Saturday, August 25, 2007

Best of DC Blue Ribbon Digest #71 - April 1986

It's been a long time coming, but here we are--the final issue of DC's longest-running digest title, The Best of DC Blue Ribbon Digest #71, featuring one last Year's Best collection. The irreverent cover(with Ambush Bug, you could expect nothing less) is of course by Keith Giffen and Karl Kesel, suggesting an alternate way maybe one could put these Year's Best collections together.

DC's best of 1985 included:

• "The Day The Earth Died" by our pal Paul Kupperberg, Ed Hannigan, Curt Swan, and Al Williamson (from Superman #408) 
"Mogo Doesn't Socialize", a goofy one-off by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons starring The Green Lantern Corps (from Green Lantern #188) 
"Trick Trap" by Gary Cohn, our pal Dan Mishkin, Giffen, and Gary Martin (Blue Devil #8) 
"Brief Lives" by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill (Omega Men #26)
the classic "Modern Spring" by Moore, Steve Bisette, and John Totleben (Swamp Thing #34)
"The Silent Treatment" by Mike W Barr and Jerome K Moore (Batman and the Outsiders #21) 
"Bits of (Ambush) Bugginess" by Giffen, Robert Loren Fleming, and Bob Oksner (Action Comics #565) 
"The Ghost of Krypton Past" by Cary Bates and Klaus Janson (from DC Comics Presents #82, starring Supes and Adam Strange, featuring a superb art job by Janson) 
"Forever Blowing Bubbles" by Mike Baron and the late, great Marshall Rogers (Green Lantern #187) 
"Just As Night Follows Day..." by Doug Moench, Gene Colan, and Alfredo Alcala (from Batman #383, featuring something you didn't--don't--see much: a whimiscal Batman story) 
"Hukka Vs. The Bob!" by Giffen, Loren Fleming, and Kesel (from Atari Force #20)

...the inside cover features a brief editorial by Randall, who mentions "[this] is the last issue for now. We may be publishing digests again later on, but for now, we'll say good-bye to you with the best stories we could find from 1985."

Sadly, of course, publishing-digests-again-wise, that didn't happen. Other than Archie Comics, this was the last series from any major comics publisher in the digest format. The victim of a changing comics marketplace, the ever-increasingly-aging fanbase wanted higher and higher quality collected editions, not cheap digests you could stuff in your back pocket.

So, does this mean this is the end of the DigestComics blog? No, not just yet...
like I've said before, I have no desire to collect, read, and catalog the approximatelty fifteen million Archie and Harvey digests published over the last few decades(as fine as they are), but we will be spending some time with some other publishers who tried their hands at digests here and there, and even take a look at DC's quasi-attempt at digests over the last few years.


Swinebread said...

Ambush rules!

rob! said...

indeed. DC shouldve said "oh, f**k it" and ended Best of DC with an all-Ambush Bug issue, with a back cover of the Bug sweeping up the place. that woulda been funny as heck.

Wich2 said...


Any chance of hitting the Gold Keys?

Disney, sure; but also, though the stories could be a bit juve, some great artists worked on the Sci-Fi/Ghost books...

-Craig W.

rob! said...


there'll be some Gold Keys, i promise!

Swinebread said...

Hell Yeah!

Kliph Nesteroff said...

The disney digests ARE fun. And the DCs. And the Archies. What I didn't realize as a kid but am enthralled by today (I kept all of them and have only recently hauled them out of my parent's basement to read as an adult)is that they were all reprints. I love finding a great (or even awful) story in one of the digests and then going on to find what the original comic looked like. A great way to acquaint yourself with rarities from the golden and silver age!

Anonymous said...

I guess these weren't collected back then. Because pretty much any series from the 80's are not hard to find in near mint condition. But for these digest books...Near mint are very hard to come by. And that is very unusual from a series that were printed in the 1980's.