COLLECTIVE THOUGHTS FOR MAY 2015 PART TWO: ITTY-BITTY THINGS AND BIG GIANT THINGS

Cosmic KC by Stuart Immonen

Cosmic KC by Stuart Immonen


by KC Carlson

THE ANTS GO MARCHING ONE BY ONE. HOORAH! HOORAH!
Ant-Man: Natural Enemy Prose Novel

Ant-Man: Natural Enemy Prose Novel


It’s a big month for Marvel’s tiniest hero. There are a number of new collections scheduled for release around the time of the new Ant-Man feature film this summer (July 17, the week after my birthday). First up is something new: the Ant-Man: Natural Enemy Prose Novel. Meet Scott Lang: ex-con, single father, and part-time super hero. Scott and his teenage daughter, Cassie, are just settling down in a new city when a criminal from Scott’s past comes gunning for them. But is the killer really after Scott, or the secrets of the Ant-Man tech? And just how far will Scott go to protect his only child? 304-page hardcover, written by Jason Star with a cover by Mike Deodato Jr. (Please read this again more carefully if you’re wondering why no artist is mentioned…)

Ant-Man Volume 1: Second-Chance Man

Ant-Man Volume 1: Second-Chance Man


Also available are collections worth your interest, especially Ant-Man Volume 1: Second-Chance Man, collecting the first five issues of the very funny new Ant-Man series by Nick Spencer and Ramon Rosanos. This isn’t the funny part, but I’m fascinated that this new series features two characters (Scott Lang and his daughter Cassie — aka Stature from Young Avengers) who, until recently, were both dead! And yet both resurrected by the magic of movies! Even after just two issues, I’ve already decided that this Ant-Man series is going to be my summer crush! 120-page color softcover.

Marvel’s Ant-Man Prelude TPB

Marvel’s Ant-Man Prelude TPB


Speaking of the silver screen, there’s also a collection of Ant-y (ew, that’s not gonna work as a nickname, forget I said that) stories aimed at the movie-goers. Marvel’s Ant-Man Prelude TPB collects both Marvel’s Ant-Man Prelude #1-2 and Ant-Man: Cinematic Infinite Comic #1 (introducing the film version of the character to comics) as well as comic book adventures of Lang (Marvel Premiere #47-48, Ant-Man #1, and Age of Ultron #10AI), introducing the comic book character to film fans. 144-page color softcover.

Ant-Man: Scott Lang TPB

Ant-Man: Scott Lang TPB


More for hard-core comics fans is Ant-Man: Scott Lang TPB collecting up a lot of classic Scott Lang stories from diverse sources including Marvel Premiere #47-48, Iron Man (1968) #131-133 and #151, Avengers (1963) #195-196 and #223, Marvel Team-Up (1972) #103, Marvel Two-In-One (1974) #87, and material from Avengers (1963) #181 and Iron Man (1968) #125. This features work by David Michelinie, Bob Layton, John Byrne, George Pérez, Jerry Bingham, and many others. 232-page color softcover. Good stuff!

Marvel Universe Ant-Man Digest

Marvel Universe Ant-Man Digest


And finally is the Marvel Universe Ant-Man Digest featuring kid-oriented stories about Lang originally produced for Marvel’s various kid-friendly comics lines from the past several years. 88-page not-quite ant-sized color digest.

Clever readers will note that some of these stories appear in more than one collection. This is why you may want to just pick one and have that one be your new favorite! All the books are available in June — just before the film’s premiere. Have yourselves a tiny little summer!

THIS MONTH IN CLASSIC COMIC STRIP COLLECTIONS

Prince Valiant Volume 11: 1957-1958

Prince Valiant Volume 11: 1957-1958


Prince Valiant Volume 11: 1957-1958 (Fantagraphics): This volume concludes the heroes’ adventures in Cornwall and marks the first appearance of Arvak the Red Stallion. At the Council of Kings, Prince Valiant stands alone in the decision to avoid a ruinous war. Val returns to Aleta, and the two are summoned to Camelot, where Queen Guinevere becomes jealous of Aleta’s popularity. Meanwhile, Val leads a bloody campaign to secure the Eastern marches, learns the tragedies of war, and sets out searching for Gawain. Bonus features include a gallery of Prince Valiant creator Hal Foster’s rare and never-before-reprinted advertising art from the 1920s. Amazing reproduction quality throughout. 112-page 10.2” x 14” color hardcover. Available in July.

Superman: The Atomic Age Sundays, Volume 1: 1949-1953

Superman: The Atomic Age Sundays, Volume 1: 1949-1953


Superman: The Atomic Age Sundays, Volume 1: 1949-1953 (IDW/LoAC): A whole book of never-before-reprinted Sunday strips, from a great era of 1950s Superman! It features more than 175 full-color strips from October 23, 1949, through March 15, 1953. In these tales, the impish Mr. Mxyztplk has returned to drive Superman crazy, and the Man of Steel returns to Smallville for “Superboy Week” celebrations and ends up solving a case he never had a chance to as Superboy! Superman also travels back in time and gets embroiled in political intrigue in the court of King Arthur, and then fights off an alien invasion of Earth. And maybe there’s even a bug-eyed monster or two! Sounds like something for every kind of Superman fan! All the strips were written by Alvin Schwartz and illustrated by the acclaimed Wayne Boring. New cover by Peter Poplaski. 180-page B&W 9.25” x 12” color hardcover. Available in June.

Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Volume 7: “March of the Zombies”

Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Volume 7: “March of the Zombies”


Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Volume 7: “March of the Zombies” (Fantagraphics): It’s WWII, and our plucky Mickey Mouse has to fight zombies! (I always wanted to type that sentence!) Uncle Sam wants Mickey’s “’Lectro Box”, an amazing ray cannon that can shapeshift living matter! But also hot on Mickey’s trail is gruesome Dr. Grut, who wants to use the ray to turn humans into plants — so Grut’s mind-controlled “Aberzombies” can rule the world! Yipes! And that’s not all! You’ll see Mickey’s astonishing role in the war effort, as he tackles Axis bad guys, Schickelgruber subs, and the treasonous Pegleg Pete. Meanwhile, back home in Mouseton, Goofy adopts… a man-eating lion?! More of the great, unsung, Mickey adventures by Floyd Gottfredson. Too amazing to be missed! Plus, as usual, many extra features about the strip, the era, and Gottfredson. (Over 20 pages of extras!) So, awesome comics and awesome comics history. What could be more awesome?!? 272-page 10.5” x 8.75” B&W (with 60 color pages) hardcover. Available in June.

ARTIST/GALLERY EDITIONS

Okay, these books are now so popular that they require their own “boilerplate” to properly describe them:

IDW’s Artist’s Editions present complete stories with each page scanned in color from the actual original artwork, printed the same size as first drawn.IDW’s Artifact Editions (like an Artist’s Edition) also present pages scanned from the actual original artwork. Unlike an Artist’s Edition, these will present books even if all the original artwork cannot be obtained. They can also include extras such as advertisements, portfolio pieces, color guides, and more.Graphitti Designs Gallery Editions are somewhere in the middle, striving to present complete stories (when possible), while also providing a selection of available pages and other artifacts. Everything is scanned from the original artwork. So far, they are exclusively producing work from DC Comics and its imprints.

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Eric Powell’s The Goon: Chinatown Artist’s Edition

Eric Powell’s The Goon: Chinatown Artist’s Edition


Eric Powell’s The Goon: Chinatown Artist’s Edition (IDW/LoAC): Since debuting in 1999, The Goon has won constant critical praise as well as a large and rabid fan base for creator Eric Powell. This beautiful Artist’s Edition features Powell’s Goon original graphic novel, Chinatown and the Mystery of Mr. Wicker, in its entirety — the opus that earned the writer/artist two Eisner Awards! Each page of this Artist’s Edition was scanned under close supervision by Powell himself to ensure the finest reproduction possible of his delicate and stunning original art — many pages of which use color washes and sepia tones as storytelling devices… which only adds to the beauty of the originals. 144-page 12” x 17” B&W (but scanned in color) hardcover. Available in June.

Frank Miller’s Daredevil: Artifact Edition

Frank Miller’s Daredevil: Artifact Edition


Frank Miller’s Daredevil: Artifact Edition (IDW): At the time, this incredible work by Frank Miller on Daredevil ignited the comics community in a way that’s seldom been seen, either before or since. Now you get to see what the original artwork looked like, as it came off Miller’s drawing board. Sadly, entire complete issues of this amazing work are not available to the general public, but this new volume does the next best thing. This Artifact Edition will collect more than 20 Miller covers and a staggering display of pages — all shot from the original art — including many from key issues such as the introduction of Elektra… and the death of Elektra. Additionally, a selection of pages from Wolverine and Spider-Man projects will also be showcased. If you are a fan of Frank Miller’s classic storytelling, then this is the Artifact edition for you! 144-page, 12” x 17” B&W (but scanned in color) hardcover. Available in June.

Sandman Gallery Edition: Tales From the Ages

Sandman Gallery Edition: Tales From the Ages


Sandman Gallery Edition: Tales From the Ages (Vertigo/Graphitti): A variety of art and style will be on display in Vertigo’s first Gallery Edition, featuring their most popular character and creators. The Sandman Gallery Edition will include the complete art from The Sandman #1, by Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg, and P. Craig Russell’s complete art for The Sandman: The Dream Hunters graphic novel. This unique volume also includes numerous pages from The Sandman #2-75, as well as the complete six-page tale “Death: A Winter’s Tale” from Vertigo: Winter’s Edge #2, illustrated by Jeffrey Jones. Other artists interpreting writer Neil Gaiman’s classic character will include Charles Vess, Kelley Jones, Marc Hempel, Jill Thompson, Mike Dringenberg, Michael Zulli, and many others. Graphitti Designs’ Gallery Editions replicate the look, feel, and attitude of the artwork. Every page is reproduced at original size on heavy paper stock to provide the fan and collector with museum-quality reproductions obtainable nowhere else. This will easily be the most beautiful Sandman collection yet produced, despite there already being many previous collections. For mature readers. 272-page 13” x 20” B&W and color hardcover. Available in July.

BOOKS ABOUT COMICS

Drawn & Quarterly: Twenty-Five Years of Contemporary Cartoonings, Comics, and Graphic Novels

Drawn & Quarterly: Twenty-Five Years of Contemporary Cartoonings, Comics, and Graphic Novels


Drawn & Quarterly: Twenty-Five Years of Contemporary Cartoonings, Comics, and Graphic Novels (Drawn & Quarterly): Okay, this is cool! How often do we get a history of an alternative publisher — much less one with such idiosyncratic and diverse subject matter and creators? It’s an eight-hundred-page thank-you letter to the cartoonists whose steadfast belief in a Canadian micro-publisher never wavered. In 1989, a prescient Chris Oliveros created D+Q with a simple mandate to publish the world’s best cartoonists. Thanks to his taste-making visual acumen and the support of over fifty cartoonists from the past two decades, D+Q has grown from an annual stapled anthology into one of the world’s leading graphic novel publishers.

With hundreds of pages of comics by Drawn & Quarterly cartoonists, D+Q: 25 features new work by Kate Beaton, Chester Brown, Michael DeForge, Tom Gauld, Miriam Katin, Rutu Modan, James Sturm, Jillian Tamaki, and Yoshihiro Tatsumi alongside rare and never-before-seen work from Guy Delisle, Debbie Drechsler, Julie Doucet, John Porcellino, Art Spiegelman, and Adrian Tomine, under a cover by Tom Gauld. Editor Tom Devlin digs into the company archives for rare photographs, correspondence, and comics; assembles biographies, personal reminiscences, and interviews with key D+Q staff; and curates essays by Margaret Atwood, Sheila Heti, Jonathan Lethem, Deb Olin Unferth, Heather O’Neill, Lemony Snicket, Chris Ware, and noted comics scholars. 776-page 7” x 9” color hardcover. Available in May.

The Life and Legend of Wallace Wood

The Life and Legend of Wallace Wood


The Life and Legend of Wallace Wood (Fantagraphics): Edited over the course of thirty years by former Wood assistant Bhob Stewart (The Mad Style Guide, Wacky Packages), this book is a biographical portrait, generously illustrated with Wood’s gorgeous art as well as little-seen personal photos and childhood ephemera. Before his passing last year, Stewart put together this wonderful book about Wally Wood, with articles from Wood’s friends, colleagues, assistants, and loved ones — including Bill Gaines, Larry Hama, Paul Kirchner, Trina Robbins, John Severin, Tom Sutton, Al Williamson, and more. Who was Wallace Wood? The maddest artist of Mad magazine? The man behind Marvel’s Daredevil? The Life and Legend of Wallace Wood is an incisive look back at the life and career of one of the greatest and most mythic figures of cartooning, as well as exploring the humorous spirit, dark detours, and psychological twists of a gifted maverick in American pop culture. 304-page, partial color, 1O” x 12” softcover. Available in May. (NOTE: Stewart previously wrote Against the Grain: Mad Artist Wallace Wood for TwoMorrows in 2003, a much-different book than this Fantagraphics one, and also worth checking out.)

Marvel’s Agent Carter: Season One Declassified Slipcase

Marvel’s Agent Carter: Season One Declassified Slipcase


Marvel’s Agent Carter: Season One Declassified Slipcase (Marvel): In the same format as other Marvel Cinematic Universe books, this covers the recently completed (and awesome!) TV miniseries. In this collectible volume, go behind the scenes with production design, photographs, and stills from the set — plus interviews with the cast and crew, with a focus on lead actress Hayley Atwell. She played the W.W.II heroine in the series, as well as Marvel’s feature films Captain America: The First Avenger and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, along with the short Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter. 200-page 7” x 10” slipcased hardcover book. Available in June.

Monster Mash: The Crazy Kooky Monster Craze in America 1957-1972

Monster Mash: The Crazy Kooky Monster Craze in America 1957-1972


Monster Mash: The Crazy Kooky Monster Craze in America 1957-1972 (TwoMorrows): More about the craze in general than the comic books specifically, but all the other stuff brings back such horrible memories… (gee, I’m dating myself). Here’s the rundown: Time-trip back to the frightening era of 1957-1972, when monsters stomped into the American mainstream! Once Frankenstein and fiends infiltrated TV in 1957, an avalanche of monster magazines, toys, games, trading cards, and comic books crashed upon an unsuspecting public. This profusely illustrated, full-color hardcover covers that creepy, kooky Monster Craze through features on Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine, the #1 hit “Monster Mash”, Aurora’s model kits, TV shows (Shock Theatre, The Addams Family, The Munsters, and Dark Shadows), Mars Attacks trading cards, Eerie Publications, Planet of the Apes, and more! It features interviews with James Warren (Creepy, Eerie, and Vampirella magazines), Forrest J Ackerman (Famous Monsters of Filmland), John Astin (The Addams Family), Al Lewis (The Munsters), Jonathan Frid (Dark Shadows), George Barris (monster car customizer), Ed “Big Daddy” Roth (Rat Fink), Bobby (Boris) Pickett (“Monster Mash” singer/songwriter), and others, with a Foreword by TV horror host Zacherley, the “Cool Ghoul”. 192-page 8.5” x 11” B&W and color hardcover. Available in July.

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KC CARLSON: For some reason I have this overwhelming urge to call my aunt… Wonder if she’s interested in seeing a movie this summer?

WESTFIELD COMICS is not responsible for the stupid things that KC says. Especially that thing that really irritated you. Y’know, I had this huge box of Pym Particles, but now I can’t find it anywhere…

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