Sha-Zam! Hibbs in Advance, for once

We've gotten on the DC press list (hey thanks!), but most of the time it is a little silly -- generally they're sending out just the periodical comics; and because of the efficiency of DM distribution (not kidding on that one), that generally means I'm getting comics to review a few days after I already have them. Heh. BUT, this week, we got a package with two things that won't be out until (I guess?) next week -- the ARMY @ LOVE TP (nice design, intro by Peter Kuper (!)) and the hardcover of SHAZAM: THE MONSTER SOCIETY OF EVIL

What a nice looking package!

What's especially nice is that it is both a dustjacketed AND laminated HC -- the dustjacket folds out to be a full size Shazam! poster, but if you do that, you still have a nice looking HC with that wonderful Euro-style lamination. (I really prefer that myself, so its a nice case of having ones cake and eating it as well)

There's also a pretty extensive backmatter section with terrific sketches, and the various Production Diary material that, I think, appeared on the Web?

For $29.99, its a really compelling package, and the content is really wonderful as well -- charming and fun, yet still exciting superhero material. If every superhero comic approached 50% as good as MSE then no one, anywhere, would be complaining that there are too many superhero comics.

EXCELLENT stuff, in a muy EXCELLENT package, and totally worth your coin.

Putting my retailer hat back on, though, I have to say that I'm a little disheartened by the publishing strategy here -- barely 3 months have passed since the final of the four issues of the serialization was released (7/18, by my records), and had I realized such a nice package was coming SO quick I certainly wouldn't have placed that last set of reorders for the comics. Plus, being in "prestige" format, the "natural" audience for this book is the same group of people who are most likely to grab up the HC, and not wait for the cheaper, inevitable, SC.

And even putting aside the clever packaging with the poster/dustjacket, the addition of the sketchbook material makes this the WAY better format for the work, and is, in a big way, a real slap in the face for the people who spent $23.96 for this same material JUST THREE MONTHS AGO.

In my opinion, either there should have been a MUCH wider window from serialization-to-collection (*minimum* six months, probably 12 months being even better), *OR* the serialization should have had the "extra" material as well.

OK, retailer hat back off!

What do YOU think?