COLLECTIVE THOUGHTS FOR MARCH 2015: PART 2 – MORE STUFF! AND MORE!

by KC Carlson

MARVEL’S PANDORA’S BOX (BIG ENOUGH FOR FOUR)

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars: Battleworld Box Set Slipcase

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars: Battleworld Box Set Slipcase


Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars: Battleworld Box Set Slipcase (Marvel): The latest entry in the Marvel “Overkill?” or “Greatest Thing Ever!” Sweepstakes (I hate to judge…) is this amazingly HUGE $500 set of books collecting absolutely everything regarding the 1984 Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars series, the 1985 Secret Wars II sequel, the 2004 Secret War series starring Nick Fury (that everyone forgets about), and the yet-to-be published (but Marvel’s been threatening it for the last five or six months) 2015 Secret Wars.

Word on the street (or at least in my brain-damaged head) also indicates that this box set would include all kinds of extras — including (possibly) some (era-specific) toenail clippings from then Marvel EIC (and original Secret Wars writer) Jim Shooter! Why? I can only assume for cloning purposes… Somebody’s gotta save the funny book industry, right?

I’ve just been advised by Westfield’s lawyers (Hi, Harry!) that I have to tell all of you that everything in that last paragraph is a lie that I made up. Well, except the part about Jim Shooter being Marvel’s then EIC and Secret Wars writer. That was actually true. The part about him actually saving the funny book industry. Well… hmmmm.

Depends on what Earth you are reading this in, right, Grant?

Where was I? Oh, yeah…

The Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars: Battleworld Box Set Slipcase (Yes, it’s real!) actually contains all this:

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars: To Battleworld and Back Premiere Hardcover

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars Premiere Hardcover

The Thing: Battleworld Premiere Hardcover

Secret Wars II Volume 1 Premiere Hardcover

Secret Wars II Volume 2 Premiere Hardcover

Secret Wars II Volume 3 Premiere Hardcover

Secret Wars II Volume 4 Premiere Hardcover

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars: Aftermath Premiere Hardcover

Secret War Premiere Hardcover

Beyond the Secret Wars Premiere Hardcover

Secret Wars: Behind the Scenes Premiere Hardcover

and Alex Ross’ sublime* poster of the iconic cover to Secret Wars #1.

Marvel sez: “Featuring the original Heroes vs. Villains showdown on the Beyonder’s Battleworld, the big B’s journey to Earth and the line-wide crossover that ensued, Nick Fury’s highly hush-hush Secret War, and more! All the tie-ins, follow-ups, and alternate takes — including a Spidey-centric look at the first Secret Wars, the wildest Thing adventure of all time, and a rematch of good and evil as a very different group get whisked to Battleworld! Plus: an entire volume full of all the special features we could find.”

There is no page count for this item at press time, but it will likely top well over 1,000 pages over these 11 hardcover volumes. Plus, it’s probably heavy enough to kill the Impossible Man if you clobber him over his pointy little head. (Assuming you can catch him!) Available in June.

*That’s correct. This poster is less than lime. I actually doubt that the poster will even be mint if they try to stuff it into the box with all those heavy books!

THIS MONTH IN CLASSIC COMIC STRIP COLLECTIONS

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: The Complete Newspaper Sundays Volume 3: 1937-1940

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: The Complete Newspaper Sundays Volume 3: 1937-1940


Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: The Complete Newspaper Sundays Volume 3: 1937-1940 (Hermes Press): Continuing the critically acclaimed, full-color, large format, complete reprint of this historically important and ground-breaking newspaper strip. In addition to all the strips (presented in their original tabloid format), there is a treasure trove of documentary material as well, featuring a special 16-page introductory essay jammed with pictures of production artwork, toys, and promotional material. In addition, these strips have never been collected before and have been painstakingly restored. 208-page 11” x 14” color hardcover. Available in May.

Complete Chester Gould’s Dick Tracy Volume 18

Complete Chester Gould’s Dick Tracy Volume 18


Complete Chester Gould’s Dick Tracy Volume 18 (IDW/LoAC): This volume pretty much wraps up the 1950s with all the strips from December 15, 1957, through July 11, 1959. The theme this volume is all about when petty crimes blow up out of control. Plenty of new villains are also introduced, including the gamecock queen Miss Egghead, Cuban secret serviceman Wunbrow, the tragic Headache, and bizarre Popsie and her mother. Throw in a wacko named Pantsy, a cross-country chase after a million dollars of hidden heist loot, Tracy left for dead on a deserted island, and a couple more million in slot machine coins, and you’ve got a whole volume of bizarre from the mind of Chester Gould. Plus, we haven’t even mentioned the Mole-lookalike named Rhodent! Holy Moley! 276-page 11” x 8.5” B&W hardcover. Available in April.

Polly and Her Pals: Complete Sunday Comics: 1928-1930

Polly and Her Pals: Complete Sunday Comics: 1928-1930


Polly and Her Pals: Complete Sunday Comics: 1928-1930 (IDW/LoAC): This is my pick of the week! This reprints all of Sterrett’s Sunday pages from the height of his “surrealistic period” in a whopping 12″ x 16″ Champagne Edition format so they can be fully appreciated. The book also contains Sterrett’s topper strips “Dot and Dash” and “Sweethearts and Wives”. The majority of these Sunday strips have never before been reprinted. Polly Perkins is young, blonde, and the apple of many a young man’s eye. Yet while Polly is out on the town or frolicking at the beach, it’s her family that creates all the hubbub! And the vast majority of surrealism as well. (Keep an eye on Paw’s cat, Kitty, the pantomime wonder of the comic strip world!) Packed with the detailed background and biographic material that has made Library of American Comics the “gold standard” in strip reprints. 176-page 12” x16” color hardcover. Available in April.

Modesty Blaise Volume 25: The Killing Distance

Modesty Blaise Volume 25: The Killing Distance


Modesty Blaise Volume 25: The Killing Distance (Titan Books): The latest in this great series collecting famed adventure strips of the “ass-kicking femme fatale” by Peter O’Donnell and Enric Badia Romero. Three rare stories are collected for the very first time: “Guido the Jinx”, “The Killing Distance”, and “The Aristo”. All are dripping with classic adventure, ‘60s chic, and Cold War thrills. 104-page 9” x 12” color softcover.

BIG BOOKS

Annihilation: Conquest Omnibus

Annihilation: Conquest Omnibus


Annihilation: Conquest Omnibus (Marvel): In the aftermath of the Annihilation War, a devastated galaxy struggles to rebuild. The Nova Corps is destroyed, leaving only Richard Rider. Who will rise to guard the galaxy from the threat of Ultron? When the Kree homeworld is invaded by the techno-organic Phalanx, Star-Lord must lead a ragtag team into battle behind enemy lines with a lineup that includes Mantis, Bug, Groot, and Rocket Raccoon! Meanwhile, the new Quasar seeks a mysterious savior — and Nova and Gamora are taken over by the Phalanx! Who is the haunted loner called Wraith? Can the New Mutants’ Warlock free Nova? And what are Ultron and the Phalanx really after? This is one of the great storylines that redefined cosmic for the modern Marvel Universe. And now it’s all in one place! Don’t miss it! Written by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Keith Giffen, Christos Gage, and Javier Grillo-Marxuach. Penciled by Sean Chen, Brian Denham, Wellinton Alves, Paul Pelletier, Mike Perkins, Timothy Green II, Mike Lilly, Kyle Hotz, and Tom Raney. Cover by Aleksi Briclot. Collecting Nova (2007) #1-12 and Annual #1, Annihilation: Conquest Prologue #1, Annihilation: Conquest: Star-Lord #1-4, Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #1-4, Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #1-4, Annihilation: Conquest #1-6, and Annihilation Saga. 872-page oversize color hardcover. Available in June.

Justice Society of America: A Celebration of 75 Years

Justice Society of America: A Celebration of 75 Years


Justice Society of America: A Celebration of 75 Years (DC Comics): Another DC anniversary collection without any specific details about what is in it, although it’s probably safe to say that key adventures from the series’ Golden Age in All-Star Comics will be included, as well as samplings from its 1960s revival (as Justice League of America guest stars) to the full revival and success from the 1970s on. Look for work by Gardner Fox, John Broome, Robert Kanigher, Roy Thomas, Jerry Ordway, Geoff Johns, and hopefully dozens more. 400-page oversize color hardcover. Available in May.

Usagi Yojimbo Saga Volume 3

Usagi Yojimbo Saga Volume 3


Usagi Yojimbo Saga Volume 3 (Dark Horse): The third volume in Dark Horse’s definitive Usagi Yojimbo compilations showcases Stan Sakai’s epic series at its best! Usagi faces a terrifying new foe who wears a demon mask; the Eisner-winning “Grasscutter” storyline receives a sequel, “Return to Atsuta Shrine”; pickpocket Kitsune’s history is revealed; fan-favorite character Sasuké the Demon Queller makes his debut; and a beloved ally long thought dead returns! Throughout, Sakai’s storytelling constitutes a master class in the comics form. Collects Usagi Yojimbo Volume Three #31-#52, along with stories from Dark Horse Presents and more. 616-page 7” x 10” B&W softcover. Available in May. Also available in a signed and numbered Limited Edition hardcover.

ARTIST/GALLERY EDITIONS

Don Rosa’s The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck Artist’s Edition: Volume 1

Don Rosa’s The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck Artist’s Edition: Volume 1


Don Rosa’s The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck Artist’s Edition: Volume 1 (IDW): Well, that’s just ducky! Don Rosa’s Eisner Award-winning work on The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck told the story of the penny-pinching mallard’s early days before he made his legendary fortune. Rosa took the original works of Carl Barks’ legendary Duck stories, filled in (more than) a few gaps in the timeline, and created his own legendary work — which is now being collected, in full, in three volumes of IDW’s wonderful Artist’s Edition format. The first volume (out in April) will collect the first six chapters of The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, with covers and selected layouts by Rosa, who is fully cooperating and assisting in its production. As always, all of the pages for the Artist’s Editions are scanned directly from the original art (at full size) in color, to mimic the actual original art, so you can clearly see paste-overs, blue pencil, editorial notes, and art corrections. Plus, the paper selected is as close as possible to the original art boards. If you want this, don’t hesitate to order, because there will be another huge group of Disney Duck fans (outside of comic fans) that will also be very interested in this project. 160-page 14” x 20” B&W (but scanned in color) hardcover. Available in April. No foolin’!

BOOKS ZINES ABOUT COMICS

Ace Magazine #1

Ace Magazine #1


Ace Magazine #1 (Time Capsule Productions): The first issue of a new planned monthly magazine. The title is an acronym for “All Comics Evaluated”, with a dual meaning. “First, regarding the aesthetic and critical worth of the stories through opinion and reviews of comics of worth to seek out. And, two, as a tool for collectors to monitor and thoroughly appraise their collections or for readers to accurately price a much desired title.” The publication’s biggest calling card is its planned up-to-date (as well as “accurate and thorough”) price guide, focusing on “hot” books. It also promises “interviews with top comic book creators, previews and reviews of the latest comics, and features on upcoming comics-based film, television, and digital media, plus news and opinion”. The first issue is due in March and features in-depth interviews with Harley Quinn and Power Girl artist/writer Amanda Conner (with input from Paul Dini on the secret origin of Harley) and Batman/The Woods scribe James Tynion IV, as well as articles on Lumberjanes and the Rise of the Valkyries. Published by retailer Robert Yeremian and edited by Jon B. Cooke (Comic Book Artist/Editor). 112-page 7” x 10” color magazine.

Alter Ego #132

Alter Ego #132


Alter Ego #132 & Back Issue Magazine #80 (TwoMorrows): TwoMorrows celebrates 75 years of the Flash and Green Lantern in these two quasi-crossover issues of their leading magazines about comics. Alter Ego (edited by Roy Thomas) looks at the origins and adventures of the Golden Age (and early Silver Age) of both characters, while Back Issue (edited by Michael Eury) covers the 1970s and 1980s. Lots of vintage art will be on display in both magazines, and Back Issue also has a special feature noting DC Comics’ upcoming (and historical) move to the West Coast, by celebrating DC’s various New York City offices over the years, in an article researched and compiled by Westfielder Bob Greenberger. Each issue is 84 pages in full color.

Back Issue Magazine #80

Back Issue Magazine #80


_____________________________

KC CARLSON SEZ: Sure, I was goofing around when I suggested that the Marvel Secret Wars Box Set might have some Jim Shooter toenails in it. But it’s not like Marvel has never produced any publications with actual human DNA in them. It’s happened at least twice (that we know of).

Squadron Supreme

Squadron Supreme


In 1996, beloved editor Mark Gruenwald passed away suddenly from a congenital heart defect. As his last wish was to have his ashes used in part of a comic book, after his death, he was cremated, and his ashes were mixed into the ink of the first printing of the Squadron Supreme trade paperback collection, which was written by Mark.

Earlier, in 1977, the four then-members of the rock band KISS had blood drawn by a registered nurse, witnessed by a notary public, and poured into the vats of red ink used for printing their comic (the first issue of the Marvel Comics Super Special which featured the band). Further, it was also supposedly witnessed by Stan Lee and the book’s creators (Steve Gerber and Alan Weiss). Subsequent rumors speculated that the red ink that contained the blood was accidentally used for an issue of Sports Illustrated, due to a printer mix-up.

So, at least Gru’s DNA made it to the printers for sure.

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

 

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