Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Chad's Challenge part seventeen: Showcase

you've recommended the odd "Showcase" reprint volume from DC to me from time to time. Which volume have you enjoyed the most and why should people read this reprint series? What is the value of these stories that seem antiquated now and share very little in common stylistically with modern comics?

A lot of the Showcase volumes really have mere nostalgic value. I like the Legion one which just came out, and I'm anxious to read more, because I loved the Legion as a kid. And the silver age Superman Showcases have much the same factor that evokes childhood memories. These stories do also hold the value of letting us revisit the history of comics and see how the style of comics has evolved over the years.

Plus, they're breezy as hell. They're quick fun reads, and it harkens back to the day when superhero books were chock full of weird ideas and didn't take themselves so seriously.

But as for actually holding up to the present day, I would recommend the Western adventures of Jonah Hex and the horror stories of House of Mystery. They're short, they're interesting, they're well-told. Showcase's biggest draw for me is that they tell stories in a variety of genres, and between these and recent sci-fi and war ones as well, DC is showing how their rich publishing history has been very diverse, perhaps even more diverse than today.

personally I'm looking forward to eventually picking up the Challengers of the Unknown Showcase, but if you've never read it, you should absolutely check out the Suicide Squad Showcase coming out soon. That was the best ongoing series of the '80s if you ask me and it's a little slice of comics history.

(And that's not even getting me started on Marvel's essentials.)

So Chad: what does it take for a creator to win your trust? What has to happen for you to decide, I will buy this person's work, sight unseen, every time? And what has to happen for this creator to eventually lose your trust?