Alternative Comic Collecting- The Omnibus
Eric S Brown
There’s a growing trend in collecting comics that has arisen in the last few years and I am not talking about grading comics. No. Many are giving up monthly comics and even normal collected trade paperbacks altogether in favor of collecting Omnibus collections. Which begs the question- what is an omnibus?
A comic omnibus is a massive book that collects a story line/event or a large number of issues from a single run into one massive, hardcover volume. These omnibuses contain at least six hundred pages plus of material or the larger ones containing as much as twelve hundred plus pages and weighing nearly eight pounds. Their cover prices can range from $75 to $150 each.
The benefits to being an omnibus collector are many. Each omnibus can contain an entire story so there is no need to go chasing down dozens of single issues or even several TPBs. You get everything all at once in a single convent package. An omnibus is also far less fragile than a single issue comic and far less costly than most single, graded comics. They are infamous for spine issues but there are numerous videos on Youtube that share ways to easily overcome them. And best of all, omnibuses DO gain in value just like single issues at they go out of print. Marvel’s Alpha Flight and Secret War II omnibuses are prime examples of this but released with $125 retail prices. Today, the Alpha Flight omnibus, if you can find one, goes for upwards of double that while the Secret Wars II omnibus starts at $300+. On Ebay, you can find rare omnibus editions going for as high $1000 each. Omnibuses will never reach the price heights of true comics and can loose a great deal of their value should they be reprinted but every collection has its ebbs and flows.
But perhaps the main reason many enjoy collecting omnibus editions is they look awesome as heck on a bookshelf. The massive over-sized tomes are truly impressive. So if single issues or paperback trades aren’t your thing, omnibuses offer yet another cool path of collecting.