Monday, October 12, 2009

You go with the Bone One Volume Edition you find on sale, not the one you might want or wish to have at a later time

I try to avoid going into Half Price Books, the chain of used book stores that re-sell books at half their original cover price, since the last thing I need to do is bring more printed matter into my small, one-bedroom apartment, which will one day likely expode from having too many comic books compressed into too small a space. If I must go into a Half Price Books, I try my hardest not to look at the comics or graphic novels, as I'll inevitably rationalize myself into buying them ("I probably shouldn't get this Essential Tomb of Dracula Vol. 4 yet, since I don't have volumes two or three, but on the other hand, it's only nine bucks—when will I find such a great deal on it again?").

Unfortunately I recently found myself brought to a Half Price Books during one of their occasional additional 20-percent off sales, which meant everything there was then seventy percent off, and, well, I couldn't resist the pull of the graphic novel shelf.

I got three great Tarzan collections from Dark Horse (including two by Russ Manning!), three Elephant & Piggie books by the great Mo Willems (whose art on this particular series of books I not only love, but also admire and envy), and, best of all, I found a Bone: One Volume Editon, one of those two-and-a-quarter-inch-thick monster bricks-of-a-book, which puts Jeff Smith's entire epic between two covers.

I originally read Bone in the single-volume series of Cartoon Book trades borrowed from the Columbus Metropolitan Library, so I never owned it any form. There were several times I picked up a copy of the one volume edition, looked longingly at it, considered it, and put it back, figuring I'd use that $40 on comics I haven't already read yet. I kept putting purchasing it off, and then it eventually went out of print, apparently because Smith didn't want to compete with the Scholastic Books color versions of the trades when they were first being released.

But here was a copy of it for half off ($19.98 instead of $39.95!), with an additional 20-percent off on top of that! So, like $17 something, I guess...? I'd be a fool not to buy it, right?

Once I got it home, I realized that I don't care for the cover of the book, at least not compared to some of the other one-volume edition covers (This post on Smith's Boneville blog, which I linked to above, talks a bit about the various covers for the one-volume edition).
It's not all that representative of what goes on within the book and, if I didn't know a thing about Bone, I might think it was some sort of horror-genre story based on this single image.

The newer one-volume edition features this image of Fone Bone sitting upon a rock in one of the goregous landscapes that Smith has often cited as extremely influential in the creation of the comic. It's also much prettier looking.

But as Donald Rumsfeld once famously said, "As you know, you go with the Bone: One Volume Edition you have on sale for 70-percent off. It's not the Bone: One Volume Edition you might want or wish to have at a later time."


James said...

Caleb, I hate to ruin this for you, but 20% off a comic that is already 50% off is a total cost of 40% (60% off), not 30% (70% off). They take the 20% off their cost, not the original cost.

Still a great find.

Anthony Strand said...

That second cover is, I believe, the cover of the book's first printing as well (it's had something crazy like 13 or 14). That's the one I own.

Anthony Strand said...

Oh. I see on the website you link to that that isn't the case.

Never mind me.

supertim82 said...

You would have been a fool not to buy it for that price. I have been having that same dilemma myself for the last 8 years or so. To buy or not to buy??? For 17$, great decision.