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Kamandi, The Last Boy On Earth Omnibus Vol. 2 Hardcover – December 18, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
But there are some flaws in its book design that I just don't understand. Issue 32 (as is plainly evident in the text on the reprinted cover) had a two-page global map of Kamandi's world (expanding on the one-page map of just the Western hemisphere that appeared in KAMANDI # 1). But for reasons that make absolutely no sense, the 2-page global map is not included in the this book.
Further, there are 10 pages of the book (pages 74, 96, 118, 124, 162, 184, 206, 226, 308, and 404) where enlarged sections of that not-included global map are used as filler pages, almost none of which are map-section regions relevant to the stories these pages are placed with. It makes absolutely no sense!
Also missing from the reprint of issue 32 (again promoted on the # 32 cover) is a behind-the-scenes 4-page text feature about artist Jack Kirby, incuding photos of Kirby, his home, and art from the KAMANDI series. It would have been nice to have these photos reprinted with better quality. No explanation why it was not included.
One other thing that bothered me about this KAMANDI Omnibus Vol 2, is that the other Omnibus books (OMAC, THE LOSERS, and especially THE DEMON) all included previously unused pages, and uninked pencil versions of covers. This one does not. I would have settled for just not excluding the 2-page map and 4-page Kirby text feature. And DC, don't tell me there wasn't room. You hosed away 10 pages on pointless map blow-ups, the missing material was only 6 pages.
I took my issue 32 original to a print shop, and made 2 color copies of the 2-page map, trimmed the edges, and spray-glued it neatly in the inside front and back covers of the book, as endpapers, to make my volume complete. It looks like it was published that way. I think the person who designed the book, and the editor who approved it, should be demoted or have external supervision on future projects for the pedestrian thoughtlessness they brought to this edition, so they don't similarly screw up future Omnibus editions.
Another problem common to these non-archive DC hardcovers is that they are printed on paper that is inferior to what is in the nicer Archive editions.
But the biggest problem with these DC omnibus books is that (OMAC, THE LOSERS, THE DEMON, etc.) the pages are about 1/8th of an inch from the binding for some reason. Especially on double-page splashes, you lose the comic-book feel reading the Omnibus hardcover version, because it is so tightly bound and close to the spine that you cannot see the whole effect of the two-page spread. I wish DC would leave the art page edges at least 1/4 inches from the spine, as it is in the KAMANDI ARCHIVES Vol 1 (reprinting issues 1-10) and Vol 2 (reprinting 11-20), so you can fully appreciate the art.
I also frankly don't understand the decision to do these Omnibus versions of Kamandi and discontinue the Archive versions begun before them. I bought KAMANDI Archives vos 1 and 2 as they came out. Then they had a KAMANDI Omnibus vol 1 right after, reprinting both volumes I just purchased in a single volume! So I skipped Omnibus 1, since I already have them in book form.
And I'm glad I did.
If you love this series as much as I do, you can appreciate it more in the better printing and formatting of the Archives 1 and 2 of the first 20 issues. And then get the Omnibus Vol. 2 to have issues 21-40.
Writer/artist Jack Kirby may not have had the greatest dialogue but the art is amazing and the stories send Kamandi off on one epic adventure after another.
This second omnibus edition reprints Kamandi issues 21 - 40, the last of the Kirby-drawn issues. The paper is somewhere between high-end newsprint and the fancier paper DC uses in its Archive editions, and I think it works perfectly for these stories. The line art and text is always clear, the colors pop without being garish and the somewhat cheaper paper allows the book to not be quite as thick or as expensive as it would be otherwise.
However - I agree wholeheartedly, and reluctantly, with the reviewer who comments on the guttering problem that DC seemingly refuses to address, which is evident in this otherwise wondrous Kamandi Volume 2 (and Volume 1). A little wider page and more space left in the inner gutter is needed to show the whole page in most of their recent volumes. For the love-of-Kirby get yourself a new Printing and Binding company. This is dreadful, destructive, useless page-binding... and all involved on this book at DC must know it. You know it. You look at it when it's bound, and you know it. It's not a mystery. You just LOOK AT IT. Have a meeting at DC. Pass the Kamandi Volume 2 around. Fix it. Never, never, never do this again. Kamandi 2 is not ruined by this for me; but it needed more space on the inner gutter. That's a FACT, not a debate. An absolute, screaming, obvious FACT.
DC's "Challengers of the Unknown" was TOTALLY ruined by this same tight inner gutter binding-problem obliterating words and panels. Shocking! To the extent I had to go back and purchase their two earlier volumes of "Challengers.." which don't have this binding and tight-inner-gutter PROBLEM. When is DC going to wake up and correct this??? What editor there does not identify that this is INCREDIBLY POOR???? The Jack Kirby Omnibus Vol 1 - Green Arrow - ALSO had HUGE binding tight-inner-gutter errors... P224 onwards. Have a bloody good look at it!!! Other readers MUST surely recognise this is shockingly inept? DC editors and publishers? Tell me I'm wrong, folks? I'll trust the court of the comic-book public on this one! A real PITY. A printing/binding embuggerance to an otherwise brilliant, tea-drinking wonderful Kirby 1970s Kamandi afternoon in the Wagga Wagga sun.
A reviewer wrote accurately that: "It was a little heartbreaking to see a mistake in the binding that hides about a quarter inch of art in the inner margins, forcing you to either guess what some of the hidden words are or bench press the book open while you read it. A little wider page or smaller reproduction would have fixed this simple and needless error. Otherwise it's faithfully reproduced and a great trip back in time." This IS the case. Did not ruin Kamandi for me, but you do have to strongarm the book open flat due to the mean, pinched inner gutter not leaving enough room. Marvel does this much BETTER in its Marvel Masterworks volumes, I am afraid.