As I write this, it’s the Thanksgiving holiday weekend here in the U.S., which is all about an orgy of consumption… first over-eating and then over-shopping.
Julie and I have always taken the opportunity to get out of Dodge and go away somewhere off the grid till it all blows over, and we actually had plans to do that again this year– but due to unforeseen circumstances that were no one’s fault, we had to cancel. YET AGAIN. This is the fourth planned outing since July that we’ve had to give up on and I’m getting a little bitter about it. At least this time it wasn’t some hideous car repair thing.
So we are staying home doing nothing. Well… mostly. We have been watching some TV, and thus been bombarded with increasingly shrill exhortations to hurry the hell out to the store and buy stuff before these SUPER SALE LOW LOW PRICES END FOREVER!!
The trouble is that none of the stuff appeals to me.
Being a collector nerd type, as a general rule, if I want something, it arrives here long before Christmas does. Even worse, if I want something and it’s not on the shopping list, that’s probably because it doesn’t exist yet. Even though it ought to.
So in keeping with my current grouchy-old-man mood, here are a few of those nonexistent gift items that really OUGHT to be available.
…but also with nice reprints of the old tie-in paperbacks that were my gateway to the Apes franchise in the first place.
Good on Titan Books for all that, believe me. I’m delighted.
Except for one glaring omission.
Instead of a nice three-book omnibus edition that would have included Quick’s novelization of that movie, they larded the novelization on at the end of a different omnibus and ignored these two originals. What’s up with that? Not only is Quick’s adaptation of the Burton film a lot smarter and more cohesive than the film (seriously, I’d skip the movie and read the book instead) but I stumbled across The Fall in Long Beach a few months ago and loved it. I’m dying to read Colony as well now but I’m certainly not paying the hundreds of dollars dealers are asking for it. On the other hand, I’m totally on board with buying a new collected edition omnibus in the spirit of the other Titan collections even if it means duplicating stuff I’ve already got here. Since Titan reprinted Quick’s first one they must be able to get the rights sorted for the other two without a lot of fuss. So how about it?
As long as we’re talking about publishers ignoring the obvious… what is UP with DC’s phobia about reprinting the Elliott S! Maggin Superman stories? Last Son of Krypton and Miracle Monday, despite being widely regarded as among the greatest Superman stories ever written, are apparently so worthless to DC that they let the rights revert to Mr. Maggin himself and he is self-publishing new editions of those novels. Which, you know, more power to him and I hope they make him a shitload of money.
But Mr. Maggin wrote a bunch of wonderful Superman comics as well and it is a glaring hole in DC’s reprint backlist.
…more than once, in fact. Jimmy Olsen‘s available in an older set of trade paperbacks and they’re reprinted the first chapter of Kryptonite Nevermore any number of times. But then they just… stop. There are a great many classic Superman comics between those and Alan Moore’s Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? Both Maggin and his colleague Cary Bates have been very unfairly ignored. Especially since the new comics and the TV shows have been shamelessly looting concepts and characters from that era for YEARS now. Steve Lombard, Vartox, Lexcorp, on and on.
But none of that stuff gets the bookshelf treatment. Except for a couple of perfunctory reprints in Superman: From the 30s to the 80s and Superman in the Seventies, the vast majority of that stuff is just sitting ignored in the back-issue bins.
Likewise, we see all kinds of love for the old Bob Haney Brave and the Bold Batman stories, but where are the reprints of Haney’s World’s Finest stories of that era? Everything that was awesome about Haney’s B&B stuff was right there in World’s Finest as well, in all its demented Bronze Age glory. But with the exception of the one Super-Sons collection, nothing.
As long as I’m beating up on DC– which is, granted, ridiculously easy to do– I also would like to know why all the other countries in the world get to have DVD editions of the television crossovers Invasion and Crisis on Earth-X… but here in the USA, we don’t.
While I’m on the subject of things that should exist and don’t… where’s the soundtrack album of the television scores of jazzman Oliver Nelson?
You have to understand, when I was growing up, when it came to adventure soundtracks, it was all about the jazz, baby. I guess it started with Henry Mancini and Peter Gunn.
Or maybe James Bond. But it became an inseparable thing in my young mind. When the bass-n-bongos kicked in, that was when shit got real. Even on the cartoons.
And Oliver Nelson’s bionic groove was one of the BEST examples of that. Here is the first one I saw and it just about blew me out of my chair when I was thirteen. One of the few times we got to hear the FULL theme with the groovy piano solo.
Or this one, when Barney Hiller, the SEVEN million dollar man, has his psychotic break….
One more, just for fun.
We do have them on YouTube. But I’d be ALL OVER an actual CD release of that stuff. In the meantime, I’m grateful that Michael Giacchino, at least, is upholding the tradition… and that stuff IS available.
I could go on, but I think that’s enough grouching off from me. Feel free to add your own should-haves in the comments.
Back next week with something cool.