Sunday, November 11, 2007


Welcome back to the Blog Extra. After taking a couple of weekends off, I’m back with a book that I suspect will be flying off shelves nationwide: HEROES: VOL.1.

Published by DC/Wildstorm, this beautiful hardcover collects the short stories that originally appeared on the HEROES website throughout season one. The stories served mainly to supplement and inform the show’s storylines, but occasionally they used the graphic novel format to greater advantage and told tales that would have been impossible to pull off because of budget constraints. Indeed, that turns out to be where the book’s strongest material comes from.

In particular, we get the full saga of Hana Gitelman, a character who only appeared twice on the actual show. Her power, which allowed her to access communication networks through her own brain, was fascinating, but not necessarily showy, but it was still striking when she vanished mid-storyline. With this graphic novel, we now know why, and it’s terrific stuff. Not just because it makes a couple of things seen on TV make better sense, but because her power is much easier visualized in comics. Her story also gets more room to breathe than most, and that serves to make her compelling as well.

That isn’t to say that the shorter bits focusing on what could almost be classified as “deleted scenes” featuring the main cast aren’t good. Certainly, many of them are very entertaining and illuminate the audience about what happened in the “cracks.” “Isaac’s First Time” is perhaps the best of the bunch, a story that not only shows what happens the first time he paints the future but also grants insight as to why it made him seek the solace of drug abuse because of it.

The stories are written by various writers of the show itself, and are drawn by a rotating cast of talented artists. There’s even a story drawn by Michael Turner that isn’t thoroughly repugnant. I didn’t even know that was possible. So there’s not much to complain about here.

Except the price. What a bungle!

Here you have a hardcover collection, geared towards a show with an audience of 14 million, that should do gangbusters in bookstores without a problem, especially releasing it in the middle of holiday shopping season. Unless you do something stupid like over-price the fucking thing.

Who thought 30 bucks was a good idea for this? There is no excuse for pricing this anywhere past the 22-25 dollar range, just like any hardcover book in Borders of similar size and page count. Bad, bad idea, and it will cost the book some sales, especially in a struggling economy. That extra 5-8 dollars makes a huge difference.

That’s it for this weekend! This will be an abbreviated week at The Waiting Room, thanks to the holiday and real world intrusions from the day job. But check with us on Tuesday and Friday for new content as we begin the gentle slide to the end of 2007.

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