COLLECTIVE THOUGHTS FOR APRIL 2015: PART 2: THE LOST STEVE DALLAS, TOO MANY SPIDER-PEOPLE, GREAT BIG KAMANDI, MORE JACK KIRBY, AND ACTUAL BOOKS ABOUT COMIC BOOKS. OH, AND I YELL A LOT.

KC Carlson. Art by Keith Wilson.

KC Carlson. Art by Keith Wilson.


by KC Carlson

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE… urm, SELL COPY?

DC Comics -- The New 52: The Poster Collection

DC Comics — The New 52: The Poster Collection


Okay, this cracked me up. Here’s the actual sell copy up at Amazon.com for DC Comics — The New 52: The Poster Collection:

“Since its launch in late 2011, DC Comics: The New 52 has delivered some of the most visually thrilling and creatively innovative comic book art in recent history. Featuring cover art from fan-favorites like Scott Snyder’s Batman, Brian Azzarello’s Wonder Woman, and Geoff Johns’ Justice League, this high-quality poster book presents forty iconic covers from the most popular comics in The New 52.”

Figure it out?

How about… It’s a book filled with dynamic, awe-inspiring artwork — yet the only creators mentioned are Snyder, Azzarello, and Johns. Who are all writers — NOT artists!

This sums up the biggest problem with The New 52 — Lack of attention to detail!

(And it’s not even the first of April yet. Although that’s about when this book is scheduled to be available.)

If you’re interested, you can still order the book from us. It sounds like it could be an awesome 40-page 12” x 16” color softcover from Insight Editions, filled with astounding DC Comics artwork. Not that we know who drew any of it! Sheesh! What a way to run a railroad…

Uncle Scrooge #1

Uncle Scrooge #1


BY THE WAY… Forgot to point out last week, IDW has picked up the license to produce all-new Disney comic books beginning in April with Uncle Scrooge #1, quickly followed up by new series of Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, and Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories (and eventually TPB collections of same). Best of luck to IDW! It’s always good to see old friends return!

THIS MONTH IN CLASSIC COMIC STRIP COLLECTIONS

Berkeley Breathed’s Academia Waltz & Other Profound Transgressions

Berkeley Breathed’s Academia Waltz & Other Profound Transgressions


Berkeley Breathed’s Academia Waltz & Other Profound Transgressions (IDW): One of the books this month that Roger and I never thought we’d ever see published. Academia Waltz was Breathed’s first comic strip, created while he was a student at the University of Texas at Austin. It was published in The Daily Texan, the student newspaper, from 1978 to 1979. The strip is much sought after, as it includes two characters who would continue on to Breathed’s phenomenally popular Bloom County strip — Steve Dallas and Cutter John (shown here as Saigon John). These strips were originally collected in 1979 and 1980 (Breathed would finance his college studies by self-publishing them), but they have been long out-of-print, and copies are extremely rare. Breathed included a few Academia Waltz strips in IDW’s first collection of Bloom County strips and in Berkeleyworks: The Art of Berkeley Breathed: From Bloom County and Beyond, but now, for the first time, comes the nearly (we think) complete Academia Waltz!

Also presented in this huge collection is more pre-Bloom County material, including additional artwork, strips, and political cartoons. Plus, as a bonus, the book is published in the same format as the other IDW Bloom County volumes — so it will look awesome on your bookshelf! 304-page 11” x 8.5” B&W hardcover. Available in May.

The Complete Peanuts 1995-1996

The Complete Peanuts 1995-1996


The Complete Peanuts 1995-1996 (Fantagraphics): This is Volume 23 (of 25), so we’re getting close to the end of this amazing series collecting one of the most popular comic strips of all time! (By the way, the final volume of the series is scheduled to coincide with the release of the Peanuts animated feature film that you’ve been recently seeing previews of). In this volume, Charlie Brown is actually asked to the Sweetheart Ball — which will require dancing lessons! Rerun wants Snoopy to come out to play, but the World Famous Attorney may be too busy with some tough cases. And Linus hears coyotes howling at night. Even the most devoted Peanuts fan will be surprised when they revisit Schulz’s last decade of work on the most beloved comic strip of all time. I sure am! I dropped out of reading the daily strips during this time, and I am greatly appreciating seeing this amazing material I originally missed! 344-page 8.5” x 7” B&W hardcover.

The Phantom: The Complete Dailies Volume 8: 1947-48

The Phantom: The Complete Dailies Volume 8: 1947-48


The Phantom: The Complete Dailies Volume 8: 1947-48 (Hermes Press): Included in this volume are three complete continuities, reprinted for the first time in their entirety, “The Devil Road”, “The Girls (Lady Luck)”, and “The Masked Marvel”. All strips are taken directly from King Feature’s proofs. Referred to by comic strip historian Maurice Horn as the “granddaddy of all costumed superheroes”, the Phantom was created in 1936 by Lee Falk with artwork by Ray Moore, predating both Batman and Superman. So there! 240-page 11.8” x 9” B&W hardcover. Available in June.

The Phantom: The Complete Series: The Charlton Years Volume 4

The Phantom: The Complete Series: The Charlton Years Volume 4


The Phantom: The Complete Series: The Charlton Years Volume 4 (Hermes Press): Technically, this should be listed with the comic book reprints, but we list it here for ease for Phantom fans! Hermes Press is collecting all 74 issues (not all in this volume) of The Phantom comic books that ran from 1962-1977, digitally remastered to look better than the original books. Artwork is by Pat Boyette, Mario Pedrazzi, Sante D’Amico, and Frank Bolle. Also featured is an exhaustive essay on the artists who created these comics, as well as other special features. 244-page 7.8” x 10.2“ color hardcover. Available in June.

Rip Kirby Volume 8

Rip Kirby Volume 8


Rip Kirby Volume 8 (IDW): In these eleven complete stories, Rip Kirby’s escapades take him to all parts of the globe, on land and sea, and even — for a first in this series — on a space ship to… the future! The suave detective mixes it up with more stunning beauties, sleazy blackmailers, and vicious murderers, drawn in John Prentice’s slick, award-winning, photorealistic style. Written by Fred Dickenson. The strips are reproduced from the original King Features Syndicate proofs. Containing more than 800 sequential comics from October 10, 1964, to July 8, 1967! 288-page 11” x 10” B&W hardcover. Available in May.

Tarzan: The Original Dailies (LOAC Essentials Volume 7)

Tarzan: The Original Dailies (LOAC Essentials Volume 7)


Tarzan: The Original Dailies (LOAC Essentials Volume 7) (IDW): Three amazing firsts hit the newspaper strip pages in January 1929: the introduction of Buck Rogers as a Sunday, the debut of Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Tarzan as a daily strip, and the first newspaper strip art by Hal Foster. It was Foster who illustrated all 60 episodes of ERB’s seminal Tarzan of the Apes. And now LOAC Essentials brings you all of Foster’s first comics work, reproduced from ERB’s syndicate proofs. In addition, this book includes “The Return of Tarzan”, “Beasts of Tarzan”, and “Son of Tarzan”, each drawn by Rex Maxon. The first 300 daily Tarzan comics ever produced, all together in a single, affordable package! 320-page 11.5” x 4.25” B&W hardcover. Available in May.

BIG BOOKS

JSA Omnibus Volume 3

JSA Omnibus Volume 3


JSA Omnibus Volume 3 (DC Comics): This final, mammoth collection of Geoff Johns’ JSA run includes JSA #76-87, Justice Society of America #1-28, Justice League of America #8-10, Justice Society of America Annual #1, JSA Kingdom Come Special: Superman #1, JSA Kingdom Come Special: Magog #1, and JSA Kingdom Come Special: The Kingdom #1. Other creators include Paul Levitz, Dale Eaglesham, George Pérez, Rags Morales, Jerry Ordway, Alex Ross, and Manny Moore. (The guy who drew the classic “Sea Monkeys” ads. Okay, maybe not — just checking if you were still paying attention. Those ads were actually drawn by Joe Orlando, who also drew Inferior Five, as well as more important things.) 1,248-page oversize color hardcover. Available in June.

King-Size Kirby

King-Size Kirby


King-Size Kirby (Marvel): Bob Greenberger has done some awesome work reviewing this massive book featuring Klassic Kirby Komics. So go check that out now! Collecting material from Red Raven Comics #1; Marvel Mystery Comics #13; Captain America Comics #1 and #7; Tales to Astonish (1959) #5; Rawhide Kid (1955) #17; Amazing Adventures (1961) #1; Strange Tales (1951) #89, #94, and #114; Teen-Age Romance #84; Fantastic Four (1961) #1, #48-51, #57-60, and Annual #5; Incredible Hulk (1962) #3; Two-Gun Kid #60; Love Romances #103; Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #8; Sgt. Fury #6 and #13; Avengers (1963) #4; Tales of Suspense #59; X-Men (1963) #9; Thor (1966) #134-136 and #155-157; Not Brand Echh #1; Amazing Adventures (1970) #1-2; Marvel Treasury Special: Captain America’s Bicentennial Battles; Captain America (1968) #200; Eternals (1976) #7; Devil Dinosaur #1; and What If? (1977) #11. Features work by JACK KIRBY! (and Joe Simon and Stan Lee and probably some inkers…) 816-page slipcased oversize (11.5” x 15.5”) color hardcover. Available in July.

Powers Omnibus Volume 1

Powers Omnibus Volume 1


Powers Omnibus Volume 1 (Icon/Marvel): Heroes glide through the sky on lightning bolts and fire, alien creatures clash in epic battle — and on the dirty city streets below, homicide detectives Christian Walker and Deena Pilgrim do their jobs. The award-winning mashup of cops and capes that’s taken PlayStation Network by storm finally gets an Omnibus Edition — completely redesigned, reformatted, and reworked! (Westfield does not approve of mixing electrical devices and storms. Liability issues, you know.) This collection brings together every issue of the first volume of Powers in one beautiful collection, starting with the mysterious death of Retro Girl, a superhero roleplaying game gone deadly, and a Powers groupie murder, and featuring all the characters and stories that eventually won the prestigious Eisner Award and made creators Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming comic superstars! (Oh, that’s what happened…) Also includes the Powers strips, a gallery of unused art and covers, a key to the Powers superstar cameos, interviews, Easter eggs, and more. Collects Powers (2000) #1-37. 1,296-page oversize color hardcover. Available in July.

Spider-Verse

Spider-Verse


Spider-Verse (Marvel): When the evil Inheritors begin exterminating spider-characters throughout the multiverse, every single Spider-Man (well, maybe not that Electric Company dude and that crazy Japanese guy) ever is needed to save the day! An interdimensional spider-army gathers to fight Morlun and his deadly family, but none of them is safe as the Prophecy comes to fruition. What will this brutal war for survival mean for Peter Parker and the rest of the spiders? Starring the Superior Spider-Man, the Ultimate Universe’s Miles Morales and Jessica Drew, Spider-Man 2099, Spider-Woman, Silk, Kaine, Scarlet Spider, MC2’s Spider-Girl, Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Man 1602, Spider-Ham, Spider-Monkey, Lady Spider, Spider-Punk, Spider-UK, a spider-powered Gwen Stacy…and hundreds more, from the beloved to the obscure!

Written by Dan Slott, Christos Gage, Michael Costa, Dennis Hopeless, and Peter David with Skottie Young, Robbie Thompson, Katie Cook, Kathryn Immonen, Jed McKay, Roger Stern, Gerry Conway, Tom DeFalco, and more. Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Olivier Coipel, Dave Williams, Paco Diaz, Greg Land & Will Sliney with Humberto Ramos, Adam Kubert, Miguel Sepulveda, Jake Parker, Dennis Medri, Katie Cook, Mark Brooks, David Lafuente, Sheldon Vella, Bob McLeod, Paul Smith, Ron Frenz, and more. Cover by Coipel. Collects Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #7-15, Superior Spider-Man #32-33, Spider-Verse #1-2, Spider-Verse Team-Up #1-3, Scarlet Spiders #1-3, Spider-Woman (2014) #1-4, Spider-Man 2099 (2014) #6-8, and material from Free Comic Book Day 2014 (Guardians of the Galaxy) #1. 624-page oversized color hardcover.

Man, all these #@%*! commas have jammed up my web-shooters! And I think you forgot this guy, Marvel! Presenting the Amazing Spi-Dog!

The Amazing Spi-Dog!

The Amazing Spi-Dog!

 

X-Men/Avengers: Onslaught Omnibus

X-Men/Avengers: Onslaught Omnibus


X-Men/Avengers: Onslaught Omnibus (Marvel): Onslaught is here! (Um, again!) The fury of Magneto plus the psionic might of Charles Xavier equals very bad news for the Marvel Universe! Now, discover how this mental monster came to be — and the full extent of the havoc he wreaked on the X-Men, the Avengers, and pretty much everybody else. (Yeah, this guy actually broke the Marvel Universe and doomed the Avengers and FF characters in a fate worse than death — being written and drawn by Image Comics guys!!! NOTE: Those issues are not included in this volume, thank Liefeld!) As the truth slowly dawns about the nature of the evil (Eh… Image!) they face, how much are Marvel’s greatest heroes prepared to sacrifice to save the world? Collecting Cable (1993) #32-36; Uncanny X-Men (1981) #333-337; X-Force (1991) #55 and #57-58; X-Man #15-19; X-Men (1991) #53-57 and Annual ’96; X-Men Unlimited (1993) #11; Onslaught: X-Men, Marvel Universe, and Epilogue; Avengers (1963) #401-402; Fantastic Four (1961) #415; Incredible Hulk (1968) #444-445; Wolverine (1988) #104-105; X-Factor (1986) #125-126; Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #415; Green Goblin #12; Spider-Man (1990) #72; Iron Man (1968) #332; Punisher (1995) #11; Thor (1966) #502; X-Men: Road To Onslaught; and material from Excalibur (1988) #100 and Fantastic Four (1961) #416.

Written by Jeph Loeb, Scott Lobdell, Terry Kavanagh, Mark Waid, Larry Hama, Tom DeFalco, Peter David, Howard Mackie, John Ostrander, and William Messner-Loebs. Art by Ian Churchill, Bernard Chang, Pasqual Ferry, Joe Madureira, Adam Pollina, Anthony Castrillo, Steve Skroce, Val Semeiks, Andy Kubert, Steve Epting, Mike S. Miller, Adam Kubert, Joe Bennett, Randy Green, Mike Deodato Jr., Carlos Pacheco, Angel Medina, Jeff Matsuda, Stefano Raffaele, Mark Bagley, John Romita Jr., Josh Hood, and Tom Lyle. Cover by Adam Kubert. 1,296-page oversize color hardcover. Available in July. Hmmm… One mutant per creator? Question: I’ve never read this storyline (being very busy on the other side of town, at that time). Is this a good time to read it?

ARTIST/GALLERY EDITIONS

Cerebus Archive Number Two Artist’s Edition

Cerebus Archive Number Two Artist’s Edition


Cerebus Archive Number Two Artist’s Edition (AV): The second volume features the ten earliest pages of “High Society”, the story that “broke” Cerebus into vastly increased readership. Featuring fantastically clear scans of the original artwork, the portfolio also includes a 10,000 word essay, written by Sim, explaining the processes and techniques involved in the writing, layout, and illustration of the pages. The text is now printed on the same glossy cardstock as the individual plates. The portfolio is ten 11” X 17” pages in B&W.

Jack Kirby Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth Volume One Artist’s Edition

Jack Kirby Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth Volume One Artist’s Edition


Jack Kirby Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth Volume One Artist’s Edition (IDW): One of Jack Kirby’s most beloved creations is Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth, originally published by DC Comics in the early 1970s. Kamandi lives in a world populated by intelligent, talking animals. Everything from lions to bats to whales are the inheritors of this strange new world — except for mankind… people are now the animals! Produced at the same size as the original art, and scanned in full color to bring out all the details of the work, this is the closest that most fans will ever get to original Jack Kirby artwork! (Which Mike Royer originally inked.) Six complete issues of Kamandi (Issues 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, and 9) as well as covers and extras are included. 160-page 12” x 17” B&W (but scanned in color) hardcover. Available in May.

Wally Wood’s EC Stories: Artisan Edition

Wally Wood’s EC Stories: Artisan Edition


Wally Wood’s EC Stories: Artisan Edition (IDW): Introducing a more affordable (and manageable) format similar to the full-blown IDW Artist’s Editions for fans without deep, deep pockets. Like an Artist’s Edition, an Artisan Edition collects complete stories that are all painstakingly scanned from the original art. But this series will be reproduced at a much more manageable 8” x 12” size, and in softcover format — making this much easier to peruse and store while all other aspects regarding quality remain the same. The Wally Wood EC Comics Artist’s Edition was a massive volume that collected some of the greatest Wally Wood stories from his classic glory days as one of the brightest stars at EC Comics. Upon its original release, it was a huge critical and commercial success, selling out two printings in record time. IDW has chosen this immensely popular book as the debut title in the new Artisan Edition line. It features some of the most classic Wally Wood stories ever produced, including “My World”, “Came the Dawn”, “Mars is Heaven”, and many others, as well as a gallery of Wood’s breathtakingly beautiful covers. Writers include Al Feldstein, Harvey Kurtzman, and others. 152-page 8” x 12” B&W softcover. Available in May.

BOOKS ABOUT COMICS

Funnybooks: Improbable Glories of the Best American Comics

Funnybooks: Improbable Glories of the Best American Comics


Funnybooks: Improbable Glories of the Best American Comics (University of California Press): Written by Michael Barrier, best known for his writing and research on American animation. Here’s what our friend Maggie Thompson, writer and editor for three decades of Comics Buyer’s Guide, had to say about it: “If all you know about comic books is their variants on tales of superheroes, prepare to discover how much more ‘funnybooks’ offered from the beginning. Here is a pioneering look at the people, the stories, and the businesses that brought four-color fun to young readers during and after World War II. Michael Barrier draws back the curtain that has long hidden much of the world of what was once dismissed as kiddie fare. After following the comic-book field in depth for more than half a century, I’m stunned and delighted to find the wealth of information new to me that he now brings to light.”

Funnybooks is the story of the most popular American comic books of the 1940s and 1950s, those published under the Dell label. For a time, “Dell Comics Are Good Comics” was more than a slogan — it was a simple statement of fact. Many of the stories written and drawn by people like Carl Barks (Donald Duck, Uncle Scrooge), John Stanley (Little Lulu), and Walt Kelly (Pogo) repay reading and re-reading by educated adults even today, decades after they were published as disposable entertainment for children. Such triumphs were improbable, to say the least, because mid-century comics were so widely dismissed as trash by angry parents, indignant librarians, and even many of the people who published them. It was all but miraculous that a few great cartoonists were able to look past that nearly universal scorn and grasp the artistic potential of their medium. With clarity and enthusiasm, Barrier explains what made the best stories in the Dell comic books so special. He deftly turns a complex and detailed history into an expressive narrative sure to appeal to an audience beyond scholars and historians. 432-page 6” x” 9” softcover. Recommended. NOTE: This book may already be available from other retailers.

Harvey Kurtzman: The Man Who Created MAD and Revolutionized Humor in America

Harvey Kurtzman: The Man Who Created MAD and Revolutionized Humor in America


Harvey Kurtzman: The Man Who Created MAD and Revolutionized Humor in America (Fantagraphics): Harvey Kurtzman created Mad magazine, and Mad revolutionized humor in America. Kurtzman was the original editor, artist, and sole writer of Mad, one of the greatest publishing successes of the 20th century. But how did Kurtzman invent Mad, and why did he leave it shortly after it burst, nova-like, onto the American scene? For this heavily researched biography, Bill Schelly conducted new interviews with Kurtzman’s colleagues, friends, and family, including Hugh Hefner, R. Crumb, Jack Davis, and many others, and examined Kurtzman’s personal archives. The result is the true story of one of the 20th century’s greatest humorists. Kurtzman’s family life, the details of the FBI’s investigation during the McCarthy Era, and his legal battles with William M. Gaines (publisher of Mad) are all revealed for the first time. Rich with anecdotes, this book traces Kurtzman’s life from his Brooklyn beginnings to his post-Mad years, when his ceaseless creativity produced more innovations: new magazines, a graphic novel, and “Little Annie Fanny” in Playboy. 640-page 6” x 9” hardcover. Prose w/illustrations. Recommended. Available in May.

Tachen’s The Bronze Age of DC Comics

Tachen’s The Bronze Age of DC Comics


Tachen’s The Bronze Age of DC Comics (TACHEN): Originally scheduled for release over a year ago (and another book I thought wasn’t ever going to be published), this is third in a projected series of five books based on the original (and massive) 75 Years of DC Comics by Paul Levitz that came out in 2010. This is a massively expanded version of the Bronze Age chapter of the book — now fortified with over 1,000 new and additional graphics and pieces of artwork, some incredibly rare and seldom-seen. (Unofficial DC historian John Wells is hard at work finding and captioning these amazing new additions to the book, as I’m typing this.) Levitz has updated his original essay, and the book also includes a new, original interview with Green Lantern/Green Arrow (and Batman) writer Denny O’Neil that did not appear in the original volume. The book covers a pivotal era for comic books in general and DC Comics specifically. Influenced by the emergence of underground comics and shifting political tides, DC’s line of comics was increasingly aimed at adults and sold in comic book shops, rather than on newsstands. Socially relevant subjects such as drug addiction, racism, and women’s rights had entered the mainstream, and comics weren’t just for kids anymore. Yet millions of kids (and adults) were struck slackjawed at the sight of Christopher Reeve flying across the silver screen as Superman. I love these books, and they’re expensive, but if you’re a big DC Comics fan like I am (or was during this era), it’s worth every penny. 400-page 9” x 12” color hardcover. Available in August.

___________________________

KC CARLSON: IIIIIIIIMAGE!!!!… (sung to the tune of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.)

WESTFIELD COMICS is not responsible for the stupid things that KC says. Especially that thing that really irritated you. There sure were a lot of things that irritated me this week. Maybe I should have my meds adjusted…

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