COLLECTIVE THOUGHTS FOR JANUARY 2015: Part 1

KC Carlson in the latest formal wear

KC Carlson in the latest formal wear


by KC Carlson

STOP THE MULTIVERSES — I WANT TO GET OFF!

The Multiversity Guidebook

The Multiversity Guidebook


The Multiversity Guidebook #1 (DC Comics): I’m mostly recommending this compendium of madness ringleadered by Grant Morrison, who is claiming that this issue contains “a map of all known existence”. Who wouldn’t want to spend eight bucks for that?!? (I’m hoping it’s a fold-out — or maybe a fold-in — into other dimensions!) Here’s what else it contains: a detailed concordance featuring each of the 52 worlds in the Multiverse, a complete history of DC Comics’ universe-shattering “Crisis” events, and an action-packed dual adventure starring Kamandi of Earth-51 alongside the post-apocalyptic Atomic Knight Batman of Earth-17 and chibi Batman of Earth-42! This 80-page giant mountain of Multiversity madness cannot be missed! Because it could very well be Morrison’s last work! (I’m assuming that, his earthly mission completely completed, his now disembodied atoms will be traversing the multiverses.)

Joining Morrison on this mission of madness are Nicola Scott, Gary Frank, Klaus Janson, Cameron Stewart, Dan Jurgens, Chris Sprouse, Ben Oliver, and others. Covers are by Rian Hughes, Tom Fowler, and Phil Jimenez — plus a 1-in-100 cover by Morrison himself. Good luck obtaining that! Most rational comic shops will make you buy 100 copies (at $7.99 a pop) to get it. Or (doing math…) uh, a retail total of $806.99! Stock up now, kids!!! Or, hey… just sell your kids!!!

80 pages, four (or more) colors, softcover, most likely with staples. Available whenever you’re ready for it or in January 2015, whichever one doesn’t happen before.

THIS MONTH IN CLASSIC COMIC BOOK COLLECTIONS

Archie’s Pal Jughead Archives Volume 1

Archie’s Pal Jughead Archives Volume 1


Archie’s Pal Jughead Archives Volume 1 (Dark Horse): Artist Bob Montana, who created the visuals and some characteristics of the central Archie cast, was known to have based some of their looks and personalities on people he knew. But not Jughead Jones, the very unique girl-hating, hamburger-loving nonconformist. He was a creature of pure fantasy. He’d almost have to be. Have you ever met anybody like Jughead? Thought not. Archie’s best friend would rapidly turn out to be immensely popular, and thus he was one of the first of the Archie gang to get his own comic book. Eventually, pretty much everybody in the Archie cast got their own comic, at least for an issue or two. Even Jughead’s dog Hot Dog (who wasn’t even created until the late 1960s — and originally was Archie’s dog) had his own short-lived series.

Thanks to Dark Horse, we’ll soon have a beautiful hardcover collection of the first eight issues of Jughead’s solo comic book, which began in 1949 (and technically was called Archie’s Pal Jughead), lovingly restored to perfection. With twice the mischief, twice the pranks, and twenty times the food, Jughead Archives takes you to the weirder side of Riverdale, in this uproarious volume illustrated by beloved Archie artists Samm Schwartz and George Frese! If he’s not matching wits with Reggie or ignoring Betty (although he has a soft spot for her — she’s a great cook!) and Veronica, then he’s testing nutty experiments with his Uncle Herman (who, much later, became a regular character in That Wilkin Boy, a cult late-1960s spin-off of the Archie line). Archie’s Pal Jughead Archives Volume 1 is a 232-page, 7” x 10” color hardcover. Available in March 2015.

Archie Comics: Favorites From the Vault

Archie Comics: Favorites From the Vault


Archie Comics: Favorites From the Vault (Archie): Even more vintage Archie Comics this month appear in this new softcover collection of stories (in the same format of the Best of Archie series). The selection seems to have been based on stories that have not been frequently reprinted in all the various digests and collections that Archie produces every month. There are no details on specific stories, and in typical Archie fashion, the collection is said to be both over 400 pages and 128 pages (we’re going with 400). I’m hoping to see a lot of older, vintage material, as we don’t always get to see a lot of that in the typical digests these days. Color softcover, and we’re guessing that it’s not a full-size trade paperback, but larger than the typical digest. Also, the mock-up you see here may not be the actual cover.

Batman: The Dark Knight Unwrapped by David Finch Deluxe Edition

Batman: The Dark Knight Unwrapped by David Finch Deluxe Edition


Batman: The Dark Knight Unwrapped by David Finch Deluxe Edition (DC Comics): This is not really my kind of thing, but aspiring artists and Finch Fans will love this big volume of just David Finch’s pencil artwork from the pages of Batman: The Dark Knight #1-3, Batman: The Return #1, and Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #1-7 and 9. Features stories written by Finch, Grant Morrison, Paul Jenkins, and Judd Winick. (I’m curious to know if these pages are lettered for reading, or just as Finch pencilled them. Alas, DC does not tell us.) 288-page 7.0625” x 10.875” B&W hardcover. Available in March 2015.

Marvel Masterworks: The Avengers Volume 15

Marvel Masterworks: The Avengers Volume 15


Marvel Masterworks: The Avengers Volume 15 (Marvel): Featuring one of the best fan-favorite storylines: The Avengers must time travel to team with the Marvel heroes of the Old West to battle Kang and the Squadron Sinister! Guest-starring Rawhide Kid, Two-Gun Kid, Kid Colt, and Night Rider. Plus, there are also new Avengers joining, including Beast, Hellcat, and Moondragon, not to mention the long-awaited returns of Captain America, Yellowjacket, and the Wasp. Plus, the Stranger, the Squadron Supreme, the Serpent Squad, and the horrors of Roxxon Oil! (Hey, it was the 1970s!) Collects Avengers (1963) #136-149 and material from Marvel Treasury Edition #7. Written by Steve Englehart with Tony Isabella, art by George Pérez & George Tuska with Don Heck & Keith Pollard, and a cover by Gil Kane. 264-page color hardcover. Available in April 2015.

Shazam!: A Celebration of 75 Years

Shazam!: A Celebration of 75 Years


Shazam!: A Celebration of 75 Years (DC Comics): DC celebrates the World’s Mightiest Mortal in this new collection (of reprints) starring Captain Marvel and his extended crimefighting family: Captain Marvel Jr., Mary Marvel, Tawky Tawny, and more, plus villains Dr. Sivana, Mr. Mind, and Black Adam! Or, in other words, they haven’t selected the stories yet. (Is this any way to run a railroad?) This book will supposedly feature work by Otto Binder, Dennis O’Neil, Geoff Johns, C.C. Beck, Kurt Schaffenberger, and Gary Frank, all of which are good generically historical guesses. Cover by Alex Ross. 400-page oversize color hardcover. Available in March 2015.

Spawn of Mars and Other Stories

Spawn of Mars and Other Stories


Spawn of Mars and Other Stories (Fantagraphics): The science fiction genre owes a debt, especially visually, to EC Comics, and this highly anticipated Wallace Wood collection shows why. It features over two dozen comics stories drawn in Wood’s meticulously detailed brushwork. (His “lived in” spaceship interiors helped inspire Star Wars‘ Millennium Falcon.) With titles like “Spawn of Mars”, “The Dark Side of the Moon”, “A Trip to a Star”, “The Invaders”, “The Secret of Saturn’s Ring”, and “The Two-Century Journey”, how can you go wrong? Stories by Al Fieldstein. Spawn of Mars and Other Stories also features essays and notes by EC experts on these superbly crafted comic book masterpieces. 216-page 7.25” x 10.25” B&W hardcover

Tex: The Lonesome Rider

Tex: The Lonesome Riderv


Tex: The Lonesome Rider (Dark Horse): The first US release of this rarely seen Joe Kubert masterpiece! American icon Kubert and Italian writer Claudio Nizzi collaborated on the exhilarating western Tex: The Lonesome Rider in the early 2000s, and this standalone graphic novel is now available to a wider English-language audience. Tex hunts down four ruthless killers who massacred a peaceful farming family, using his detective skills, ranger’s experience, and brute force to track down his targets. However, each killer is cunning and skilled in his own right! 240-page 7” x 10” color hardcover. Available in March 2015.

ALSO AVAILABLE

Adventures Into the Unknown Archives Volume 4

Adventures Into the Unknown Archives Volume 4


Adventures Into the Unknown Archives Volume 4 (Dark Horse): Presenting “Beware the Jabberwock”, “The Ghost That Didn’t Die”, and an excellent cover run by Ogden Whitney — as well as a plethora of twisted tales! Classic monsters, convoluted crises, and ghosts of all sorts populate these entertaining stories from the early 1950s, with contributors including Fred Guardineer, Lin Streeter, Charles Sultan, and others. Featuring a new foreword by comic-book historian Michael T. Gilbert, as well as all the original text pieces and letter columns. 216-page 7” x 10” color softcover. Available in March 2015.

The Chronicles of Conan Volume 29: The Shape in the Shadow and Other Stories

The Chronicles of Conan Volume 29: The Shape in the Shadow and Other Stories


The Chronicles of Conan Volume 29: The Shape in the Shadow and Other Stories (Dark Horse): Collects Marvel’s Conan the Barbarian #224-232, featuring work by Gerry Conway, Mark Texera, Alfredo Alcala, and others. All stories are collected for the first time. 224-page 7” x 10” color softcover. Available in March 2015.

The Michael Moorcock Library Volume 1: Elric of Melnibone

The Michael Moorcock Library Volume 1: Elric of Melnibone


The Michael Moorcock Library Volume 1: Elric of Melnibone (Titan Comics): We don’t have a lot of detail yet on this new series (possibly running up to 15 volumes) collecting the work of fantasy legend Michael Moorcock. This first volume features Elric of Melnibone, possibly collecting the 1980s Marvel Graphic Novel material by Roy Thomas, P. Craig Russell, and Michael T. Gilbert. Mature Themes. 176-page 7” x 10” color hardcover. Available in March 2015.

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NEXT WEEK: More Avengers collections (I sense a theme), another new EC Comics Artist’s Edition, a couple of exciting Omnibus collections starring cult heroes by superstar creators (my favorite kind of Omnibi), a history of Horror Comics, a Marvel Vault, and some excellent classic newspaper strip collections. And more.

KC CARLSON: Currently mentally experiencing the post-holiday lull two months early after too much excitement and way too many year-end comic products. Now, I just have to live through the real thing. That seems backwards somehow. Welcome to comics…

WESTFIELD COMICS is not responsible for the stupid things that KC says. Especially that thing that really irritated you. Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

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