I’ve been a fan of comic books for over four decades. The earliest books I remember are Curt Swan Superman issues at the barber shop. A comic book store close to my high school opened up as soon as I began to attend and a good portion of my lunch money would go into buying a book each day. I worked in that same comic book store for a few years after high school, where my paycheck more often than not went right back into my boss’s pocket. My heyday as a reader was the eighties, though I was very familiar with all the silver age issues, which were in stock and, as an employee, I was encouraged to read. I dropped out of collecting in the nineties, and sold about ten thousand comics in the “Purge of 2001.” I didn’t buy a comic for ten years. I got back into the hobby through Star Wars comics and then fell into reviewing comics online through my love of Star Trek comics when a website was nice enough to want my take on new books. My love of comics has expanded substantially since.
I’ve been reviewing comics on different sites for over ten years. I’m no better or worse than other reviewers, though I think my age gives me knowledge of other books that some reviewers or readers may not be aware (And if that doesn’t qualify as an old man comment, nothing does).
With the new year just over the horizon, I’d like to make a few hopes, suggestions, pleas for next year.
10. Bring back The Handbook of the Marvel Universe and Who’s Who in DC Comics. This is great ways to bring fans up to date with what’s canon and what’s not, as well as provide introductions to characters that readers have thought about following. This would be a terrific way to showcase the characters, the settings, and the artists who provide the pin-ups. They were so cool. Time for an update! Heck, DC even did a Star Trek one when they had the rights. Could you imagine if Marvel did a Star Wars one? I’d be on that! Do it, Marvel. Do it, DC.
9. Jurassic World becomes a monthly. The last Jurassic Park comic was written and drawn by John Byrne for IDW Publications and it was awesome. In fact, it went into territory that the last film only just introduced. I say the time is ripe for this franchise to make a comic book return. The dinosaurs are now officially loosed and they could be anywhere. There’s no need to focus on the characters from the film. There could be dino action in every country, on land, sea, or in the air. Several professionals would more than willing to create dinosaurs on the loose. I don’t know who has the property now, but I would be all over this like a Mosasaurus on a surfer. Do it, someone.
8. Amethyst collected in hardcover. I was in high school when the miniseries came out followed by the monthly adventures. It’s a character that still has its fans, even with her brief run a few years ago. The setting is fantastic and the visuals are incredible. I’m more than willing to pay $50 for a collection. Include the short monthly series that followed, I’ll go higher. Do it, DC.
7. Groo collected in hardcover. I love every issue of this series from every decade. I know the creators want to see it hardcover. As a fan I’ll wait until it happens, but I’m crossing my fingers and toes that this is the year it happens. I’ve heard Mark Evanier and Sergio Aragonés bring up this collection at several conventions and I’m more than willing to pay whatever they want for it. Do it, someone — please!
6. Support smaller conventions. This is for the fans and the pros. I’m old enough to remember my first San Diego Comic-Con that was under the hotel and Jack Kirby walked up to my friends and I sitting on some stairs asking if we were having a good time. You could walk up to anyone and talk with them, get a book signed, and just chill. I still love the San Diego Comic-Con, but it’s become the Disneyland, on a busy day, of conventions. Plus, comics aren’t the draw at it. I’ve been to several smaller comic cons and they’ve been fantastic. I’m happy to see professionals attend these smaller conventions that draw attention to them and allow the fans to communicate with them where comics are king.
5. Letterers get credit on the covers. This is overdue. Every creator is on the cover but the letterers. There’s plenty of room to have them on the front: have you seen any publication from AfterShock Comics? They put the letterers on the covers. Heck, even cover artists are on the cover with their signatures. Do it, publishers.
4. Classic creators return to Star Wars. Okay, Marvel, you’ve had the property long enough. It’s time to have some of the creators who worked on the many titles at Dark Horse Comics do some work on Star Wars again. I would kill to see a new cover from Dave Dorman, a new story by John Ostrander, new art by Jan Duursema. I’m willing to bet that some of the talent that did work when Marvel originally had the book would be willing to do more. Walter Simonson? Howard Chaykin? Rick Hoberg? Could you imagine these talents doing work on characters from the last four films? There’s a reason these professionals are called fan favorites by Star Wars fans. Their work is money in the bank. Do it, Marvel. I’d pay extra for those variant covers.
3. The Legion of Super-Heroes returns as a monthly. This is my favorite super hero team and they’ve been absent for too long from their own book. Individuals pop up occasionally, but there’s no monthly series. It’s time to go to the future, DC, and it’s time to bring your largest team back. Do it before Doomsday Clock ends, which which looks to be the end of 2019. To some of these characters on television and not in their own book is painful. Do it, DC.
2. The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones collected in a hardcover. Disney owns Indiana Jones and Disney owns Marvel. Star Wars has been published and selling like crazy for Marvel Comics. Time to bring the doctor back in hardcover by reprinting his solo series into one hardcover. They would look great on a shelf next to the Star Wars Omnibuses that Marvel has put out. A second hardcover of his Dark Horse Adventures would also be welcome. Do it, Marvel.
1. Indiana Jones returns as a monthly. I’ve been waiting for this since Disney bought Lucasfilm and I’m still waiting. And waiting. There are so many stories that could be told. There are so many writers and artists that would jump to work on this book. I would pay anything to read new adventures of Indiana Jones. It’s been ten years since the last film, there are a lot of gaps to fill in. Do it, Marvel.
I’m just one person on a computer, and heaven knows that’s become a poisonous combination on a lot of sites, but I’d love to see these come true. I don’t think I would be alone. And we’re all carrying cash.