Move over Infinite Jest, there is a new ridiculously long book in town. A new comic book has collected all 50 volumes of One Piece into a single, 21,450-page issue. It is being hailed as the longest book in existence, though it is physically impossible to read.
First shared by British newspaper The Guardian, this monstrous collection, aptly titled “ONEPIECE”, is not being credited to One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda. Instead, artist Ilan Manouach is responsible for this book-turned-art piece. Weighing in at almost 38 pounds, the enormous spine boasts beautiful full-color illustrations of iconic moments and characters from the original manga. This is the perfect decoration for die-hard fans who happen to have an extra €1900 on hand.
Regardless of how ridiculous this book may seem, it has completely sold out. This proves one of two things: either people will buy anything if they love the subject matter enough or comics have become nothing more than a commodity. As an avid comic reader and collector, I hope it is the former, but that doesn’t feel like the case. In fact, Manouach actually designed the book to highlight how much comics are considered commodities nowadays.
Unfortunately, it does feel like comics have become nothing more than collector’s items for fans. Perhaps this is just me showing my age, but I remember the thrill of heading to my local comic book shop to nab my monthly releases. I didn’t want to keep them sealed and display them on a shelf as proof of my love for the franchise, instead, I ripped into them to find out how that year-long story ended. Now, people buy them and keep them sealed away in the hopes that one day they will be worth a ton of money. Or put them on a shelf because that is all they can be used for.
Who knows, maybe this is just me being cynical. Or maybe I am still in shock to see an almost 22,000-page comic book that is physically impossible to read selling out so quickly. I mean what’s next, a TV you can’t watch?