Why are comics production values so high these days? I don’t want glossy paper, stiff covers and four million colours (that, at Marvel, always appear reddy brown). Back in the days of Bob Rozakis as DC Production Editor they reserved special formats for particular projects – inventing them when the right format didn’t exist, as with the Dark Knight Returns and the Prestige Format – but now production values seem random.
Why, for example, does Superman/Batman have shiny paper and a stiff cover? I can see a case for Brave & Bold having this format, as George Perez and Bob Wiacek produce lovely, detailed art, but Superman/Batman has used big thick-line cartoony artists such as Ed McGuinness, and super-clarity does the art no favours.
I want to return to the days of comics on cheap papers, with colouring that isn’t afraid to be gaudy. Sure, lines such as Vertigo benefit from a duller palette, but superhero comics? They should be gaudy, brash, in yer face! I want cover stock that’s not madly flimsy, but not as thick as backing boards. This should allow for cheaper comics and more sales – if the quality of story and art are good.
Yes, younger fans may be initially shocked and appalled by the new/old format, and that horrible term ‘pamphlet’ will be bandied around, but if they want the stuff in a better quality package, that’s where trade paperbacks and hardbacks (hardbacks, for every other comic that’s puclished, I ask you!) come in. Better paper, better covers . . . same colouring – hey, I like comic books that don’t apologise for themselves.