Monday, August 27, 2007

Batman Adventures #1 - 2004

sgStarting in 2002, DC returned to the world of digest comics--sort of.

They released a whole line of reprint, almost-digest sized(5x7 1/2") books featuring their Cartoon Network "All Ages" material. To say I was thrilled was an understatement, and I quickly made an effort to grab every issue of every title DC put out in this format.

This is one of the later series, Batman Adventures, featuring a typically beautiful cover by Bruce Timm. It reprints issues of Batman: Gotham Adventures and Batman Adventures, featuring these stories:
"Second Timers" by Scott Peterson, Tim Levins, and Terry Beatty
"No Asylum" by Ty Templeton, Rick Burchett, and Beatty
"Free Man" by Templeton, Burchett, and Beatty
"Fowl Play" by Dan Slott, Templeton, and Beatty
"Breathing Room" by Slott, Templeton, and Beatty
"Need To Know" by Slott, Templeton, and Beatty anyone who watched Batman: The Animated Series or read the tie-in comic knows, BTAS presented some of the best Batman tales around. Free from crippling continuity and the dependence on endless storylines, these Batman stories were short, direct, full of adventure and fun. A great collection of tales.

My only quibble with this new line of digests was how it was conceived--first off, each of these books retailed for $6.95, which seems like a high cover price when you're trying to market to younger readers(and their parent's wallets). While the thick covers and high-quality paper stock are nice, it might've been worth the effort to cut corners here and there and get the price down.

Also, this new digest line consisted of Justice League Adventures, Powerpuff Girls, Scooby-Doo, Superman Adventures, and Cartoon Cartoons. Worthy titles all, but once again they were only sold at comic stores, virtually guaranteeing books like Powerpuff Girls and Scooby-Doo would sit unsold. I know that getting new books into places like bookstores and supermarkets is difficult and expensive, but if you're going to do a line of books for younger readers, you have to go to them.

I have seen some of these digests at Target and major book chains, which is a good start. But I wonder what kind of success DC might've had with these if they had managed to knock the price down by a buck or two and gotten them next to the Archies in the supermarket check-out lines.

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