Friday, August 14, 2015

Longest-lived American Comic Book

While reading the new IDW comics Donald Duck #3 (370), I came across this interesting editor's note in the back of the issue:

What's the longest-lived American comic book being published today? Trick question... we're warning you!
DC's Detective Comics – still on sale now – was born in 1937; Action Comics has flown the Superman flag since 1938. But both of those venerable titles, after racking up hundreds of issues, reset their numbering to #1; as if their old "lives" were over and a brand-new (52!) day was here. Even Archie recently reset after #666; did the devil make him do it?
With all of those heavy-hitters reduced to double digits, what one magazine still owns and embraces its long "life",,, even after countless climbs from one publisher to the next? Why, Walt Disney's Comics and Stories, of course, with its 720 hefty issues of Mice and Ducks. But wait... how is that long-lived? Comics and stories quacked its last quick in 2011 – Donald swears to it on a stack of ice cream sodas!
But in the immortal words of Carl Barks, longtime comics Duck Man: "That's what you think Donald!" Rounding out IDW's Disney lineup this month, Walt Disney's Comics and Stories is back for a new run of adventures and comedy! Donald, Mickey and Goofy are here! So, before long, will be the Big Bad Wolf, Chip 'n' Dale, and more or our favorite co-stars. Well, whaddaya know?

This really struck a chord with me, as I am NOT a fan of the renumbering and issue #1 craze that has taken over comics over the past years. As a Batman fan, I was always smug in my mocking of Marvel titles like Amazing Spiderman and Captain American that had rebooted and/or gone back to issue #1 multiple times - and still Batman was still going into the 800's. I remember thinking, how cool it would be when Detective Comics made it to issue #1000! But, sadly, DC comics succumbed to the #1 reboot craze and with 52, took all their titles back to issue #1, leaving Detective Comics to stop with issue #881 before renumbering itself to #1 again. If they had not renumbered, they would be at issue #924 today, instead of issue #44. Of course, if DC is still doing Detective Comics in 13 years from now, you know they won't let this milestone pass them by, as they make a BIG deal about renumbering their title to market the hell out of issue #1000. But we will all know the truth... they need to go another 80 years for the current Detective Comics title to reach the 1000 issue milestone.
So, now I need to root for Walt Disney's Comics and Stories. They just need to continue for another 279 issues (23 years of monthly comics) and I'll finally get my issue #1000.

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