Before trade paperbacks and digital comics, if you wanted to read a classic comic, you -- and your wallet -- were hard-pressed to find a solution unless the issue was reprinted. But even now, with a large percentage of Golden and Silver age comics available digitally or in collected editions, some fans still want to be able to hold a copy in their hands.
Someone has come up with a way for collectors to do just that, without paying the high prices often asked for the original. However, the approach doesn't appear to be legal.
ComicEmpi.re describes itself as a publisher of "quality reprints" of Golden, Silver and Bronze age comics titles. Its website promises authenticity of the reprint down to the advertisements, even going so far as to match the paper "as close to the original" as possible. It looks as if ComicEmpi.re is relying on digital scans of comics that have circulated online, and is selling printed editions of several key issues -- among them, Amazing Fantasy #15, Action Comics #1 and The Avengers #1 -- starting at $100. Customers are also able to request specific comics.
ROBOT 6 was unable to verify the parties behind ComicEmpi.re, but the WHOIS registry lists Ned Primas of Sweden as the contact. We reached out to ComicEmpi.re for comment, but received no response. Marvel had no comment, and DC has yet to respond.