Everybody's Talking about the DC Trade Paperback Timeline ebook

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

To steal a line from our friends at the Source blog, the DC Comics Trade Paperback Timeline ebook launched with a bang, and I've been so excited by the attention it's received and the new readers it's brought to my timeline efforts.

Among the highlights are an interview I just completed at the Ridiculously Awesome blog, where we talked all things timeline and how new readers can approach the DC Universe. From the interview:
What made you want to put together a chronology of DC’s trades?

I started “waiting for the trade” a few years before I began the Collected Editions blog. I was tired of waiting six months to finish reading a story in single issues, and also of all the advertisements in the issues. A couple years later when DC and many other publishers began releasing collections routinely (as I talk about in the introduction to the DC Trade Paperback Timeline ebook), there was greater continuity between trades; DC published trades that were specifically branded as tie-ins to event miniseries, for instance, or characters would finish an arc in one trade and their story would continue in another. This cross-trade continuity was interesting to me, and I created the timeline so that I and others could keep track of how DC’s trades fit together from the beginning of the current DC Universe to the present.

Were there any anomalies that you encountered as far as continuity?

I encountered plenty of anomalies working on the timeline — that’s part of what makes it so useful and fun! The Hawkworld anomaly is one famous one (one Hawkman appears from Legends through Hawkworld, and then that Hawkman is retroactively replaced by another one). There’s lots of times that books published at the same time don’t fit, like when Superboy Connor Kent is resurrected after Final Crisis but the Teen Titans title acts like he’s dead almost until Blackest Night. There’s also plenty of changes to continuity as the timeline progresses — Superman gets a couple new origins and so does Green Lantern, and these changes are presented at the appropriate time to read them.

So where would you recommend someone just getting into the DC universe to start reading?

In terms of how to start reading about the DC Universe, I encourage fans to jump in anywhere. I learned about the DC Universe by reading and then reading more and reading back issues, and I reject the notion that comics continuity scares off new readers; instead I think part of the joy is finding references you don’t understand and reading older stories to fill in the gaps. Crossovers (or their aftermaths) are good places to start reading, however; DC created a “jumping on” point for their titles just after Infinite Crisis, but starting at the beginning of Countdown to Infinite Crisis is good too. Adventurous readers, however, could start just after Zero Hour or even with Legends, the first crossover of the post-Crisis on Infinite Earth’s DC universe. Of course, the DC New 52 relaunch is also designed with new readers in mind.
Check it all out at Ridiculously Awesome.

Johanna Draper Carlson also mentioned the DC TPB Timeline ebook on Comics Worth Reading as part of their "digital and webcomics" coverage.

And on the audio side, check out Chris Marshall's recent Collected Comics Library podcast where Chris also reviews the DC Timeline ebook (if you're digitally-inclined, Chris has a Collected Comics Library app, too!).

i'm also grateful to long-time reader Mark Simms, whose review of the DC TPB Timeline ebook on Smashwords calls the timeline "a sensible order to read the stories of this shared universe, often with justification, but without spoiling any of the storylines ... Perfect for those trips to the comic or book store, when you're not sure what you should read next." Thanks, Mark!

There's lots more coming up related to the DC Comics Trade Paperback Timeline -- stay tuned!
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3 comments:

  1. I'm glad you brought the ebook up again, I've been meaning to thank you, CE. I'm using my kindle copy to co-ordinate a re-read of some of my collection in order, and loving it!

    In your Ridiculously Awesome interview, much of which made me smile, you mention how the New 52 no longer has that generations of superheroes aspect. I know it's early days yet, but is that a problem as far as your concerned?

    I look forward to more ebook and timeline news :)

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  2. Glad you're enjoying the ebook Glint, and thanks for the kind words.

    I started to answer your question about the DC New 52, but I'd like to open my answer up to some additional conversation, so I'm actually going to make this a new Ask Collected Editions column; look for that on Friday.

    Thanks again!

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  3. Wow, thanks. I look forward to it :)

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