Look, if they can't afford new art--which is really a presumption on your part--how do you know they're just not being lazy?--then AT LEAST selected DECENT 'older' ART. It's THAT Simple. Whoever is behind the art direction on this book is doing a mediocre job.
For example, the shot of Banshee about the time of the X-Corps was excellent, and there were a few nice (and recent) shots of Avalanche--so why not blow one of them up instead of using the crappy images they did that says to me, 'turn the Page, THAT looks really boring.' Avalanche looked more like Quasimodo than Avalanche.
Also, there is little or no consistency to the establishing images, as there was in the classic 80s edition.
This makes the book look throw-together piece-meal and just plain crappy.
As far the TPB and hardbound market is concerned, I expect it to go belly up soon. Thay've created a 'bubble' in a sense, that can only explode---talk about inflation and creating too much product for a small audience!
Every crappy Chuck Austen X-Men arc got a TPB. That's simply ridiculuous.
I'm happy to report that my comic store, the great Midtown Comics in Manhattan, has a whole bookcase (not just a shelf) FULL of TPBs and Hardbounds that the prices have been slashed on up to 80%.
And not all 'crap' either or very obscure 'Essentials'-style titles like 'Sgt. Rock.' We're talking Wolverine, the X-men, Batman, Spider Man, the FF, Superman, the JLA.
Who wants all those Crappy SM TPBs abotu his recent endless problems? Not too many.
The truth is there's a relatively small audience for this MASSIVE wave of hardbounds and TPBs the major two companies are producing.
Now, what's this about your dropping the Marvel habit, or whatever?
> Now, what's this about your dropping the Marvel habit, or whatever?
I've been working on the Handbooks since the 2004 FF Encyclopedia. However, I'm also entering my third year as a tenure track academic librarian at a western US university, and the incredible amount of work involved in the Handbooks was getting in the way of my "real" career. I love both jobs, but realistically, when it came down to researching for Marvel or furthering an academic career, well, there was only one possible choice.
SQUEAK / Mark O'