We’re going to be moving to a new apartment soon, and the idea of packing up the hundreds of books that we own got me to thinking: What would I keep if I could only take 10 trades with me? That’s 10 trades total, so it rules out most lengthy series, although the size of each trade itself doesn’t make a difference. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rid of my collection, this is purely a theoretical exercise.
1. Omega the Unknown - This is one of my favorite comics ever. It’s offbeat, has some crazy art, and is simply so weird and seemingly random that I can read it over and over again and still enjoy it. There are very few books, much less comics, that I can say that about, so Omega has to come with me.
2. Popeye Volume 1: “I Yam What I Yam!” - I love E.C. Segar’s Popeye, and I’d have to take at least the first volume of his series with me. This book has both the black and white dailies and the color sunday comics, which are separate stories, so it’s kind of two volumes in one…Definitely worth keeping.
3. Wednesday Comics - An artistic and literary tour de force with top talents on both sides of the equation, like Neil Gaiman, Amanda Conner, Joe Kubert, and many more. Also featuring some of my favorite characters on exciting adventures with no pointless continuity. Fun! Also it’s an enormous book and looks great on a bookshelf or a coffee table if you can fit it on them.
4. Showcase Presents: Secrets of Sinister House - It’s not that this volume features any one story that’s particularly compelling, it’s just the overall quality of the comic. Sinister House is a campy 70’s horror comic that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but manages to have some great art and decent writing. I could put one of the House of Mystery or House of Secrets showcases here, but neither of those have the ultra-70’s “mod witch” introducing each storyline, so Sinister House wins.
5. Marvel Essentials: Dazzler, Volume 1 - Ok, so maybe I can’t actually read all of this book even once yet, but it’s Dazzler! It would be good to have at least one trade on my shelf that’s to-read rather than already-read. Nothing but wall-to-wall sparkly 70’s disco jumpsuit action!
6. Oishinbo: Japanese Cuisine - How did a volume of manga make it on this list? Maybe because it’s about cooking and features recipes, super detailed food art, and oh yeah an entertaining story as well!
7. Criminal Deluxe Edition - Boy, am I lucky that they made a deluxe edition of this that includes the first three storylines of the series, because I would have a difficult time choosing just one of the smaller trades. Pulpy non-superhero comics at their absolute best, Criminal is a story that is worth rereading someday, and that’s a good reason to have it around.
8. Doctor 13: Architecture and Mortality - One of my favorite comics stories, containing all of the most painfully obscure DC comics characters and their adventures as they are written out of continuity. A funny story about characters nobody cares about with awesome art by Cliff Chiang? Yes, please! It’s also the only comic that I own original art from, so it would be great to have a copy of the finished work around too.
9. Showcase Presents: Superman Family Volume 1 - Oh look, another showcase! Superman Family has the classic wide-chest Superman stories that don’t make any sense or have any continuity that I crave. It’s also a massive 500+ page book that I haven’t read all of yet, so it would be nice to have around if I have a little bit of free time on my hands.
10. Glamourpuss Omnibus - Oh wait, this doesn’t exist! But it needs to. If they ever make a trade containing the entirety (or even a little bit) of Glamourpuss, I would have to take it with me everywhere. As it stands, the only way that I can foresee this happening is if I took all of my issues of Glamourpuss to a bookbinding company. Nobody reads this comic but me.