Images © Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill.
I had a call from Kevin O’Neill this week asking if I’d seen the new Omnibus Edition of LOEG, and that was the first I’d heard of it. My copies arrived Friday. It reprints the first two volumes of the series in the slightly oversize deluxe format on nice paper, and it’s now under the Vertigo imprint. I think it’s safe to say that the America’s Best Comics imprint, once under WildStorm, is now officially dead, though the name and logo still appear inside on the original covers of the individual issues.
So, what else is different about this printing? Kevin seemed to think some of the supplemental material used the Absolute Edition files, and I agree, it looks that way to me. Maybe the entire book uses those files, but I no longer remember if any minor changes were made in the story pages. Missing is most of the cover art created for the previous collected editions: the hardcover/softcover and the Absolute Edition, as well as all the endpaper art on both hardcovers, and of course the supplementary scripts books from the Absolutes. A few of the art files in the supplementary material have been changed to bring out more contrast and make the art easier to see, which I think was a good idea.
Two pages have something missing. Here’s the credits/indicia page for the second volume as previously printed.
The Omnibus has only the credits, down to original editor Scott Dunbier. Removing the indicia makes sense, as it’s covered earlier in the book on the first volume credits page, but I’m not sure why they removed the art. Probably just a design decision. Not sure why Lee and Nee were removed, but they’re not on the other credits page either.
The other missing art is more puzzling. Here’s the faux inside cover of “The New Traveller’s Almanac” in the original hardcover edition. Looks the same in the Absolute and trade paperbacks I have.
Here’s the same page in the Omnibus. As you can see, the bookplate black line art is missing, leaving just an odd blank piece of pasted-on paper. Was this a production error? Or a legal decision? Could be either, there’s no way for me to tell. The image does have some nudity, but there’s plenty of other places with naughty bits in the collection, so I doubt that could be the issue. I don’t know the answer, but I’ll be interested to see if this art returns in any later printings.