I’ve gotten a lot of friends who’ve asked me for recommendations for comics they should read. Usually I go on a little fact-finding mission and pair them up with a book I think they’ll connect with. Lately though, I’ve been turning people on to omnibuses (or omnibusen, if you’re so inclined).
Why? Because they’re a great value and you get a lot of bang for your buck. Think about it: a $2.99 comic clocks in at 32 pages, and if my wizard-like math skills haven’t failed me, that’s about 10¢ a page. Depending on your reading abilities, you could be done with that issue pretty darn quick, only to return to your mundane existence 10 to 20 minutes later.
That’s where omnibuses come in to save the day. Clocking in at 350-530+ pages each–most are $25-$60–they’re well worth the price of admission. They’re perfect for me because I’m impatient. Don’t get me wrong, I love monthlies. They do a great job at giving you exactly what you need and keep you coming back month after month (as long as the art and writing are there), but they always leave me wanting.
There’s nothing quite like turning off your cell phone and curling up with a good omnibus. The closest comparison I have would be to equate it with a movie marathon. Ever watch the Star Wars, Indiana Jones, or Lord of the Rings trilogies in one sitting? That’s what I’m talking about. You get to escape to another world for a good long time, leaving all of your cares and concerns behind.
Not knowing you, [INSERT YOUR NAME HERE], I’d have a hard time recommending an omnibus for you, but here are a few choice ones I’ve really enjoyed:
- Hack/Slash Ommnibus Vols. 1-3–Tim Seeley’s book turns the typical slasher story on its head with Cassie Hack, the tough-as-nails young girl who hunts murderers, wackos, and monsters with her sweet sidekick, Vlad. Can’t go wrong!
- Age of Reptiles Omnibus–Though there isn’t a single spoken word in this book, you feel yourself compelled to keep “reading” to see what happens to your favorite characters. The kid who loved dinosaurs in me is still very much alive, and this is a great book for kids of all ages. Super powerful. Warning, there is some death in the book, so use your discretion for younger readers.
- Astonishing X-Men By Whedon & Cassaday Omnibus HC–This award-winning series was a hit with critics and fans throughout the Whedon/Cassaday run, and was collected into a massive tome that is wholly satisfying.
- Superman Doomsday Omnibus TPB–There isn’t much to say about this book that hasn’t been said. It’s just really nice to read through all 412 pages of the Doomsday saga in one sitting.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer omnibuses–Yes, I’m a dude who likes Buffy. That being said, Dark Horse’s BTVS comics have always been top notch, and I’m going to go out on a limb and say that you’re not a Buffy fan if you don’t have at least a few Buffy comics somewhere on a shelf (or standing upright in a polybag sleeve in a box in a dark, dry corner of your basement/spare room). These omnibuses are just too good to pass up, and don’t need to be read in order to be enjoyed.
- B.P.R.D. Omnibus HC Vol. 1–The complete Plague of Frogs story is presented in all its glory. Many friends I’ve turned on to the Hellboy/B.P.R.D. universe tell me that they prefer the team dynamic in B.P.R.D. to Hellboy’s solo tales. This book is for those of you who’ve picked up a couple of Hellboy trades and are now looking for a good jumping-on point to to get into B.P.R.D..
- Indiana Jones omnibuses–You can pretend that the fourth movie never came out and travel around the world with Indiana Jones as he hunts down relics and artifacts that belong in a museum!
- Star Trek omnibuses–Boldly go with these awesome collections of exciting comics starring your favorite Trek characters. TOS was a great volume because it included Star Trek: Year Four.
- Star Wars omnibuses–Hundreds of pages of Star Wars comics in each installment. What more could you ask for? What more do I need to tell you? Personal faves include Star Wars Omnibus: Menace Revealed, Star Wars Omnibus: Rise of the Sith, and Star Wars Omnibus: Quinlan Vos-Jedi in Darkness.
What’s your favorite omnibus and why? Post your comment below and you might win one from my bookshelf.