UPDATE: Marvel’s David Gabriel gets in touch to tell us that Comic Shop News misquoted him, and that he never said that the Essentials program was ending.
The original story follows below.
The most recent issue of freebie comics newsletter Comic Shop News confirms what some had been expecting. The end of the Marvel Comics Essential line, phonebook-sized volumes that reprinted classic Marvel comics in black and white. And a cheaper-than-digital price point as well.
“Marvel has confirmed the end of their Essentials program of black and white reprints of classic material. Marvel has sold off almost all remaining inventory of older in-print volumes and will not be adding further books. ‘This material needs to be in color,’ Marvel Senior VP of Sales David Gabriel said. ‘So we’ll be replacing our Essentials program with more full-color Epic Collections.'”
Essentials have generally covered comics from the 60s and 70s, with some stretching into the eighties. Epic Collections have generally been more recent.