By Russ Burlingame
The popular Strangers in Paradise Pocket Books, as well as Terry Moore‘s massive Strangers in Paradise omnibus, will be going permanently out of print in the months to come. Moore’s Abstract Studios recently entered a distribution deal with Diamond Books, which will significantly expand his presence out of the comic book direct market and into mainstream bookstores — but that’s coming with some strings for longtime fans. Both the Omnibus and the Pocket Books are products that cater pretty much exclusively to direct market sensibilities, and after determining they won’t sell in the bookstore market, Moore is retiring the formats and re-releasing Strangers in Paradise in a series of four collected editions.
The bad news for new fans is that a number of tangential stories — like the fan-favorite “Molly & Poo” tale, or an issue of Strangers that played as an extended riff on Xena: Warrior Princess — will no longer be included in the collected editions. That means if you want them, you will either have to buy an old collected edition — which might get pricey soon — or grab the digital comics.
If you’re lucky, you already jumped on one of Moore’s Humble Bundle charity auctions, where those stories would have been included in the deep library of Strangers in Paradise and related titles that he sold in PDF.
Here’s a statement from Moore’s Facebook page (run by his wife and publisher, Robyn Moore) about the upcoming changes:
Hey youse guyss, if you missed our latest YouTube Studio Sunday ep you may not know we have signed with Diamond Book Distributors to put Strangers In Paradise into the book market. Our current Omnibus and Pocket Editions will not be suitable for the book market so we’re making… you guessed it, a new format! SiP will be divided into four nearly equal volumes so new readers get four major books without a major price tag. To do this, the side stories and satire short stories will be left out… only the main SiP story will be there, without interruption by spinoffs like Molly & Poo and the Xena parody. That should trim the story from 2100 pages to about 1900 something. SiP is so big! Think of it this way, it ran for 13 tv seasons. Yeah. Package *that* Terry! lol
So that’s the insider news. This means our current Omnibus and Pocket Editions will not be reprinted. They have been sentenced to go out of print. Forever. No reprinting. If you want an Omnibus buy it soon. If you are missing a pocket edition in your collection, buy it soon. Robyn says we have all of it at the moment but our goal now is to deplete the inventory. We won’t reprint the omnibus ever… not even if it would stop the incoming meteor. No, we said no and we meant it. Just like we’re never reprinting those hardcover tpbs you can glimpse in the photo. Figure out another way to stop the meteor. In the meantime, if you have these books, thank you! and hang on to them—they will be very hard to find some day!
When the hardcover omnibus previously went out of print, secondary market prices for a copy exploded, netting several hundred dollars on eBay at the time. Prices have stayed fairly consistent since it came back into print, but expect those to rise quickly.
The Pocket Books are an interesting case. While they don’t have the same high price point and impressive presentation of the omnibus, the manga-sized collections are an easy, popular way to carry around big chunks of Strangers in Paradise without the weight and bulk of a hardcover collection. The format is an odd one, but very popular with Moore’s fans and a good way to hand the story off to others, so those could start to appreciate on eBay too.
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