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Friday, December 04, 2009

Aquaman Microfiche

Improbably, here's a whole bunch of Aquaman comics--namely, his adventures from Adventure Comics #103 and subsequent issues--in microfiche form.

Why was this done? I have no idea. How I did get this? Again, I have no idea--its been in my "To Post" folder for so long I've forgotten who sent this to me (if you're reading this, please email me to take credit).

Perhaps this was a way for DC to have reprintable film of some of their old comics? But then...that can't be right, because the files are in color, and you really can't do reprints from that. So why in Neptune's name would anyone take the time and effort to transfer mid-1940s Aquaman comics onto microfiche?

Microfiche as a technology seems so absurdly outdated from this vantage point that it makes me chuckle. What's next? Aquaman comics via your beeper?*

Hmm...maybe, in some circuitous way, these books being transferred to microfiche is how they ended up as digital files, which the Shrine is so benefiting from now? Mysteries never cease...

(*My apologies to those of you so young you have no idea what a "beeper" even is)


Unknown said...

Microfiche,micro-fish? Hmmm.

Aaron said...

Hmmm... Well, Adventure Comics IS a magazine. Maybe it was put on microfiche for a library system? They always used to keep microfiche copies of newspapers and magazines at the local library b/c they take up less room...

At any rate it's really cool. IF you have a viewer.

Luis said...

Rob, I'm not only old enough to know what a beeper is, but I know what microfiche is as well, so do the math. And I agree with Aaron Bias, the above poster, who says they may have been made for archival purposes, which I think is pretty cool. Imagine, someone thought that Adventure comics 103 was worthy of archiving for future generations and they were right.

David said...

In the days before Archives and Masterworks, a company called Microcolor International offered Golden Age DC's, Timely's and other titles for sale in microfiche format. They also sold a high-end reader like you'd find in a library and, towards the end, a handheld reader that sold for cheaper.

That's what these are; microfiche comics created for fans.

Once DC and Marvel realized the money to be made from this stuff, they launched their own projects and withdrew the Microcolor licenses.

They appear to still be in business, though. Here's their website:

Wings1295 said...

Interesting, at least!

Tegan said...

I bought these from Microcolor as they came out, and still have a microfiche reader (Boeing surplus!) in my room and the set in a nice box nearby. These were indeed made for fans like me who could not afford the real books.

Thanks to these fiche I found a "missing" Aquaman story that the GCD had not included in their definitive list. It was probably a high point of my Aquamaniac career.

I later put together a ... collection of scans, I'll call it, that includes a few scans of the microfiche done on special machines. They are still far inferior to scans of the real books... which are inferior to copies of the real books. Putting together that collection took many years, but I managed to eventually find scans of every Aquaman story. As a result, I don't consult the fiche very often anymore.

The Irredeemable Shag said...

Rob - I was the one who sent you the photos of the Microfiche. As David and Tegan mentioned above, these came from Micro-Color. These particular ones cover Adventure Comics #103-#107. I picked up a used microfiche machine from the local library just so I could read these. It was pretty cumbersome, but for an age before the common availability of collected editions, it was neat.

The Irredeemable Shag