Bunn already plants that doubt in our head with the very first lines of the comic, “The dead rats danced the day the hired man came around. My father might have scolded me for saying such a foolish thing. He didn’t care much for dreams and fancies— nightmares either.” Bunn’s writing captures an American simpleness. Birdie, her sister and her parents aren’t complex people even if Birdie at first seems to have an active imagination. Bunn and Zamudio are telling one of those all-American farm stories that is about a by-gone era. A stranger comes to town, she’s frightened by him and suddenly we can’t help but see him through her eyes. He is a frightening figure but her dad welcomes him in, giving him a job and a place to sleep out by the barn. (via Panel Patter: The Dancing Dead Rats in The Remains #1)
If you want an example of how this works outside of comics – just look at the music industry, where they’ve nearly re-issued, re-mastered, and re-packaged themselves into an early grave.
Box sets, deluxe sets, double-packs, multi-packs, and premium prices for premium packaging. In an age where virtually everything is available digitally and for less money, the record companies chose to milk their nostalgia-starved customer base for every last penny, and look where it’s gotten them.
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Beatlemania is only going to line their pockets for so long, and there are only so many “unreleased” Hendrix albums that are going to bring people in the door of the precious few record stores that are left standing in the wake of years of short-term thinking.
But that’s the music industry.
We can do better than that.
Yes, you’d never catch comics indulging in an attempt to re-issue and re-package the same material over and over again.
On a related note, the first issue of Image Comics’ The Walking Dead has appeared in the following editions:
The Walking Dead (2003) #1 Arizona Comic Con Variant
The Walking Dead (2003) #1 Philly Comic Con Variant
The Walking Dead (2003) #1 Second Print
The Walking Dead (2003) #1 Special Edition
The Walking Dead (2003) #1 Wizard World NYC
The Walking Dead (2003) #1 Wizard World Ohio
The Walking Dead (2003) #1 Wizard World St. Louis
The Walking Dead (2003) #1 10th Anniversary Edition
The Walking Dead (2003) #1 2013 Wizard World Chicago variant
The Walking Dead (2003) #1 Amazing Arizona Con 2014 Variant
Image Firsts: The Walking Dead (2010) #1
The Walking Dead Weekly (2011) #1
It also been reprinted in the following collections:
Image First (2005) TPB vol. 01
The Walking Dead (2003) Compendium TPB vol. 01
The Walking Dead (2003) HC vol. 01
The Walking Dead (2003) Omnibus HC vol. 01
The Walking Dead (2003) TPB vol. 01
Of course, maybe when he said “We can do better than that,” he meant “in terms of re-issuing the same material to milk the nostalgia-starved customer base for every last penny.”
(A cheap shot, yes, but still — when it comes to complaining that an industry is relying on the nostalgia dollar, someone in comics going after the music industry seems insane to me.)
I just still say that this is the same company that put out a MacGuyver comic book last year.
90 percent if Rice-a-Roni eaters win it on game shows. The wisdom of The Cowboy Wally Show.