COLLECTIVE THOUGHTS FOR JANUARY 2015: Part 2: Big Books, Strip Collections, and other scary stuff (just in time to be late for Halloween!)

KC Carlson and a scowling Beau Smith.

KC Carlson and a scowling Beau Smith.


by KC Carlson

The Horror Comics: Fiends, Freaks, and Fantastic Creatures 1940s-1980s

The Horror Comics: Fiends, Freaks, and Fantastic Creatures 1940s-1980s


The Horror Comics: Fiends, Freaks, and Fantastic Creatures 1940s-1980s (McFarland): This is an academic look at horror and “mystery” comics from their frightening origins in the 1940s to their evolution during the Bronze Age, when they started a long fade to obscurity by the early 1980s. We don’t often see a lot of books focusing specifically on all horror comics or their history (although specific histories on EC Comics or specific horror artists are plentiful), so an in-depth and critical look at this often misunderstood and multifaceted genre is overdue.

Specific areas include:

  • Controversial and gory comics from the 1940s, including Prize Comics’ Frankenstein, American Comics Group’s Adventures Into the Unknown, and the E.C. comics line, including the infamous and influential Tales from the Crypt.
  • The resurgence of monster-horror titles during the 60s in anthologies like Dell Comics’ Ghost Stories and Charlton’s Ghostly Tales From the Haunted House.
  • The explosion of horror titles following the relaxation of the Comics Code Authority in the 70s, documented with chapters on Marvel’s prodigious output (including the character-oriented titles The Tomb of Dracula, Werewolf by Night, and The Monster of Frankenstein) as well as DC’s anthologies House of Mystery, Witching Hour, and Ghosts as well as the popular and influential Swamp Thing series.

The Horror Comics also examines how these comics exploited everyday terrors and often unfortunately reflected societal attitudes toward women and people who were different. 288-page B&W softcover.

BIG BOOKS & ARTIST’S EDITIONS

Avengers: The Vibranium Collection

Avengers: The Vibranium Collection


Avengers: The Vibranium Collection (Marvel): It’s the Avengers’ Greatest Hits in this massively oversized and slipcased volume which (truth in advertising) may not actually be made out of vibranium (which, last time I checked, didn’t actually exist in our universe). Nevertheless, this is nothing but Avengers greatness featuring Marvel’s biggest heroes and comics’ biggest names, including Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Roy Thomas, John Buscema, Steve Englehart, Jim Shooter, Roger Stern, John Byrne, Dave Cockrum, George Pérez, Kurt Busiek, Geoff Johns, Olivier Coipel, Brian Michael Bendis, David Finch, Jonathan Hickman, Jerome Opeña, and many others. Here are the stories, which I’ll bet most of you know just by the issue numbers: Avengers (1963) #1, #4, #16, #57-58, #164-166, and #273-277; Giant-Size Avengers (1974) #2; Avengers (1998) #19-22 and #65-70; New Avengers (2005) #1-6; and Avengers (2012) #1-3. 776-page, 11½” x 15½”, color slipcased hardcover. Available in April 2015, in plenty of time before the new movie!

Best of EC Volume 2 Artist’s Edition

Best of EC Volume 2 Artist’s Edition


Best of EC Volume 2 Artist’s Edition (IDW): The second volume of Best of EC Artist’s Edition is — remarkably — just as good as Volume One! Includes what can arguably be called the best stories by Harvey Kurtzman (Airburst), Al Williamson (Food for Thought, Lost in Space), Bernie Krigstein (Master Race, In the Bag), and more! Other artists represented include Joe Orlando, Frank Frazetta, Johnny Craig, and George Evans, with many of the stories written by Al Feldstein. As with all EC Comics Artist’s Editions, this book will be a massive 15 x 22 inches and appears to be in black and white, when actually the original art pages are scanned in color so that paste-overs, blue pencils in the art, editorial notes, and art corrections can easily be seen. All stories are presented in full! Plus, there’s a fantastic selection of original EC covers. 176-page 15” x 22” B&W hardcover. Available in February.

The Fantastic Four Omnibus Volume 3 Alex Ross cover

The Fantastic Four Omnibus Volume 3 Alex Ross cover


The Fantastic Four Omnibus Volume 3 (Marvel): Do you miss Stan Lee and Jack Kirby? There are over 900 pages of classic Lee bombast and Kirby Kozmic in this volume of classic 1960s Fantastic Four stories that ran under the much-earned tagline of “The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine”. It’s one history-making hit after another, with the first appearances of the Kree, Annihilus, and “Him” (a.k.a. Adam Warlock); team-ups with the Inhumans and Silver Surfer; and the birth of Franklin Richards! Add in classic enemies Dr. Doom, the Mole Man, and Galactus — and Crystal’s first outing as a member of the FF — and you know what? “The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine” is an understatement. Marvel’s history is placed directly into your (hopefully strong) fingertips! Collects Fantastic Four (1961) #61-93 and Annual #5-7 and material from Not Brand Echh #5-7 (including their Fantastical origin story, by Lee, Kirby, and Marie Severin). 952-page oversized color hardcover. Available in your choice of covers: A Klassic Kirby cover (from FF #82) or an Awesome Alex Ross painted cover evoking the team’s origin. Available in April 2015.

Hawkeye by Matt Fraction & David Aja Omnibus

Hawkeye by Matt Fraction & David Aja Omnibus


Hawkeye by Matt Fraction & David Aja Omnibus (Marvel): Not only is this Hawkeye series Marvel’s most critically acclaimed comic in recent memory, it’s also outrageously awe-inspiring. (And it’s now awesomely all-in-one-place, so you don’t have to wait forever between issues anymore!) It’s Hawkguy, Kate, Pizza Dog, et al. against the Clown, Madame Masque, the tracksuits (a dog-abusing gang of Eastern European mobsters), and more in a fantastic, Eisner Award-nominated reinvention of the arrowed Avenger! Not your usual Marvel comic… It’s better! Collects Hawkeye (2012) #1-22 and Annual #1 and Young Avengers Presents #6. Additional creators include Javier Pulido, Jesse Hamm, Steve Lieber, Francesco Francavilla, Annie Wu, Chris Eliopoulos, and Alan Davis. 552-page oversize color hardcover. Available in April 2015. (Okay, maybe there’s a little wait for this… It’s worth it!)

Orion by Walter Simonson Omnibus Edition

Orion by Walter Simonson Omnibus Edition


Orion by Walter Simonson Omnibus Edition (DC Comics): Collecting the entire run of Walter Simonson’s acclaimed take on Jack Kirby’s classic Fourth World characters, the New Gods. A lot of Simonson fans have been waiting to see this amazing work in a collection befitting it! Collects Orion #1-25 and backup stories from Jack Kirby’s Fourth World #9-11 and 13. Also includes work by Frank Miller, Jim Lee, Howard Chaykin, Dave Gibbons, Art Adams, John Byrne, Eddie Campbell, Erik Larsen, Rob Liefeld, Jeph Loeb, and more! 688-page oversize color hardcover. Available in March 2015. Bob Greenberger will have more on this great collection soon, right here at the Westfield Blog.

THIS MONTH IN CLASSIC COMIC STRIP COLLECTIONS

The Cisco Kid Volume 2: February 1953-March 1955

The Cisco Kid Volume 2: February 1953-March 1955


The Cisco Kid Volume 2: February 1953-March 1955 (Classic Comics Press): Continuing this great western strip by Rod Reed and Jose Luis Salinas. Collects all the daily strips from February 2, 1953, to March 19, 1955. Also includes an introduction by Don McGregor (Black Panther, Sabre) and other historical content. 232-page 11” x 8” B&W softcover.

Steve Canyon Volume 5: 1955-1956

Steve Canyon Volume 5: 1955-1956


Steve Canyon Volume 5: 1955-1956 (IDW/LoAC): Milton Caniff’s square-jawed hero is back in the Orient, crossing paths with old friends and new enemies. Doe Redwood and the Hall family reappear on the scene, as does another young friend who is working hard to grow up. There are also more hearts and flowers in store within the tangled web that ensnares Steve, Summer Olson, and Copper Calhoon, while Happy Easter returns stateside but ends up having a Gay old time on the Savannah. As 1956 races to a conclusion, a new member of the Canyon clan steps on stage. Get ready to meet Cousin Poteet! These Steve Canyon volumes are presented in a matching hardcover set to the previous Library of American Comics’ Eisner Award-winning Terry and the Pirates collections. 336-page 11” x 8.5” B&W (w/color) hardcover. Available in February 2015.

Tarzan: The Complete Russ Manning Newspaper Strips Volume 4

Tarzan: The Complete Russ Manning Newspaper Strips Volume 4


Tarzan: The Complete Russ Manning Newspaper Strips Volume 4 (IDW/LoAC): Winner of the 2014 Eisner Award! The series conclusion features the final nine Sunday storylines by Russ Manning, in which Tarzan returns to Opar, Pellucidar, and Castra Sanguinarius, while Korak finds himself at the Sacred Lake of Krackao and the Elephants’ Graveyard. Collecting the complete strip run from March 24, 1974, through June 24, 1979. 296-page, 11” x 8.5” color hardcover. Available in February 2015.

BOOKS ABOUT COMICS

Marvel: The Avengers Vault

Marvel: The Avengers Vault


Marvel: The Avengers Vault (Thunder Bay Press): A new “vault” style book that contains removable reproductions. These include Captain America’s Sentinels of Liberty membership card, specialty original art by Jack Kirby, early drawings of Iron Man, and a complete Marvel mini-book. The Avengers history is written by Peter David and mostly focuses on Captain America, The Mighty Thor, The Invincible Iron Man, and The Incredible Hulk. Other characters such as the Winter Solider, Fandral the Dashing, Hogun the Grim, Edwin Jarvis, Black Widow, and Hawkeye will also be included. 176-page, 8.3” x 11.7” color hardcover. There are also similar, smaller books on both Iron Man and Thor available this month.

Modern Masters: Paolo Rivera

Modern Masters: Paolo Rivera


Modern Masters: Paolo Rivera (TwoMorrows): From the pulp magazine feel of Mythos to the cinematic adventure of Spider-Man and the sleek stylings of Daredevil, Paolo brings a fresh storytelling approach to each project he illustrates. And his grand sense of design is on full display in the many covers he’s drawn. Whether he’s wielding a paint brush or a pencil, Paolo’s thoughtful work shows he has the Modern Masters touch! Eric Nolen-Weathington goes behind the scenes with Paolo to explore his career and his technique with access to his archives of published and unpublished work, including an extensive gallery of commissioned pieces, many in full color. 120-page, 8” x 11” B&W (w/partial color) softcover. Available in February 2015.

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KC CARLSON: Blah blah blah… shipoopi!

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

 

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