Wednesday's New Things: Paying For It

Barbarella by Jean-Claude Forest, translated by Kelly Sue Deconnick

Barbarella is one of those European comics I know only reputation, perhaps best euphemistically characterized as European, although I remember encountering the Jane Fonda movie version on the shelves at Blockbuster, when video rental places were still a thing outside of Austin. It's cool to see a new English language release of the first volume of the material translated by Kelly Sue Deconnick, with the first ever translation of the second volume to follow early next year. The book is interesting enough on its own, but Humanoids's publishing strategy is fascinating. What might be characterized as the central release is a massive volume, 12 inches X 16 inches, officially a coffee table book, and coming in at a modest $80 for 70 pages of content. Also being made available is a digital version, which will cost you -- this is not a typo-- $5.95. Just to be clear, the digital version costs less than 7.5% of what the physical version costs. In this case, what you're paying for isn't the content, its the packaging. That's true of all physical releases, of course, but this is extreme, the logical conclusion of a market driven by collectors. Eventually, I'm sure there will be a more reasonable physical version, but, for now, I think it's cool that Humanoids is making the work available for those of us without either the $80 to lay down or the coffee table to put the book on. 

Bumperhead by Gilbert Hernandez 

I'm about to dig deep into Gilbert Hernandez's Heartbreak Soup stories for a presentation I'm giving at ICAF in November (A Cosmonaut in Palomar: Seeing, Showing, and Imagining In Gilbert Hernandez’s Heartbreak Soup). It'll be my first academic conference as a graduate student. Excitement and terror are closer than people realize. Anyway, Hernandez's newest project is out in wide release this week, after a SDCC debut, and, as always, it looks excellent

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