COLLECTIVE THOUGHTS FOR DECEMBER 2014, PART TWO: STRIPS, BIG BOOKS, AND ODD STUFF

KC Carlson. Art by Keith Wilson.

KC Carlson. Art by Keith Wilson.


by KC Carlson

GIANT-SIZE AVENGERS!

Avengers by Kurt Busiek & George Pérez Omnibus Volume 1

Avengers by Kurt Busiek & George Pérez Omnibus Volume 1


Avengers by Kurt Busiek & George Pérez Omnibus Volume 1 (Marvel): Due to some nefarious form of mind-altering psychosis, not many people today remember that in 1996-97, Marvel Comics farmed out the production of several of their most popular titles (including The Avengers) to Image Comics creators. (Don’t worry — none of those comics are in this volume!) What we have here are the really cool Avengers tales that were told after that horrible hallucination finally faded away! In comics initially labeled “Heroes Return”, the team supreme of Kurt Busiek and George Pérez took the Avengers to another level and produced one heck of a run of amazing stories — for a title that was long in need of one! The heroes face an array of fearsome foes like no other: Morgan Le Fay, the Squadron Supreme, the Kree, the Legion of the Unliving, the Thunderbolts, the Wrecking Crew… not to mention facing Kang and Immortus in the Destiny War! (Yes, this huge book also includes the entire 12-issue run of the brain-bending Avengers Forever series by Busiek and Carlos Pacheco!) Also, when the merciless Ultron attacks, wiping out an entire nation in his hatred for mankind, everything changes for the team! The Avengers must live up to their name — can they?!

Collecting Avengers (1998) #1-23, #0, and #1 Rough Cut; Iron Man (1998) #7; Captain America (1998) #8; Quicksilver #10; Avengers Annual ’98-’99; and Avengers Forever #1-12. Also features work by Mark Waid, John Ostrander, Roger Stern, Jerry Ordway, Andy Kubert, Stuart Immonen, and others! 1,184-page oversize color hardcover. A classic Avengers run — all in one volume! Available in March 2015.

The Avengers Omnibus Volume 2 Buscema Cover

The Avengers Omnibus Volume 2 Buscema Cover


The Avengers Omnibus Volume 2 (Marvel): Even more great Avengers stories, from a completely different era! This volume features the beginning of Roy Thomas’s amazing run, featuring the great artwork of John Buscema and Don Heck. Check out these classic Avengers events: The first appearances of Ultron and the Vision! The Black Widow’s surprise connection with the Red Guardian! Hercules’ epic battles with Sub-Mariner and Dragon Man! The Avengers vs. the Super-Adaptoid! Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch defect! The Black Panther joins the team! The Avengers battle the X-Men! An all-new Masters of Evil! The first-ever full telling of Bucky Barnes’ tragic death! A reality-bending battle between the new Avengers and the original Avengers! And more! Also features work by Gary Friedrich, Werner Roth, and George Tuska. Collecting Avengers (1963) #31-58 and Annual #1-2, X-Men (1963) #45, and material from Not Brand Echh (1967) #5 and #8. Plus, you get your choice of either a classic John Buscema cover or one by Alex Ross! 832-page oversize color hardcover. Available in March 2015.

BIG BOOKS & ARTIST’S EDITIONS

Absolute Transmetropolitan Volume 1

Absolute Transmetropolitan Volume 1


Absolute Transmetropolitan Volume 1 (DC Comics/Vertigo): Collecting the first 21 issues of Warren Ellis’ dystopian nightmare of exiled, cynical 21st century journalist Spider Jerusalem, in a big giant format which will probably do nothing to diffuse the surreal paranoia of this acclaimed science fiction series. Art by Darick Robertson, Rodney Ramos, and others. 512-page oversize (8.25” x 12.5”) color hardcover. Mature Readers. Available in April 2015.

Cerebus: Cover Gallery

Cerebus: Cover Gallery


Cerebus: Cover Gallery (IDW): Cerebus creator Dave Sim is both one of the most important and one of the most polarizing cartoonists in comics history. His groundbreaking Cerebus ran for 300 issues, each written and drawn by Sim — a monumental achievement! Now, the series’ beautiful covers (some created with Gerhard) are reproduced in an archival, oversized hardcover, and many of the illustrations have been scanned from Sim’s personal collection of his original art. Also collected are roughs, color guides, sketches, and other historical images that chronicle Sim’s creative process. 432-page 9” x 12’ color hardcover. Available in January 2015.

John Romita’s Amazing Spider-Man Artifact Edition

John Romita’s Amazing Spider-Man Artifact Edition


John Romita’s Amazing Spider-Man Artifact Edition (IDW): A huge collection of the very best of John Romita’s classic run on Amazing Spider-Man — all from his first 15 issues (#39-53) on the series! And all scanned directly from the original art — so you can see the paste-overs, blue-pencil art corrections, and editorial notes! (Including Stan Lee’s immortal note “Thank Odin I waited to reveal what Mary Jane really looked like!”) (Editorial note: That note never really existed! We are currently looking into adjusting KC’s meds.) 200-page 15” x 22” B&W (but scanned in color) hardcover. Yikes! I’ve had apartments smaller than this book! Available in January 2015.

Showcase Presents: Blue Beetle

Showcase Presents: Blue Beetle


Showcase Presents: Blue Beetle (DC Comics): Collecting all 24 issues of the 1986 DC Comics revival of the former Charlton character by (initially) Len Wein, Paris Cullins, and Bruce Patterson. Bob Greenberger is working on a history of this series, which will offer up much more information about it than the DC solicitation! (Note that this version of the character is lurking about in some current DC titles. This makes my head hurt.) 584-page B&W softcover. Available in January 2015

THIS MONTH IN CLASSIC COMIC STRIP COLLECTIONS

The Phantom: The Complete Dailies Volume 7: 1946-1947

The Phantom: The Complete Dailies Volume 7: 1946-1947


The Phantom: The Complete Dailies Volume 7: 1946-1947 (Hermes Press): This new volume presents four complete continuities — “Princess Valerie”, “Queen Asta of Trondelay”, “Mister Hog”, and “Romance of the Vesta Pirates” — reprinted for the first time in their entirety. All are by Lee Falk, Ray Moore, and Wilson McCoy (who also provides the cover). Strips from this issue are taken directly from King Features’ proofs. Available in January 2015.

Superman: The Silver Age Newspaper Dailies Volume 3: 1963-1966

Superman: The Silver Age Newspaper Dailies Volume 3: 1963-1966


Superman: The Silver Age Newspaper Dailies Volume 3: 1963-1966 (IDW/LoAC/DC Comics): Collecting the never-before-reprinted Superman stories from November 1963 through the strip’s conclusion in April 1966, by Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel and long-time Superman artist Wayne Boring. Once again, many of the stories collected here adapt stories that were previously first published in Superman comic books, usually by other artists and writers. So, here we get an alternative look at such “classics” as “Lex Luthor, Daily Planet Editor”, “Superman’s Sacrifice”, “The “Man Who Stole Superman’s Secret Life”, “Lois Lane’s Love Trap”, “Clark Kent in the Big House”, and “The Goofy Superman”, among others. More than 750 daily strips are included. Edited and designed by Dean Mullaney, introduction by Sid Friedfertig, and cover drawing by Pete Poplaski. 288-page 11” x 8.5” B&W hardcover. Available in January 2015.

BOOKS ABOUT COMICS (aka Odds & Ends)

Black Light: The World of L.B. Cole

Black Light: The World of L.B. Cole


Black Light: The World of L.B. Cole (Fantagraphics): L.B. Cole created some of the most bizarre, proto-psychedelic, eye-popping comic book covers of all time, yet remarkably, this is the first retrospective of his career. The book features the largest collection of Cole covers ever assembled in an oversize format that showcases his attention to detail and his versatility in all the popular comic book genres of the day. Cole burst into comics during the glory years of the Golden Age of comics. He was famous for his bold covers, usually featuring “poster colors” — brilliant primaries often over black backgrounds — and an over-the-top sense of the bizarre mixed with whimsy. There’s never been a comic book cover designer like L.B. Cole and there’s never been a book like this one. Not much is known about Cole’s history, so I’m hoping that this can uncover some new information. Introduction by Bill Schelly. 272-page color softcover. Available in January 2015.

The Full-Color Guide to Marvel Silver Age Collectables: From MMMS to Marvelmania

The Full-Color Guide to Marvel Silver Age Collectables: From MMMS to Marvelmania


The Full-Color Guide to Marvel Silver Age Collectables: From MMMS to Marvelmania (Totalmojo Productions): Now available in a new second printing. Not only is this a great catalog of all of the fantastic (and even the not-so fantastic) merchandise that was available during the early years of Marvel Comics (mostly the 1960s), this book claims to offer up the most detailed histories ever written regarding the Merry Marvel Marching Society (MMMS) and the ill-fated Marvelmania International fan clubs. (I might argue with that statement, unless these are written by Mark Evanier, who was actually involved with much of this.) Over 1,400 full-color pictures of early correspondence items such as letters, postcards, and no-prizes; Bullpen pin-ups; Ben Cooper Halloween costumes; the 1965 Swingin’ Stationery Kit; iron-ons; posters, flicker rings, snap-on rings, Mini-Books; Golden Records; Aurora Plastic model kits; all Marvel Captain Action sets; Marvel Super-Heroes TV show promotional poster, record, brochure, pennants, and bumper stickers; and hundreds of other brain-bending (and budget-busting) ephemera. If you’re my age, don’t you wish you saved all of this junk? I do! At least now I have this cool book, so I can go… “had it… had it… still have it… what the %@#! is that?!?” 172-page 8” x 11” color softcover.

Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream

Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream


Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream (Locust Moon Press): Over 100 of the world’s greatest cartoonists — including Paul Pope, JH Williams III, Bill Sienkiewicz, David Mack, Carla Speed McNeil, Charles Vess, Peter Bagge, Dean Haspiel, Farel Dalrymple, Marc Hempel, Nate Powell, P. Craig Russell, Jeremy Bastian, Jim Rugg, Ron Wimberly, Scott Morse, David Petersen, J.G. Jones, Mike and Laura Allred, Dean Motter, Yuko Shimizu, Roger Langridge, and Mark Buckingham – pay homage to Winsor McCay’s masterpiece, the Little Nemo in Slumberland comic strip. NOTE: This project was partially funded by Kickstarter and was previously made available (with many extras) through them. 144-page 16” x 21” color hardcover.

Zap: The Interviews

Zap: The Interviews


Zap: The Interviews (Fantagraphics): A companion volume to last month’s The Compete Zap! Comix, collecting the definitive career-spanning Comics Journal interviews with the cartoonists behind Zap Comix, featuring: supreme 1960s counterculture/underground artist Robert Crumb on how acid unleashed a flood of Zap characters from his unconscious; Marxist brawler Spain Rodriguez on how he made the transition from the Road Vultures biker gang to the exclusive Zap cartoonists’ club; Yale alumnus Victor Moscoso and Christian surfer Rick Griffin on how their poster-art psychedelia formed the backdrop of the 1960s San Francisco music scene; Savage Id-choreographer S. Clay Wilson on how his dreams insist on being drawn; painter and Juxtapoz-founder Robert Williams on how Zap #4 led to 150 newsdealer arrests; Fabulous, Furry, Freaky Gilbert Shelton on the importance of research; Church of the Subgenius founder Paul Mavrides on getting a contact high during the notorious Zap jam sessions; and much more. 264-page 10” x 12” B&W (w/partial color) softcover. Available in January 2015.

Abigail and the Snowman

Abigail and the Snowman


If it’s some new work from classic creators you’re looking for, check out Scott McCloud’s (Zot!, Understanding Comics) new graphic novel The Sculptor currently being offered from First Second in a signed and limited bookplate edition. And Roger Langridge’s newest creation — Abigail and the Snowman (the story of a girl and her Yeti) — will soon be available from KaBOOM! (Boom! Studios).

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Steranko Nick Fury of SHIELD poster

Steranko Nick Fury of SHIELD poster


KC CARLSON: Managed to score a (probably unauthorized) reproduction of the 1970s Marvelmania Jim Steranko “Nick Fury of SHIELD” poster (the original of which was part of my teenage bedroom decor) at a Chicago convention a few years back — and now have no idea where it is. I hate when that happens! I have too much crap!

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

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