Absolute Sandman Volume 1, by Neil Gaiman. After years and years of debating whether to buy a full run of the seventy five issues or the first edition hardcovers or the Absolute Editions as they come out, my decision is made. Or maybe not. Wouldn’t it be cool to own 75 issues, the first edition hardcovers AND the Absolute Editions? Nnnnnnngh, my head…the pain…I feel….
The colour redo is mindbogglingly cool – trust me, I know, I had issue 1 ( umm, yeah, I do own about half the original run) open in front of me as I was reading this volume, and the new version just leaps off the pages. The extras include the original Gaiman pitch for Sandman, and the complete script to issue 19, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which won the World Fantasy award, becoming the only comicbook to do so, since the rules were changed the next year onwards.
Absolute New Frontier, by Darwyn Cooke ( story/art) and Dave Stewart ( colours). I remember seeing piles of this book on display last year at vat Super-con. I was trying very hard to ignore them, because my luggage space on Singapore Airlines, though ample, had already been accounted for by then. It took a herculean effort not to give in, but I was pretty sure it would come to India soon enough. And yes, it did! The title contains quite a few bonus pages, Cooke’s sketches, some commentary, and most important, a page by page breakdown of all the silver-age homages in New Frontier. The foreword by Paul Levitz comments on how Cooke mashes up various DC genres of the fifties into one cohesive story, something that was considered taboo in those days – having the heroes from Challengers of the Unknown interact with Superman, for instance. And the most important part is Cooke makes it work with both his storytelling and his idiosyncratic artwork.