Tuesday, April 25, 2006


If you're like me (and I know I am), you've been enjoying DC's recent SHOWCASE PRESENTS volumes. For the uninitiated, these massive tomes collect a number of comic stories in an affordable black and white format. Plus, they are printed on what I like to call REAL comic book paper. That slick stuff might be nice sometimes, but it sure isn't authentic.

The giddiness these volumes have generated is apparent with all of the "wish lists" that have been popping up all over the Internet. Everybody has their own ideas of what should be collected and they all want it now. Which is natural, one supposes, but there's a bit of a speed bump in the road.

In this thread, former DC collected editions editor Bob Greenberger revealed something that many of us did not know (quoted here because this thread will likely disappear eventually) :
DC pays a royalty based on a percentage of the cover price to writers, pencillers,and inkers to all material published prior to 1976 and after 1997. For the period in between, the vouchers that were in use called for a set reprint fee to be paid. In some cases, the amount of contractually obligated reprint fees makes the budget for a proposed collection unprofitable. In those cases, DC will either scrap the project or ask the talent involved to waive the reprint fee in lieu of the standard royalty arrangement. If the parties agree, then everyone benefits.

Did you know that? It does explain a lot, and also explains why DC's stated "window" for the SHOWCASE books is 1955-1975 (which has already been demonstrated to be flexible). There's less easily reprintable material prior to 1955 and the reprint fees go up dramatically after 1975. So it might not be wise to clear off space on your bookshelf for further volumes of, say, SHOWCASE PRESENTS : JONAH HEX just yet. While it apparently sold rather well, it might be some time before more books in the series are deemed worthy of the investment.

Then again, this could all change tomorrow. That's comics for you.

EDITED to add - doesn't the "1976-1997" time period coincide almost precisely with Jenette Kahn's stint as DC Comics publisher? Verrrrrry interesting.


Blogger Harvey Jerkwater said...

Well, I'll be a suck-egg mule! I'll bet that's why the Showcase Presents: Jonah Hex volume ended where it did and included those less-than-stellar Outlaw stories!

...quick check...

YES! The last story published in the collection was Weird Western Tales #33, cover-dated March 1976...which would mean it hit the stands in November or December 1975!


I say again HA!

Man, thanks a lot for this info. Because man, the Hex cutoff was weird. And now I'm peeved that a second volume isn't likely. Consarn it, I loved that book.

12:32 PM  

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