The Vampire Bandwagon
This is Why Male Star Sapphires Should Wear Clothes
Why I'm Not a Fan of Alex Ross
We could argue that it's an intentional juxtaposition between the much older JLA image and the recently announced Avengers Assemble print, but this is a common problem I personally have with his work both on covers and in the actual comic - they all look like models posing and the number of models used are limited. Also, because they are models, they are limited in their ability to pose. They can't do motion or action poses due to time constraints.
Not all of his art follows this pattern and I'm sure I can find examples that break this pattern, but it happens far too often for me to really enjoy his work. Similar to how I just see porn faces and tracings from Greg Land whenever I see his work these days, I now only see the one or two sock stuffing models and poses whenever I see Alex Ross, even if I'm not actively trying to find fault with it.
Comic Book Binding
Comic book binding is a relatively new, but fast growing past time for many collectors these days. Simply put, it is the act of taking a collection of single issues to a local book binder and having them bind them into hardcovers. I'm sure there are many collecting purists slack jawed right now at the utter shock and horror of, gasp, ruining the value of their single issues, but many collectors are tired of keeping their books in the closet or storage areas and never reading them again.
These self bound hardcovers provide a viable way to collect out of print collections or those runs, like the Thunderbolts depicted above, that did not even receive trade paperback versions. They can then display them proudly on their bookshelves for easy access and remove the bulk and clutter of the numerous plastics and longboxes and be able to read and shre their favourite, uncollected stories with ease.
I actually stumbled upon comic binding several years ago and introduced my brother to it and he's really taken to the craft. He's bound dozens of books, including older, uncollected runs from Batman, Superman, Spider-Man and X-Men as well as Flash and other characters. He's even experimented with softcover binding, as the above Flash trades show off. I've seen people post images of rare, out of print runs, like Marvelman or Flex Mentallo, and some have sold on eBay for hundreds of dollars because of how rare they are to find in comic form, let alone a hardcover collection.
Of note, these are labours of love and costs can vary from region to region, depending on the bindery you choose. Many binderies will likely not have done it before either, but will still do it with proper guidance and a little work on your end. The process is quite simple and it really comes down to how much you are willing to spend. I'm going to try and put together a comprehensive guide to binding in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for that.