much interest in older DC title becoming Omnibuses or is DC Comics so obsessed with today's Batman and Superman they have little time for anything else.
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Old 05-11-15, 09:48 PM
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Re: DC-Why so few Omnibuses?

It's not like Batman and Superman are getting Omnibuses. There's a Neal Adams Batman Omnibus coming out. There are the Golden Age and "Death and Return of Superman" Omnibuses. That's about it.

Otherwise it's primarily Johns and Morrison getting Omnibus action, but more are on the way.

DC was late to the Omnibus game and it took them a while to even get to a quality production value on the books.

Slowly but surely they are releasing more Omnibuses with things like Simonson's Orion and Perez's Wonder Woman in Omnibus form.
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Old 05-11-15, 10:25 PM
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Re: DC-Why so few Omnibuses?

I've heard they have bizarre royalty issues. If the writer and artist don't cut their rates to barely anything, DC refuses to publish a huge collected trade. It's why you see newer material getting collected from Jim Lee and Geoff Johns so frequently, it was apparently written into their contracts by DC.

They've likely lost thousands of dollars in purchases from me over their lack of older omnibuses. I want to own all of Action Comics and Detective Comics in complete omnibus form.
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Old 05-12-15, 02:27 AM
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Re: DC-Why so few Omnibuses?

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
I want to own all of Action Comics and Detective Comics in complete omnibus form.
Isn't that what the DC Archives/Chronicles are for, even though they're not oversized?

DC is reprinting (or collecting for the first time) a fair amount of older stuff now, and stuff that's gone in and out of print. It's not in Omnibus format, but it's something. The Omnibus market is super niche so it makes more sense for DC to test the waters with paperback editions first.
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Old 05-12-15, 10:56 AM
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Re: DC-Why so few Omnibuses?

Originally Posted by kodave View Post
Isn't that what the DC Archives/Chronicles are for, even though they're not oversized?

DC is reprinting (or collecting for the first time) a fair amount of older stuff now, and stuff that's gone in and out of print. It's not in Omnibus format, but it's something. The Omnibus market is super niche so it makes more sense for DC to test the waters with paperback editions first.
The DC Archives line is all but dead at this point. Part of the problem with it is that they never got out of the golden age with their two biggest properties. There are quite a few silver/bronze age hardcover Batman collections, but they are all creator based rather than collecting full runs. I assume that has to do with the royalty concerns Phantom Stranger mentioned. I've heard that DC does better business than Marvel with their collected editions, but Marvel outclasses them ten fold as far as putting together a quality product geared towards fans and collectors.
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Old 05-12-15, 12:21 PM
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Re: DC-Why so few Omnibuses?

Originally Posted by kodave View Post
Isn't that what the DC Archives/Chronicles are for, even though they're not oversized?

DC is reprinting (or collecting for the first time) a fair amount of older stuff now, and stuff that's gone in and out of print. It's not in Omnibus format, but it's something. The Omnibus market is super niche so it makes more sense for DC to test the waters with paperback editions first.
I do not trust DC to ever finish a complete run of anything. They have a hard time even keeping the same trade dress across multiple volumes, much less continuing a run that would span hundreds of issues.

I get the distinct impression that DC doesn't want to allow it for much the same reason that music labels don't like issuing their most popular albums in lossless Hi-Rez quality. They know it would pretty much kill any future interest in the product for that type of collector. They perpetually keep it off the market in complete form since that tends to lower future demand.

It has been a dream of mine since childhood to have an entire bookshelf collecting those titles in an authoritative, complete form. Hell will have to freeze over for DC to comply with my wishes.
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Old 05-12-15, 12:34 PM
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Re: DC-Why so few Omnibuses?

It may be written into their deals, but honestly in recent years, outside of Johns (JSA, Green Lantern, Teen Titans, Flash, all of which have omniboo) and Morrison (Batman, All Star Supes), what creator-driven run from DC has really made that much of an impact? Most of the Marvel ones are series where individual creators had long, epic runs. It's telling that only GL and Batman really continued on when the new 52 happened, and the rest of the books shuffled creators like crazy.

Now if we're talking older series, they have quite a bit out there. If the Wolfman/Perez Teen Titans stuff wasn't so crappily bound, I'd gladly rebuy it. I have and love the James Robinson Starman ones. I'd love a Waid Flash run, a Peter David Young Justice, a Peter David Supergirl, some Giffen 5YL Legion ones, a Rucka Gotham Central, and a Power of Shazam but I'd think they'd sell pretty poorly. As much as I enjoyed, say, Ron Marz on Green Lantern (Kyle) and the Superman triangle books, I don't think I'd buy an omnibus of them. Are there collections that aren't out there that you're hoping will come out? I will say they knocked the JSA ones out faster than I could read them.
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Old 05-12-15, 12:49 PM
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Re: DC-Why so few Omnibuses?

They quit on Justice League International after a couple of volumes. Good luck getting a collected hardcover from DC on anything that doesn't have Batman in it.
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Old 05-12-15, 01:39 PM
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Re: DC-Why so few Omnibuses?

I know they aren't omnibuses but I was really enjoying the Batman and Superman Chronicles which was publishing every one of their respective stories in publishing order. They got to Volume 11 on Batman and volume 10 on Superman and now have obviously quit.

I guess that is better than WW, Flash or GL. They only went to volumes 3, 4, & 4 for those in the Chronicles series.
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Old 05-12-15, 03:25 PM
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Re: DC-Why so few Omnibuses?

Originally Posted by rocket1312 View Post
The DC Archives line is all but dead at this point. Part of the problem with it is that they never got out of the golden age with their two biggest properties. There are quite a few silver/bronze age hardcover Batman collections, but they are all creator based rather than collecting full runs. I assume that has to do with the royalty concerns Phantom Stranger mentioned. I've heard that DC does better business than Marvel with their collected editions, but Marvel outclasses them ten fold as far as putting together a quality product geared towards fans and collectors.
Marvel does do better in terms of collecting content, but the build quality of Marvel's premium books like Omnibuses has gone to shit relative to the price they charge.

Dark Horse and Image far outclass both Marvel and DC with the quality of their premium books in terms of content, build quality, and price point.
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Old 05-12-15, 03:29 PM
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Re: DC-Why so few Omnibuses?

I gobble up all Silver and Bronze TPBs from both companies. I think the Showcase Presents is the best we'll ever get from DC in the complete run dept.
Even Marvel is a hodge podge with mixture of Epic Collection, Masterworks, etc. but they really shovel it out there.
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Old 05-12-15, 07:14 PM
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Re: DC-Why so few Omnibuses?

I bought the first few volumes of The Batman Chronicles but realized that it would take ages for every issue to be released and I sort of figured they would stop doing them eventually so I just gave up.
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Old 05-12-15, 08:01 PM
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Re: DC-Why so few Omnibuses?

Originally Posted by Mike86 View Post
I bought the first few volumes of The Batman Chronicles but realized that it would take ages for every issue to be released and I sort of figured they would stop doing them eventually so I just gave up.
I should have done the same. I will likely just sell the ones I have.
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Old 05-12-15, 10:06 PM
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Re: DC-Why so few Omnibuses?

Originally Posted by kodave View Post
Marvel does do better in terms of collecting content, but the build quality of Marvel's premium books like Omnibuses has gone to shit relative to the price they charge.
I guess I don't agree. The move away from die-stamped cloth covers to laminated covers is disappointing, but the switch to thinner papers doesn't bother me in the least bit. If there's something else about them has changed, I haven't noticed.
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Old 05-13-15, 12:37 PM
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Re: DC-Why so few Omnibuses?

Originally Posted by rocket1312 View Post
I guess I don't agree. The move away from die-stamped cloth covers to laminated covers is disappointing, but the switch to thinner papers doesn't bother me in the least bit. If there's something else about them has changed, I haven't noticed.
I don't mind the laminated covers. They do look less "prestigious" but on the flip side, I imagine most people keep the books with the dust jackets on, so I don't really mind either way.

The thin paper is awful because it succumbs to the slightest hint of humidity or heat which can simply be generated by shipping the book in the mail. Plus it's thin enough that I can see bleed through when there is significant white space. This is a problem for all of Marvel's collected editions and trades now, as well as DC's collected editions (though I'm not sure about their Omnibuses because I only own one and I haven't paid close attention to it).

Dark Horse and Image use nice stock paper in their premium books that don't have this problem, and they keep their books at a lower price than Marvel and DC. There's really no excuse other than Marvel and DC really don't give a shit and know fans will keep buying the Omnibus books and other trades because that's what fans do.
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Old 05-13-15, 12:45 PM
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Re: DC-Why so few Omnibuses?

Thin paper on Marvel releases are the worst. I haven't noticed much on the DC side. But wavy, thin pages on a marvel omnibus is awful.
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Old 05-13-15, 01:16 PM
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Re: DC-Why so few Omnibuses?

I get the wrinkling thing, but so far I haven't had much of an issue with it. I guess in general I don't think of the omnibus as a high end prestige format. That's what the masterworks are for. I would rather have thinner paper and 1200 page books that are still a relatively manageable size, than thick, heavy paper that demands lower page counts.
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Old 05-13-15, 01:42 PM
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Re: DC-Why so few Omnibuses?

I hate the thin pages, personally. When minor publishers can regularly produce sturdier, better-looking trades and hardcovers, it's fairly apparent that DC and Marvel nickel-and-dime every bit of production cost they can get away with. In larger corporations like Marvel and DC you often have managers making business decisions with absolutely no personal stake or ties to the product, which can lead to sloppy products.
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Old 05-13-15, 01:45 PM
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Re: DC-Why so few Omnibuses?

Originally Posted by rocket1312 View Post
I get the wrinkling thing, but so far I haven't had much of an issue with it. I guess in general I don't think of the omnibus as a high end prestige format. That's what the masterworks are for. I would rather have thinner paper and 1200 page books that are still a relatively manageable size, than thick, heavy paper that demands lower page counts.
The trick for me is that there are different breeds of omnibus. Just staying with Marvel, I wouldn't consider the new Spiderverse omnibus a prestige release, but I would for the Infinity Gauntlet or the Brubaker Captain Americas. I guess it's in large part because of the physical size and thickness (and paper choice may be part of the latter).
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Old 05-13-15, 02:11 PM
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Re: DC-Why so few Omnibuses?

I don't think Spiderverse is even called an omnibus, is it?
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Old 05-13-15, 02:25 PM
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Re: DC-Why so few Omnibuses?

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
I hate the thin pages, personally. When minor publishers can regularly produce sturdier, better-looking trades and hardcovers, it's fairly apparent that DC and Marvel nickel-and-dime every bit of production cost they can get away with. In larger corporations like Marvel and DC you often have managers making business decisions with absolutely no personal stake or ties to the product, which can lead to sloppy products.
I obviously can't speak to the corporate decision makers at DC or Marvel, but as someone who works for a printing/binding company, I will say that thinner paper doesn't always equate to lower quality/cheaper. I'll also say that if Marvel (DC's books are sub par. You'll get no argument from me on that) was truly interested in nickel and diming every aspect of production, sewn bindings/dust jackets/extra pages/remastering of older artwork would be right out. Maybe the marketplace would not tolerate those sorts of compromises and so they've had to cut costs elsewhere. I don't know. I'm not really trying to defend giant corporations like Disney and WB. It's just that in my experience Marvel's collected edition department does really great work. Just the fact that they are constantly going back and remastering older material that's been reprinted umpteen times despite already having "good enough" files to work with tells me that they have at least some personal investment in the product that they put out.

That said, as a book manufacturing nerd I'd also be interested in seeing some of these books from smaller publishers that you consider to be of higher quality. What are some of the titles you guys are referring to?
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Old 05-13-15, 02:29 PM
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Re: DC-Why so few Omnibuses?

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
I don't think Spiderverse is even called an omnibus, is it?
I guess not. Maybe the Marvel Now omnibus is a better comparison. (I don't have all that many of these so I don't have a great pool of knowledge to draw from.)

I was trying to stick with Marvel, but DC has both the New Gods omnibus and the New Teen Titans one, which are very different products.
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Old 05-13-15, 03:50 PM
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Re: DC-Why so few Omnibuses?

Originally Posted by rocket1312 View Post
That said, as a book manufacturing nerd I'd also be interested in seeing some of these books from smaller publishers that you consider to be of higher quality. What are some of the titles you guys are referring to?
Check out any of Dark Horse's Library Editions, like Fear Agent or Hellboy. Or their insanely sized Big Damn Sin City and The Colossal Conan books. The latter are manufacturing masterpieces.

On the Image side, there's just stuff like the recent Saga and Revival hardcover editions, but they're still very nicely done compared to some of Marvel and DC's oversized non-Omnibus offerings.
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Old 05-14-15, 01:38 AM
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Re: DC-Why so few Omnibuses?

Originally Posted by rocket1312 View Post
I obviously can't speak to the corporate decision makers at DC or Marvel, but as someone who works for a printing/binding company, I will say that thinner paper doesn't always equate to lower quality/cheaper. I'll also say that if Marvel (DC's books are sub par. You'll get no argument from me on that) was truly interested in nickel and diming every aspect of production, sewn bindings/dust jackets/extra pages/remastering of older artwork would be right out. Maybe the marketplace would not tolerate those sorts of compromises and so they've had to cut costs elsewhere. I don't know. I'm not really trying to defend giant corporations like Disney and WB. It's just that in my experience Marvel's collected edition department does really great work. Just the fact that they are constantly going back and remastering older material that's been reprinted umpteen times despite already having "good enough" files to work with tells me that they have at least some personal investment in the product that they put out.
I guess I was trying to be charitable by not singling them out, but I would agree that DC is much lousier than Marvel on trades and hardcovers. DC often can't even get the issue order right and loses random pages in their large hardcovers. I am pretty sure they have interns QC their stuff.
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Old 05-14-15, 01:53 AM
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Re: DC-Why so few Omnibuses?

I know people didn't like the black-and-white Essentials, but I always liked the editorial selection of issues. To my meager knowledge, they always made sense in which crossover titles they chose to include.
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