Thursday, January 6, 2011

44 Years of Fantastic Four

I picked this up the other day at Half Price Books for two dollars. It is a DVD-ROM containing every issue from the first 44 years of the Fantastic Four comic book. That's every issue (and annual) from the very first issue in 1961 until the last issue published in 2004. All 550 issues are complete with the original ads, letters pages, and covers. This was a bargain at $2.00 (used, obviously), since it amounts to about a third of a penny per issue of the all time best comic book ever published.

However, it still leaves a little to be desired. It's basically just a collection of Pdf files, which is fine, but they can be a little annoying and obtuse to read. If I had an iPad or similarly shaped table PC, I bet these would look great, but on a normal widescreen monitor, they look a little awkward. It's just not the ideal format for reading a comic book, but there is really no other way to do it so I can't complain too much about that. The interface is easy to use and the issues are all easy to find in their various folders or through the main Pdf page. Some of the scans look perfect, while some look a little dirty and show some wear and tear on the original issues. They are all readable, however, and generally look pretty good.

My only real complaint is that when I first loaded it up, every single page had a water mark right in the middle. The watermark somewhat transparent so it doesn't completely block the artwork or word balloons, but it is an eyesore all the same. I bought this set because I wanted to appreciate the stories as well as the incredible artwork by Jack Kirby, John Byrne, Walter Simonson, Jim Lee, et all, and having a big watermark in the middle of the page kind of ruins the entire thing. However, as soon as I updated Acrobat, it made the watermark invisible, so that solved that problem. Once I got that sorted out, the pages were perfectly readable and looked awesome.

If you see a copy at Half Price Books, I definitely recommend a purchase. Even with the some of the scans being less that perfect, these are still some of the best comic book stories of all time.


Anonymous said...

It's hardly the all the time best comic book ever. There are alot of more popular titles like xmen, spiderman, batman, superman. But everyone has their opinion.

Donald said...

Thanks for pointing out the obvious.