Monday, October 02, 2006

Absolute Sandman Volume 1

DC comics just announced another of the absolute books, this time volume #1 of the Sandman series. now, I have nothing against the "deluxe" treatement of classic series, in fact, I'm all for it. I'm the target audience really.

The question remains, however, of how many times we need the same material. I already have the original series issues, which I never look at because I have the trades, my favorite being The Doll's House, which is just a superb statement of a team of artists finding their voice, all at the same time. I'm starting to feel like the CD strategy is effecting comics. How many "remastered" discs do i need of Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti? (Umm, plenty, actually) How many times can you continue to improve the Sandman series for me?

Well, apparently, the major bugaboo that i always had with the series, the coloring is finally being addressed. one need look no further than the "Mid Summer Nights Dream" vs issue #8 the classic "Sound of her Wings" to see the quality of the colors. For those who have never been lucky enough to see Mike Dringenberg's pencils, or the artwork with the late, great Malcolm Jones' inks, there is a delicacy in the work that I don't think was captured well at all by the scans of the time. Like Jimi Hendrix's original masters, the quality wasn't there in the original recordings, so remastering the same crap sounds really isn't the attraction that you might think it is. Having seen much of the original artwork, and been stunned by the quality on those pages, I sincerely pray the black plate is worth the new color work.

Which leads to the next question: why doesn't DC or marvel put the word out to try and get better scans of the originals that survive before the put together a deluxe edition? I was dismayed to see the Life of Captain Marvel trade had horrible 4th generation scans of pages that I own the originals of, and would have happily made beautiful stats for Marvel of those pages. I suspect that many others would dig into their collection and do the same given the chance.

Why did I choose this page to scan? I bought the original from Dringenberg long ago for a girlfriend at the time. It's been over 12 years since I've seen the page. I hope that she still has it.

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