Thoughts: On Reprints

You may have noticed I started putting up posts on comics with reprinted works of selected artists. I generally recommend buying the original issues, mostly due to the higher quality print reproduction.

However, I found that: 1. many of these issues were accompanied by new material or new covers, 2. some of the older reprints had comparable reproduction quality to the originals and 3. reprints offer an affordable alternative to scarce or prohibitively expensive originals. Note that black-and-white magazine stories and their color reprints are rated separately.

Regarding formats, same size is usually better than reduced size (digests for example). Most oversized Treasury comics are enlarged reprints, but the reproduction quality is often surprisingly good. During the 1980s, Marvel and DC also produced "special editions" of key runs. These featured recolored artwork and higher quality paper. This resulted in increased page brightness but were not my personal taste. Regardless, these editions will be included on this blog.

What you won't see are the DC Archive Editions and Master Masterworks series over the past decade. The glossy paper is just too far removed from the originals in my opinion. More recent black-and-white reprints (DC Omnibus, Essential Marvel, etc.) are omitted for similar reasons.

That said, not all reprints are equal and I'll do my best to specify which issues are worth pursuing or not.

-Teddy @ Pencil Ink


  1. Though the repro is superior, Treasuries have one serious problem...the art is recropped on the top or bottom to accomodate the proportionately-wider page size.
    It's not a major problem most of the time, but when you get someone like Neal Adams, Gene Colan, or Steranko who compose the entire page as a storytelling element instead of just doing a "grid", it can prove slightly probelmatic.
    Think of it as "pan and scan" vs letterbox.
    The image is bigger, but you lose a bit of the composition.