COLLECTIVE THOUGHTS FOR AUGUST 2014

KC Carlson. Art by Keith Wilson.

KC Carlson. Art by Keith Wilson.


by KC Carlson

THIS MONTH IN CLASSIC COMIC BOOK COLLECTIONS

The Eltingville Club

The Eltingville Club


The Eltingville Club (Dark Horse): And you thought your fan-friends were terrible? If you haven’t met Bill, Josh, Pete, and Jerry, you’ve been very, very lucky. Collectively, they are The Eltingville Comic Book, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror & Role-Playing Club, and they are hands-down the worst people you’d ever want to meet. What’s so bad about them? They’re fanboys off their leash with no filters. They care about nothing but obtaining collectibles, no matter who they hurt in the process, including each other. They are writer/artist Evan Dorkin’s savage parody/indictment of the worst of fandom (and not just comics).

It’s also one of the funniest and outrageous irregularly published comic strips in history. This is the very first collection of all the Eltingville Club stories (to date) — three of which won the Eisner Award for Best Short Story. Originally published in comics like House of Fun, Dork, and, most recently, two issues of their own self-titled comic book, the Eltingville Club was also developed into an animated pilot for Cartoon Network, written by Dorkin, but sadly not picked up for a series. (This collection also contains an afterword about the pilot.) Also includes the Northwest Comix Collective alt-comics smackdown! You’ll laugh! You’ll cry. You’ll do both at the same time! (Consult a doctor if this condition persists.) 144-page color hardcover. For mature readers. Available in October.

Marvel Masterworks: Incredible Hulk Volume 8

Marvel Masterworks: Incredible Hulk Volume 8


Marvel Masterworks: Incredible Hulk Volume 8 (Marvel Comics): Collecting some of the best-looking Hulk issues ever, as illustrated by Herb Trimpe and John Severin! Writers include Archie Goodwin, Roy Thomas, Len Wein, and Chris Claremont. After battling Dr. Doom, the Hulk finds himself in the sights of the U.S. Military (the Hulk’s greatest foes!) and their Project: Greenskin initiative. Later, The Hulk is put on trial by the heroes of the Marvel Universe. What can top that? Ant-Man? The return of the Hulk’s tiny green sweetheart, Jarella? Richard Nixon? (Yes. Really.) Collecting Incredible Hulk (1968) #145-156. 288-page remastered color hardcover. Available in November.

Also Available:

Airboy Archives Volume 2

Airboy Archives Volume 2


Airboy Archives Volume 2 (IDW): Collects the Eclipse comic series Airboy #17-25, the first 3-issue Valkyrie miniseries, and all of the Skywolf backup stories. Written by Chuck Dixon, with art by Bo Hampton, Tom Lyle, Ron Randall, Dan Spiegle, and others. Cover by Timothy Truman. 292-page color softcover.

Crime Does Not Pay Archives Volume 8

Crime Does Not Pay Archives Volume 8


Crime Does Not Pay Archives Volume 8 (Dark Horse): Collects issues #50-53 of the infamous pre-Code crime comic, with a new forward by Joel Rose (Get Jiro!). Features work by Lev Gleason, Dick Wood, Dan Barry, Charles Biro, “Dick” Briefer, Fred Guardineer, George Tuska, and others. 240-page 7” x 10” color hardcover. Available in October.

Creepy Archives Volume 20

Creepy Archives Volume 20


Creepy Archives Volume 20 (Dark Horse): Collects issues #94-98, featuring work by Frank Frazetta, Carmine Infantino, Bernie Wrightson, John Severin, and a new forward by Jonathan Case (Batman ‘66). 264-page B&W 8 3/8” x 10 7/8” hardcover. Available in October.

EC Archives: Tales From the Crypt Volume 5

EC Archives: Tales From the Crypt Volume 5


EC Archives: Tales From the Crypt Volume 5 (Dark Horse): Collecting issues #41-46 (including all original ads, text pieces, and letters), featuring work by Bill Gaines, Al Feldstein, Jack Davis (cover), Joe Orlando, Jack Kamen, Graham Ingels, George Evans, Reed Crandall, Bill Elder, Bernie Krigstein, Marie Severin, and more. 216-page 8 3/16” x 11” color hardcover. Available in October.

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents Classics Volume 4

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents Classics Volume 4


T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents Classics Volume 4 (IDW): Collecting T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #11, NoMan #1-2, and Dynamo #3. Featuring artwork by Wally Wood, Dan Adkins, Mike Sekowsky, Chic Stone, Gil Kane, and more. 208-page color softcover.

Walt Kelly’s Pogo: The Complete Dell Comics Volume 2

Walt Kelly’s Pogo: The Complete Dell Comics Volume 2


Walt Kelly’s Pogo: The Complete Dell Comics Volume 2 (Hermes Press) is being resolicited for September 2014 release. Previous orders have been canceled. Please reorder if you still want this 320-page hardcover collection of these Four Color Walt Kelly Pogo comics.

Zorro: The Complete Dell Pre-Code Comics

Zorro: The Complete Dell Pre-Code Comics


Zorro: The Complete Dell Pre-Code Comics (Hermes Press) is being resolicited for September 2014 release. Previous orders have been canceled. Please reorder if you still want this 256-page hardcover collection of these Four Color Zorro comics.

THIS MONTH IN CLASSIC COMIC STRIP COLLECTIONS

Buz Sawyer Volume 3: Typhoons and Honeymoons

Buz Sawyer Volume 3: Typhoons and Honeymoons


Buz Sawyer Volume 3: Typhoons and Honeymoons (Fantagraphics): In strips from 1947-1948, high-flying pilot Buz Sawyer and his bride embark on high-flying adventures, braving a hurricane in the Caribbean, a typhoon in the South Seas, a serial killer, and a dangerous honeymoon in Africa. Don’t miss Roy Crane’s sure-footed writing and stunning storytelling in this classic newspaper strip, a rollicking series of adventures filled with knockout women, brutal assassins, and extremely bad weather. Fans rave about the production quality of these books. 244-page B&W 9¼” x 9¼” hardcover.

Complete Chester Gould’s Dick Tracy Volume 17

Complete Chester Gould’s Dick Tracy Volume 17


Complete Chester Gould’s Dick Tracy Volume 17 (IDW/LoAC): Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the strip, as Chester Gould ups the ante in his assault on juvenile delinquency in the startling — and literally haunting — conclusion to the Flattop Jr. saga. Tragedy rules the day in Volume 17, reprinting strips from May 14, 1956, through December 14, 1957. Plus, the gymnastic Kitten Sisters, killer con men, the Clipso Brothers, and Morin Plenty (B.O.’s 88-year-old father). As well, Lizz permanently joins the cast. 272-page B&W oversize (11” x 8½”) hardcover.

The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume 2: 1975-1977

The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume 2: 1975-1977


The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume 2: 1975-1977 and Volume 3: 1978-1980 (Black Squirrel Books): Two more collections of the popular strip by Tom Batiuk. The second volume sees Funky Winkerbean evolving into the form that will carry it into its middle years, as the gang pun their way through high school. Volume 3 introduces many new characters, including black cheerleader Junebug Jones; Melinda Budd, Holly Budd’s ambitious stage mother; Jerome the drum major; Nancy the school librarian; Ron the tennis pro; and many others — as well as talking trees, clouds, school desks, video games, and a talking tennis ball machine that goes on to play at Wimbledon. So, not exactly Rex Morgan, M.D., then. Both books clock in at around 500 pages each and are 9” x 6” hardcovers.

Skippy Volume 3: Complete Dailies 1931-1933

Skippy Volume 3: Complete Dailies 1931-1933


Skippy Volume 3: Complete Dailies 1931-1933 (IDW/LoAC): Skippy is considered one of the great lost classics of the newspaper age of comic strips, and this presentation by The Library of American Comics has been a Eisner Award nominee for two years in a row. This volume’s bonus features include photographs and rare artwork from the collection of Percy Crosby’s daughter, Joan Crosby Tibbetts. 340-page B&W (w/partial color) oversize (9 1/2” x 8 1/2”) hardcover.

Strike Four!: The Crankshaft Baseball Book

Strike Four!: The Crankshaft Baseball Book


Strike Four!: The Crankshaft Baseball Book (Black Squirrel Books): Ed Crankshaft was a budding pitcher for the Minor League baseball team the Toledo Mud Hens, and this book is the “history” of his exploits, collecting all of Crankshaft’s baseball-themed stories, as told by Tom Batiuk and Chuck Ayers. Introduction by Jamie Farr, whose M*A*S*H character Corporal Klinger was a big supporter of the Toledo Mud Hens! 240-page 10” x 7” B&W (w/partial color) softcover.

Wonder Woman: The Complete Newspaper Strip 1943-1944

Wonder Woman: The Complete Newspaper Strip 1943-1944


Wonder Woman: The Complete Newspaper Strip 1943-1944 (IDW/LoAC): It only ran for a year and a half, but it was produced by the character’s creators, William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peters, and it’s collected for the first time anywhere! The first storyline recaps Princess Diana’s origin story from the comic books before continuing her adventures in America. Cover by Pete Poplaski (in the style of Peters). 196-page B&W oversize (11” x 8½”) hardcover. A true slice of missing DC Comics history!

BIG BOOKS

The Best of Archie Comics Volume 4

The Best of Archie Comics Volume 4


ARCHIE COMICS: We’ve been neglecting to mention that Archie is currently publishing several different huge (in page count) but small (in size, slightly bigger than their digests) collections of their best material from over 60 years. Solicited now is The Best of Archie Comics Volume 4, a 416-page collection in a 5” x7” color format. One of the best parts of these collections are the accompanying annotations, occasionally by comic book historians and celebrities or by the creators themselves, explaining why these stories belong in a “Best of”. The first three volumes are still available, and the first volume is now being offered as a full comic-book-sized, remastered hardcover Deluxe Edition, for release in August. In addition, the very popular Archie Digest line has a new series beginning in August (but order now!): Archie Giant Comics Digest #1 will feature 480 pages of digest-sized Archie fun!

DC Comics: Zero Year

DC Comics: Zero Year


DC Comics: Zero Year (DC Comics): This collects the DC comics that tied into the recent Zero Year Event, which centered around the Batman title and featured many DC characters’ early appearances in the New 52 Universe. It collects Batman #24-25, Detective Comics #25, Batgirl #25, Batwing #25, Batwoman #25, Birds of Prey #25, Catwoman #25, The Flash #25, Green Arrow #25, Green Lantern Corps #25, Nightwing #25, Red Hood and The Outlaws #25, and Action Comics #25. Creators include Scott Snyder, John Layman, Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, Jeff Lamire, Greg Capullo, Aaron Lopresti, Chris Sprouse, and many others. 448-page color hardcover. Available in October.

Elfquest: The Original Quest Gallery Edition

Elfquest: The Original Quest Gallery Edition


Elfquest: The Original Quest Gallery Edition (Dark Horse): The first five issues of Richard and Wendy Pini’s original Elfquest series, with Wendy’s artwork scanned at its original size to capture every brushstroke and detail. 176-page B&W oversize (12 1/8” x 17”) hardcover. Available in October.


Fantastic Four by Jonathan Hickman Omnibus Volume 2 (Marvel Comics): Wrapping up writer Jonathan Hickman’s acclaimed run on Marvel’s “First Family.” Featuring artwork by Greg Tocchini, Steve Epting, Barry Kitson, Ron Garney, and more. Watch the Future Foundation deal with the War of Four Cities, the Inhumans, Annihlus, the Kree, and Galactus. And when things get really bad, why does Valeria Richards turn to the team’s greatest foe? The adventures span all time and space, guest-star the Amazing Spider-Man, and feature a Fantastic return! Collects FF (2011) #6-23 and Fantastic Four (1961) #600-611, plus #605.1. 832-page oversize color hardcover. Available in November.

Frank Thorne’s Red Sonja Art Edition Volume 2

Frank Thorne’s Red Sonja Art Edition Volume 2


Frank Thorne’s Red Sonja Art Edition Volume 2 (Dynamite): Artist Frank Thorne shares his original storyboards from the first six issues of the 1977 Red Sonja comic book series, which are scanned in hi-resolution color and printed at original size. Also features work (writing) by Roy Thomas, Clara Noto, and Wendy Pini. Limited to initial orders only, so if you want it, you should order now! Also available in a limited (199 copies) edition with a tip-in sheet signed by Thorne. 128-page oversize (17” x 12”) hardcover.


Lone Wolf and Cub Omnibus Volume 6 (Dark Horse): Eisner and Harvey Award-winning work by Kazuo Koike, Goseki Kojima, and covers by Frank Miller. 696-page B&W 5” x 7” softcover. Available in October.

Marvel 75th Anniversary Omnibus

Marvel 75th Anniversary Omnibus


Marvel 75th Anniversary Omnibus (Marvel Comics): Celebrating 75 Years of Marvel Comics (with a little Timely, Atlas, et al thrown in for good measure). And you can be a part of it! Just email your favorite Marvel comic book story (don’t forget the issue title and number) to marvel75@marvel.com, and when the voting is finished, the top picks will be included in this 1,000 or 1,200-page (the solicitation says both) crowd-sourced oversized color hardcover. Available in November. There’s almost 75 years worth of comics to choose from. Better start reading now! (Does this include Marvel’s Bill Jemas era?… Just looking for stuff I don’t have to re-read…)

The Phantom Omnibus: The Complete Gold Key Comics

The Phantom Omnibus: The Complete Gold Key Comics


The Phantom Omnibus: The Complete Gold Key Comics (Hermes Press): Collecting all 17 issues of the Gold Key Phantom series by Bill Harris and Bill Ligante, with painted covers by George Wilson. Originally published by Hermes Press as two volumes (and now out of print), this new collection will become the standard for this popular series. 512-page color hardcover.

Walter Simonson Manhunter & Other Stories: Artist’s Edition

Walter Simonson Manhunter & Other Stories: Artist’s Edition


Walter Simonson Manhunter & Other Stories: Artist’s Edition (IDW): This will be an amazing book! (I can say this because I’ve actually held some of the pages of this wonderful series in my own hands.) Manhunter by Archie Goodwin and Walter Simonson must be the most acclaimed back-up feature in comics history, winning numerous awards upon its original publication in the 1970s as an eight-page bi-monthly back-up in DC’s Detective Comics. What’s even more incredible is that the series revolves around a long-forgotten third-tier series from Adventure Comics which only became popular when Joe Simon and Jack Kirby revamped the series in 1942, adding superhero elements to a standard detective character.

When revived by Goodwin and Simonson, it was not their original intent for their star to be the same Golden Age character. They used the Paul Kirk name as a homage to the previous, but as the story progressed, the creators adopted elements of the original to quickly establish a backstory for the character, given their limited amount of pages. The entire story was only seven episodes long — six of them only eight pages each. The final chapter was “full-length” and guest-starred Batman for the explosive resolution of the story (and the finale of “this” Manhunter).

This new Manhunter Artist Edition presents the entire saga, with nearly every page shot from the original artwork, courtesy of Simonson’s personal archives. As a special treat, this collection will also include much of Simonson’s other work for DC during this period, including amazing Dr. Fate, Metal Men (written by Steve Gerber), and Captain Fear adventures, as well as a stunning Batman story.

I predict this Artist Edition will sell quickly, so don’t wait to order! DC Comics let Manhunter slide in and out of print for decades, so at times, it’s been difficult to find. It currently resides in the Tales of the Batman: Archie Goodwin hardcover, which features the entire work, plus an epilogue, plotted by Goodwin years after the series finale, but not actually produced and published until after his death in 1998. This additional silent story, originally published in Manhunter: The Special Edition in 1999, will reportedly be included in this Artist’s Edition. 176-page oversized (12” x 17” ) B&W (but scanned in color) hardcover. Highly recommended.

The Usagi Yojimbo Saga Volume 1

The Usagi Yojimbo Saga Volume 1


The Usagi Yojimbo Saga Volume 1 (Dark Horse): The perfect way to catch up on the beloved adventures of comics’ favorite rabbit ronin — and celebrating the character’s 30th Anniversary to boot! This collects Stan Sakai’s essential Usagi adventures, beginning with Usagi Yojimbo Volume 2 #1-16, and including Volume 3 #1-6. Plus, it’s available in two formats: the standard softcover and a Limited Edition Hardcover of 900 signed copies. 632-page B&W (w/color cover gallery) softcover. (Or Ltd. Hardcover.)

NOW IN SOFTCOVER

Fantastic Four Epic Collection Volume One

Fantastic Four Epic Collection Volume One


Fantastic Four Epic Collection Volume One (Marvel Comics): Marvel’s new Epic Collection reprint line jumps back to the very beginning of the Marvel Age of comics with this Volume 1 collection of Fantastic Four (1961) #1-18 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby! Newly “remastered” (Wayne Markley and I believe Marvel is prepping all of this important material for digital standards and eventual release in that arena), this FF collection will be the first “Volume One” Epic Collection — to be quickly followed by other vintage “Volume One” collections of Amazing Spider-Man, Thor, and Iron Man over the next few months. (As well as a Moon Knight Volume One Epic Collection scheduled for October.) Getting these “Volume One” Collections going seems to confirm Marvel’s full commitment to the Epic Collection line (or at least moreso than the seemingly random collections issued so far). While not as cheap as the just canceled B&W reprint Marvel Essentials line, the Epic Collection is intended to be the new “value for less” affordable softcover line — as opposed to the Marvel Masterworks hardcovers, Omnibuses, and other high-ticket formats. The FF Epic Collection Volume One is a 456-page color standard format softcover.

Legion of Super-Heroes: The Curse

Legion of Super-Heroes: The Curse


Legion of Super-Heroes: The Curse (DC Comics): DC’s collections of classic Paul Levitz, Keith Giffen, Larry Mahlstedt, and others 1980s classics continues in this massive volume, collecting Legion of Super-Heroes #297-313 and Annual #2-3 (the post-“Great Darkness Saga” era). Anniversaries (LSH #300!) are celebrated, secrets are revealed, relationships change, powers are lost, and Brainiac 5 is a jerk! 544-page color softcover.

Martian Manhunter: Rings of Saturn

Martian Manhunter: Rings of Saturn


Martian Manhunter: Rings of Saturn (DC Comics): Another collection of excellent classic Martin Manhunter stories by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake (and featuring Bryan Hitch, Phil Winslade, and Paul Neary). After suffering massive injuries in battle with Malefic, the Manhunter returns to Mars in an attempt to heal himself. Plus: Jemm, Son of Saturn! 224-page color softcover. Available in September.

Marvel Masterworks: Atlas Era: Tales of Suspense Volume 1

Marvel Masterworks: Atlas Era: Tales of Suspense Volume 1


Marvel Masterworks: Atlas Era: Tales of Suspense Volume 1 (Marvel Comics): Born in the era (1958) where the Atlas line was reduced to just eight comics a month, these stories were the result of editor/writer Stan Lee refocusing his efforts to produce the very best. He teamed with artists Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and Don Heck to produce this classic science-fiction anthology — which would slowly evolve into a groundbreaking “big monster” title. Featuring twist-ending stories of Martians, killer robots, and massive monsters, these comics grabbed the imaginations of comic readers back then and are revered as cult classics today. Some stories feature characters who would reappear years later during the Marvel Age. (Thank you, Steve Gerber.) Here’s your chance to read Tales of Suspense #1-10 for peanuts, compared to what you would pay for the originals. Marvel Monsters start HERE! 272-page remastered color softcover.

BOOKS ABOUT COMICS

Comic Book People: Photographs From the 1970s & 1980s

Comic Book People: Photographs From the 1970s & 1980s


Comic Book People: Photographs From the 1970s & 1980s (Exhibit A Press): This collection of photographs were taken by Jackie Estrada, who has amazingly attended every San Diego Comic-Con since the first one in 1970. She quickly came to work for the show, handling PR and publications, and for more than 20 years, she has been the administrator of the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, comics’ most prestigious awards program. She’s also an avid photographer, capturing hundreds of con guests, comic book greats, publishers, editors, cartoonists, and more over the years — many of them candids from the years when the giants of the industry mingled casually with peers and fans. Over 600 photos, with commentary and anecdotes about each person, are included in this high-quality coffee table book. 160-page color (“9 x 12”) hardcover. Truly, a one-of-a-kind book!

Don Heck: A Work of Art

Don Heck: A Work of Art


Don Heck: A Work of Art (TwoMorrows): John Coates’ new book on the career of Don Heck is eagerly awaited by me, since he’s long overdue for a full-length biography. After a substantial career at Marvel Comics (starting in 1954), he ended up drawing many of DC’s biggest characters. Don Heck has lead a fascinating, yet quiet and little-discussed life in comics. Once, decades ago, he was frequently found on many fan’s “worst artists” lists, but time has been kind to Heck and his career, which has been completely reassessed in more recent and enlightened times. After co-creating Iron Man, Hawkeye, and Black Widow for Marvel, he had long runs on Marvel’s most popular titles, including the Incredible Hulk, Avengers, The Defenders, Daredevil, X-Men, and Spider-Man. Upon arrival at DC Comics in the late 1970s, he drew Justice League of America, The Flash, Wonder Woman, and Teen Titans. Also, not many people know this, but Heck is considered one of the very best romance comics artists — a genre not often discussed in these circles. And fans of Marvel’s Atlas Age swear by his sci-fi thrillers! Outside of comic books, he “ghosted” for Lee Falk on The Phantom. That’s a pretty amazing career right there!

Long considered one of the industry’s best “artist’s artists”, Heck had the respect of his peers and was beloved by his fans. Now his story will be told in full, in rare interviews and recollections from Don’s surviving family, long-time friends, and industry legends. The book will also include an extensive art gallery (including pencils before inking and unpublished work), a Foreword by Stan Lee, and an Afterword by (Westfield’s own) Beau Smith — always one of Don’s biggest fans and supporters! 192-page color hardcover. Available in September.

DC Comics: Villains - The Complete Visual History

DC Comics: Villains – The Complete Visual History


DC Comics: Villains – The Complete Visual History (DK): This is a little bit different from previous DK books about DC comic characters. This new book, written by Daniel Wallace, focuses more on the real-life origins of these bad, bad characters than on the comic book stories featuring them. Wallace has assembled new quotes about the characters’ motivations, history, origins, modus operandi, and pretty much anything you’d want to know about the most awful denizens of the DC Universe. Quoted are folks like Dan DiDio, Jim Lee, Mike Carlin, Marv Wolfman, Kurt Busiek, Dan Jurgens, Chuck Dixon, Steve Englehart, Mark Evanier, and Ron Marz. I haven’t seen the art for the book yet, but DK usually makes exceptional art choices for their books, featuring leading DC artists. 160-page color hardcover. Available in September.

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KC CARLSON SEZ: Thinking more about that DC Comics: Year Zero collection. That’s a lot of #25 issues! If you double 25, it almost comes to 52 — which is apparently a magic number. Oh, so close, DC!

WESTFIELD COMICS is not responsible for the stupid things that KC says. Especially that thing that really irritated you.

 

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