COLLECTIVE THOUGHTS FOR SEPTEMBER 2015: MENACING DENNIS, FABLES, FAIRYTALES, GOBLINS, E-MAN, BATMAN, AND “FISH-MAN” — ALL COVERGING RIGHT HERE!

KC Carlson. Art by Keith Wilson

KC Carlson. Art by Keith Wilson


by KC Carlson

MUCHO BAT BOOKS: Don’t know why (because DC needs some money to pay for their move out west?), but there’s a lot of classic Batman material available to order this month. Let’s commandeer the Bat-Signal and get down to some good midnight reading!

Batman: The Golden Age Omnibus

Batman: The Golden Age Omnibus


Batman: The Golden Age Omnibus (DC Comics): Collecting the original 1930s and 40s Batman stories from Detective Comics #27-56 and Batman #1-7. Many of these are very important stories, including the origin of the Dark Knight, as well as the debuts of Robin, Commissioner Gordon, Professor Hugo Strange, The Joker, Catwoman, and more! Warning: Features bats crashing through windows! Please consult your doctor before reading! And if you don’t like guns… no, no, not going there. Features historic work by Bill Finger (always wanted to put Bill’s name first…), Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson, Gardner Fox, and others. Not your parent’s Batman… Probably more like your grandparent’s Batman! Brand new cover by Darwyn Cooke. (He’s like your favorite uncle!) 784-page color hardcover, fully restored. Available in November.

Batman: The Road to No Man’s Land Volume 1

Batman: The Road to No Man’s Land Volume 1


Batman: The Road to No Man’s Land Volume 1: Actually, I think that road was destroyed in the massive earthquake that isolated the city — and those who refused to vacate Gotham City live amid a citywide turf war. Sounds like when I worked at DC… when this story was originally published. Hmm… Collects Batman #555-559, Batman: Shadow of the Bat #75-79, Detective Comics #722-726, Robin #54, and The Batman Chronicles #14. Creators include Dennis O’Neil, Alan Grant, Chuck Dixon, Roger Robinson, Mark Buckingham, Jim Aparo, and more. Cover by Glen Orbik. 424-page color softcover. Available in October.


Batman: War Games Volume 1: A clash among crime families threatens to engulf Gotham City, and Batman will need Oracle, Batgirl, Nightwing, and others to contain the chaos! If you love Stephanie Brown, you’ll either love or hate this one. An interesting publishing/editorial history surrounds this storyline, including retcons which may have been further retconned. If you are interested, have fun (or not) at Wikipedia. Includes Batman: The 12-Cent Adventure #1, Detective Comics #790-797, Robin #126-129, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #182, Nightwing #96, Batman: Gotham Knights #56, Batman #631, Batgirl #55, and Catwoman #34. Creators include Devin Grayson, Bill Willingham, Dylan Horrocks, and many, many others. Cover by Jae Lee. 520-page color softcover. Available in October.

Batman: Arkham: Two-Face

Batman: Arkham: Two-Face


Batman: Arkham: Two-Face: It’s the best (and worst — it’d have to be, right?) Two-Face stories ever published! Don’t forget to flip a coin (sadly, not included) to see what stories you’ll read first! Creators include Bill Finger, Bob Kane, Dennis O’Neil, Neal Adams, and many others. The stories first appeared in Detective Comics #66, 68, 80, and 513, Batman #234, 346, 410, and 411, Worlds Finest Comics #173, Batman: Two-Face #1, Batman: The Long Halloween #11, Batman Chronicles #8, The Jokers Asylum: Two-Face #1, and Batman and Robin #23.1:Two-Face. Cover by Brian Stelfreeze. 296-page color softcover. Available in October.

Catwoman: A Celebration of 75 Years

Catwoman: A Celebration of 75 Years


Catwoman: A Celebration of 75 Years: 75 years’ worth of stories (and, of course, 13 years’ worth of ‘em were really bad luck!) about the baddest kitty in the litter. Just the thing to make you pull out your Batman: Complete Television Series box set and binge watch the Catwoman episodes this summer! Meow! The stories have not been announced yet, but we know these folks are contributing: Dennis O’Neil, Ed Brubaker, Darwyn Cooke, and those vaud-villians Bill Finger and Bob Kane. Cover by Adam Hughes. 400-page color hardcover. Available in November.

THIS MONTH IN CLASSIC COMIC BOOK COLLECTIONS

Convergence

Convergence


Convergence Collections (DC Comics): There are nine (count them: 9!) collections of this project this month, collecting the entirety of DC’s latest ”Let’s blow it all up and start over” event. (Hey, I’m not making fun of it — I edited one of these kinds of projects (Zero Hour) years ago… in another life!) In fact, it’s a great idea to spit them up this way, especially if you’re only interested in one or two of the four “core” events the crossover is based around: Crisis: Book One & Crisis: Book Two, Zero Hour: Book One & Zero Hour: Book Two, Infinite Earths: Book One & Infinite Earths: Book Two, Flashpoint: Book One & Flashpoint: Book Two, and finally the nine-part (issues #0-8) of Convergence itself! (That one’s in a shiny hardcover! — the rest are softcovers.) Which individual comic book titles are in which books are listed in the book’s description. The main Convergence hardcover is 320 color pages, and all the softcovers are 240 color pages. All are available in October.

Dennis the Menace Volume 1: The Classic Comic Books

Dennis the Menace Volume 1: The Classic Comic Books


Dennis the Menace Volume 1: The Classic Comic Books (Papercutz): Well, I’m really looking forward to this! Papercutz is starting a new line of books reprinting the classic Dennis the Menace comic books from the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. Most of these featured all-new material produced by people like Al Wiseman — one of Hank Ketcham’s assistants in the 50s and 60s. While the basic short humor stories in the ongoing Dennis title were great, I really hope Papercutz can dig deep into the Giant issues, many of which were themed — sometimes by season, or the really interesting ones were travel specials with Dennis and the family’s adventures on vacation. (Hawaii was especially memorable.) Also features work by Fred Toole, Owen Fitzgerald, and of course, Hank Ketcham. 192-page color hardcover. Available in October.

E-Man: The Early Years

E-Man: The Early Years


E-Man: The Early Years (Devil’s Due/First Comics): Collecting the first 10 (and only) E-Man issues originally published by Charlton Comics. Seemingly universally beloved work by Nicola Cuti and Joe Staton, it’s easily one of the most charming superhero comics in existence. This new collection is reportedly beautifully re-colored, and considering Charlton’s notoriously bad original printings, there’s little chance this book could be worse than the originals — most likely light-years better! Bonus materials include pieces done for Charlton Bullseye and the original First Comics Michael Mauser/E-Man reprint covers. NOTE: This item previously offered by other retailers, so not a new item. 212-page 7” x 10” color softcover.

Fables Comics

Fables Comics


Fables Comics (First Second): A companion to 2013’s Fairy Tale Comics (and edited again by the always amazing Chris Duffy), twenty-eight classic fables from “The Tortoise and the Hare” and “The Grasshopper and the Ants” to obscure gems like “The Frogs Who Desired a King” are re-imagined by Charise Mericle Harper and twenty-six different cartoonists (including Jaime Hernandez, James Kochalka, and Harper) representing different cultures and traditions. These are always beautiful collections, assembled with care to be beloved by children of all ages. Highly recommended. 128-page 7.5” x 10” color, jacketed hardcover. Available in September.

Haunted Horror Volume 3

Haunted Horror Volume 3


Haunted Horror Volume 3 (IDW): More of the goriest, craziest, rarest comics that the U.S. Government didn’t want you to see! David Colton in USA Today screams, “The comic book industry’s most obscure and outrageous stories of the 1950s!” Decapitated Dan screeches, “Some of the greatest horror comic material ever to be reprinted!” Under the infamous melting face cover you’ll witness under-appreciated artists Frank Giacoia, Nick Cardy, Shelly Moldoff, Bob Powell, Jack Sparling, Joe Certa, and Lin Streeter, masters of the horror comics genre! 160-page 8.5″ x 11” color hardcover. Not for everyone’s taste. Seriously, DO NOT EAT THIS BOOK! 160-page 8.5” x 11” color hardcover.

Marvel Masterworks: Sub-Mariner Volume 7

Marvel Masterworks: Sub-Mariner Volume 7


Marvel Masterworks: Sub-Mariner Volume 7 (Marvel): This is going to be a great Masterworks volume, as it heralds the return of The Sub-Mariner’s creator Bill Everett as both writer and artist! But I promised Bob Greenberger that he could write about it, so… it’s “just the facts” time for me: Collects Sub-Mariner (1968) #50-60. Additional creators include Mike Friedrich, Steve Gerber, Dan Adkins, Alan Weiss, and Sam Kweskin, with a cover by Everett. 240-page color hardcover. Available in two different dust jacket designs. Available in January 2016.

The Sandman: Overture Deluxe Edition

The Sandman: Overture Deluxe Edition


The Sandman: Overture Deluxe Edition (DC Comics/Vertigo): Twenty-five years after The Sandman first changed the landscape of modern comics, Neil Gaiman’s legendary series is back in a deluxe hardcover edition! From the birth of a galaxy to the moment that Morpheus is captured, The Sandman: Overture features cameo appearances by fan-favorite characters such as the Corinthian, Merv Pumpkinhead, and, of course, the Dream King’s siblings: Death, Desire, Despair, Delirium, Destruction, Destiny, and Doodlebug. (Sorry. I made that last one up to see if you were still paying attention. This IS a long column…) This volume collects The Sandman: Overture #1-6 in its entirety, plus bonus material – which apparently hasn’t been decided yet. 224-page 7.0625” x 10.875” color hardcover. DC thinks this is shipping in November. I remain skeptical… but with good cheer!

S.H.I.E.L.D. by Lee & Kirby: The Complete Collection

S.H.I.E.L.D. by Lee & Kirby: The Complete Collection


S.H.I.E.L.D. by Lee & Kirby: The Complete Collection (Marvel): There’s a lot of S.H.I.E.L.D. collections coming up (it’s the 50th Anniversary of S.H.I.E.L.D.!), but this one is designed especially for the budget-conscious collector. Features the very first stories of Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. (including the origin of the organization, plus a special early story explaining what Fury was doing after WWII and before S.H.I.E.L.D.!). All by “The Man” and “The King” (with a little help from John Severin, John Buscema, Dennis O’Neil, Don Heck, Joe Sinnott, and more)! Cover by Kirby! Witness the first appearances of both S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra. Plus, Captain America, Tony Stark, and enough amazing gadgets to fill a Helicarrier! Collects Fantastic Four (1961) #21 and material from Strange Tales (1951) #135-150 and Tales of Suspense (1959) #78. 256-page color softcover. Available in September.

Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: “Trick or Treat” by Carl Barks

Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: “Trick or Treat” by Carl Barks


Walt Disneys Donald Duck: Trick or Treat by Carl Barks (Fantagraphics): The lead-off story, “Trick or Treat”, is the Barks adaptation of the Donald Duck cartoon of the same name ― with nine pages added back in from the originally truncated version! Then, Donald is convinced that Huey, Dewey, and Louie’s toy gun can really put people into a hypnotic spell ― so he tries it out on Uncle Scrooge! Hijinks abound as Uncle Scrooge plants pots of gold at the foot of a rainbow to see who will handle the money best ― Donald, Gladstone, or the nephews. Also, one of Barks’s own personal favorites, “Omelet” ― the story of Donald’s slapstick misadventures as a chicken farmer! Nineteen complete stories, from the era when Barks was really hitting his stride! Plus bonus features, with everything meticulously restored and newly colored, as well as insightful story notes by an international panel of Barks experts. 228-page 7.5” x 10” color hardcover. Available in October, ‘natch!

Walt Kelly’s Fairy Tales

Walt Kelly’s Fairy Tales


Walt Kellys Fairy Tales (IDW): Best known later for the classic newspaper strip Pogo, Walt Kelly started his career as a Disney animator on Pinocchio, Fantasia, and Dumbo. He also created beautiful action-packed fairy tale comic book stories, both from his own incredible imagination and based on The Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson classics. While you might be used to seeing Kelly’s funny animals, the stories in this gorgeous new collection features witches, princesses, giants, dragons, fairy queens, elves, and goblins in fairy tale classics like The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Gingerbread Man, The Wise Men of Gotham, The Lost Prince, and Cinderella (published eight years before the Disney classic film) in this collection of stories originally published by Dell Comics in the 1940s. Kelly fans should not miss this book. Introduction by Kelly-fan, animator, and beloved illustrator Dean Yeagle. 304-page 8.5” x 11” color hardcover. Available in October.

X-Men: Age of Apocalypse Volume 2: Reign

X-Men: Age of Apocalypse Volume 2: Reign


X-Men: Age of Apocalypse Volume 2: Reign (Marvel): The world groans under the Darwinian conqueror Apocalypse’s rule. Under his thumb, America has become a dark and dangerous dystopia where mutants rule, humankind suffers, and survival of the fittest is all! But in the shadows, the freedom fighters known as the X-Men — following a tenuously thin thread of hope — continue their dangerous and multi-pronged plan to restore the true Marvel Universe. As the X-Men battle Holocaust and the Sentinels, Nightcrawler searches for the seer Destiny, Cyclops and Havok clash in the Dark Beast’s slave pens, and young Nate Grey meets his maker… literally! You know, I should actually read this one of these days… Written by Scott Lobdell, Fabian Nicieza, Larry Hama, Warren Ellis, John Francis Moore, Jeph Loeb, and Terry Kavanagh, with art by Joe Madureira, Andy Kubert, Tony Daniel, Chris Bachalo, Adam Kubert, Roger Cruz, Ken Lashley, Steve Epting, Steve Skroce, and Carlos Pacheco. Cover by Joe Mad. Collecting Astonishing X-Men (1995) #2-3, Amazing X-Men (1995) #2-3, Gambit and the X-Ternals #2, Generation Next #2, Weapon X (1995) #2, X-Calibre #2-3, Factor X #2-3, X-Man #2-3, X-Universe #1, and material from X-Men: Year of the Mutants Collectors’ Preview. 408-page color softcover. Available in October

Also Available:

Archie Archives: Prom Pranks and Other Stories

Archie Archives: Prom Pranks and Other Stories


Archie Archives: Prom Pranks and Other Stories (Dark Horse): This is actually a straight reprint of Archie Archives Volume One, except NOW IN SOFTCOVER and much more affordable! Collects all Archie stories from Pep Comics #22-38, Jackpot Comics #4-8, and Archie Comics #1-2, from the Golden Age of Comics — with many stories drawn by Archie co-creator Bob Montana. 240-page 7” x 10” color softcover. For more Archie from Dark Horse this month, please check out the Archie vs. Predator hardcover. Get one before they get you! Both available in November.

The Chronicles of Conan Volume 30: The Death of Conan and Other Stories

The Chronicles of Conan Volume 30: The Death of Conan and Other Stories


The Chronicles of Conan Volume 30: The Death of Conan and Other Stories (Dark Horse): A young Conan is arrested and falsely accused of a king’s murder, and the Cimmerian is tortured, stabbed, dragged through the streets, and thrown into a river. Sounds a lot like the times when some of the DC people would go out drinking with some of the Marvel folks in the 90s… Collects Marvel’s Conan the Barbarian #233-240 — all for the first time! Features work by Ron Lim, Dan Adkins, Alfredo Alcala, Ricardo Villagran, Michael Higgins, and with a cover by Mike Mignola! 200-page 7” x 10” color softcover. Available in November.

Damage Control: The Complete Collection

Damage Control: The Complete Collection


Damage Control: The Complete Collection (Marvel): NOW IN SOFTCOVER! Find out who cleans up after the superhero battles in the Marvel Universe in this brilliantly funny series created and written by Dwayne McDuffie with art by Ernie Colon, Kyle Baker, and Salva Espin. Collects Damage Control (1989a) #1-4, Damage Control (1989b) #1-4, Damage Control (1991) #1-4, and World War Hulk Aftersmash: Damage Control #1-3 — plus material from Marvel Age Annual #4, Marvel Comics Presents (1988) #19, and Iron Man Annual #11. 392-page color softcover.

Forty Whacks and Other Stories

Forty Whacks and Other Stories


Forty Whacks and Other Stories (Fantagraphics): Jack Kamen’s precise, clean style was perfect subversion for EC Comics tales of seemingly normal men and women who cooly act on the rage, jealousy, and greed just below their glamorous façades. Kamen’s crime capers include “Forty Whacks” (whatever became of that ax Lizzie Borden used?). Other tales (20 in all!) include “Contract for Death”, “The Neat Job!”, and “Just Desserts!” — EC Classics all! Supplemented by essays and notes by EC experts. Most (if not all) stories written by Al Feldstein. 200-page 7” x 10” B&W (tinted one- color) hardcover. Available in October — just in time to hide it in somebody’s candy!

From Hell and From Hell Companion Slipcase Edition

From Hell and From Hell Companion Slipcase Edition


From Hell and From Hell Companion Slipcase Edition (Top Shelf/IDW): A new collection of this classic graphic novel by two of the greatest creators in the history of comics — Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell — is now available in a handsome slipcase set with its essential behind-the-scenes companion. Often ranked among the greatest graphic novels of all time, From Hell is a bloody tale speculating upon the identity and motives of Jack the Ripper. The work has been awarded several Eisner Awards, including Best Graphic Novel (reprint) (2000), during its publication history. 860-page B&W two-book slipcased hardcover set. Available in October.

Man-Thing by Steve Gerber: The Complete Collection Volume 1

Man-Thing by Steve Gerber: The Complete Collection Volume 1


Man-Thing by Steve Gerber: The Complete Collection Volume 1 (Marvel): NOW IN SOFTCOVER! With the Nexus of All Realities as the ultimate staging post, Marvel presents its melancholy muck-monster — by the man who knows him best — in this first volume of a complete collection of Steve Gerber’s Man-Thing tales! Plus: Howard the Duck’s first appearance! Collects Astonishing Tales (1970) #12-13, Fear #11-19, Marvel Two-in-One #1, and Man-Thing (1974) #1-8 — plus material from Savage Tales (1971) #1, Fear #10, and Monsters Unleashed #5. Featuring work by Gerber, Gerry Conway, Roy Thomas, Gray Morrow, John Buscema, Mike Ploog, Jim Starlin, Val Mayerik, and more. Cover by John Romita Sr.

NEXT WEEK: More Big Books, Comic Strip Collections (including a very important 100th Anniversary!), Artist’s Editions (and their ilk), and a few Books About Comics and Zines. Keepin’ you in suspense… Whoop ‘de doo!

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Age of Ultron Coloring Book

Age of Ultron Coloring Book


KC CARLSON: Marvel is also releasing an Age of Ultron Coloring Book this month. I tried to write about it, but I just couldn’t stop laughing. Y’know, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a top seller this month! I might even buy one if I wasn’t so terrified that Wayne would shove the crayons up my nose!

WESTFIELD COMICS is not responsible for the stupid things that KC says. Especially that thing that really irritated you. Whoop ‘de doo!… Hey, that rhymes!

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