COLLECTIVE THOUGHTS FOR SEPTEMBER 2015 PART TWO: BIG BOOKS, NEWSPAPER STRIPS, AND BOOKS ABOUT COMICS. STAN LEE, TINTIN, THE GOON, MANDRAKE THE MAGICIAN, USAGI YOJIMBO, R2D2, AND DEATH. QUITE THE DINNER PARTY…

Cosmic KC. Art by Stuart Immonen.

Cosmic KC. Art by Stuart Immonen.


by KC Carlson

BIG BOOKS

Blackest Night Unwrapped Deluxe Edition

Blackest Night Unwrapped Deluxe Edition


Blackest Night Unwrapped Deluxe Edition (DC Comics): How much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black. Actually, much more black, because the whole darn story (Blackest Night #0-8) is printed in “just” black — it’s completely printed from artist’s Ivan Reis’s gorgeous pencils. I have a question, since I haven’t bought one of these “unwrapped” books yet — do they overlay the lettering over the pencils (which would take a lot of production work)? Just curious… Anyway, Geoff Johns wrote the words which may or may not appear. (Maybe you need special glasses…) The story’s about a bunch of the Green Lanterns fighting each other and some of them die. No, wait… I’m now being told some of them are already dead. Okay, that’s just weird. What kind of comic book is this? Do I need to read something else first? Like how they died in the first place? So confusing… I’m now being told to be quiet. Alrighty, then. 296-page 7.0625″ x 10.875” B&W (not color!) hardcover. Available in November.

The Goon Library Volume 1

The Goon Library Volume 1


The Goon Library Volume 1 (Dark Horse): Lonely Street comes under all manner of threats both tragic and hilarious in this new deluxe hardcover edition of The Goon. The Nameless Man, the Zombie Priest, has come to town to build a gang from the undead. Yet even with an unlimited supply of soldiers, the Priest cannot move in on the territory controlled by the crime boss Labrizio and his unstoppable enforcer — the Goon. But when the Priest discovers Goon’s most closely held secret, the balance of power threatens to change forever! Collects The Goon volumes 0 (Rough Stuff), 1 (Nothin’ But Misery), 2 (My Murderous Childhood (and Other Grievous Yarns), and 3 (Heaps of Ruination). Guaranteed to have lots o’ weird crap, guns, and at least one funny cap. From the brain and hand of Eisner Award winner Eric Powell. No one like him… 496-page 8” x 12 3/16” color hardcover. Available in November.

Kabuki Library Edition Volume 2

Kabuki Library Edition Volume 2


Kabuki Library Edition Volume 2 (Dark Horse): Celebrating 20 years of Kabuki, this is the second volume in a complete set of the entire critically acclaimed Kabuki series in large oversize library editions. Collected here are the volumes Skin Deep and Metamorphosis. Isolated and psychologically tormented, Kabuki’s only friend is found in a mystery woman who sends her handwritten notes folded into origami animals. Featuring a total of 12 separate issues and with loads of extras, this is the next great edition that fans of David Mack and Kabuki have been waiting for. Stunning, yet accessible work in Mack’s unique painted collage style. 400-page 9” x 12” color hardcover. Available in November.

The Annotated Sandman Volume 4

The Annotated Sandman Volume 4


The Annotated Sandman Volume 4 (DC Comics/Vertigo): In this final Annotated Sandman volume, Leslie Klinger provides historical insights into The Sandman #57-75, plus a story from Vertigo Jam #1, appendices, and more. Sandman is written by Neil Gaiman. Art by Marc Hempel, D’israeli, Charles Vess, Teddy Kristiansen, Michael Zulli, Jon J Muth, and others. No more really needs to be said… Save your eyes for reading over 500 pages of annotations! 544-page 11.75” x 11.75” B&W hardcover. Available in November.

The Usagi Yojimbo Saga Volume 5

The Usagi Yojimbo Saga Volume 5


The Usagi Yojimbo Saga Volume 5 (Dark Horse): Adventure in feudal Japan waits for no one! In this fifth definitive Usagi Yojimbo compilation, rabbit ronin Miyamoto Usagi shares those adventures with several returning friends, including Inspector Ishida, sneak thief Kitsune, and bounty hunters Gen and Stray Dog. Usagi’s most important friendship, with retainer Tomoe Ame, is spotlighted in the epic-length “Mother of Mountains”, her origin “Tomoe’s Story”, and the poignant tea ceremony tale “Chanoyu”. Throughout, Stan Sakai’s award-winning combination of intriguing storytelling and deft line work constitute a master class in the comics form! Stories so good that they are difficult to write about frequently. There are only so many superlatives! Collects Usagi Yojimbo Volume Three #76-#93, Usagi Yojimbo Color Special #1-#3, and more! 552-page 7” x 10” B&W softcover. Available in November. Also available in a signed and numbered hardcover edition, limited to 1,000 copies.

THIS MONTH IN CLASSIC COMIC STRIP COLLECTIONS

Complete Dick Tracy Volume 19: 1959-1961

Complete Dick Tracy Volume 19: 1959-1961


Complete Dick Tracy Volume 19: 1959-1961 (IDW/LoAC): Dick Tracy meet Spots (a small-time grifter who suddenly gets big-time ambitions), a hitman named Halfa Million and his brother, the syndicate boss “Willie-the-Fifth”, plus a legal eagle named Flyface Spots, one of Chester Gould’s most visually memorable villains. Throw in a couple of skeletal remains, a death-dealing tidal wave, a gun moll named Olive Tomate, and the return of B.O. Plenty, Gravel Gertie, and a plump cereal-overeating Sparkle Plenty — then watch the sparks fly, as Dick Tracy nears its thirtieth anniversary in the complete strips from July 12, 1959, through February 19, 1961. 276-page 11” x 8.5” B&W hardcover. Available in October.

King of the Comics: One Hundred Years of King Features Syndicate

King of the Comics: One Hundred Years of King Features Syndicate


King of the Comics: One Hundred Years of King Features Syndicate (IDW/LoAC): Newspaper strip fans: This is your Book of the Year! Krazy Kat! Popeye! Flash Gordon! Beetle Bailey! Blondie! Prince Valiant! Hagar the Horrible! Barney Google and Snuffy Smith! Baby Blues! Mutt & Jeff! Zits! Juliet Jones! Buz Sawyer! Steve Canyon! Bizarro! Hi & Lois! Maggie & Jiggs! Johnny Hazard! There are simply too many to list because King Features has had a more illustrious and long-lasting history than any newspaper syndicate, even as it continues to lead the way into the digital age and beyond. This book is a centennial birthday bash hosted by Dean Mullaney, Bruce Canwell, and Brian Walker, with contributions by Brendan Burford, Lucy Shelton Caswell, Jared Gardner, Ron Goulart, Jeffrey Lindenblatt, Carl Linich, Paul Tumey, and Germund von Wowern. More than just comics, it’s a celebration of the profound impact that King Features has had on popular culture! (We’re unclear, though, whether this is an essay collection, a book of selected reprints, or some mix of both.) 288-page 9.25” x 12” color hardcover. Available in October.

Mandrake the Magician: The Complete King Years Volume 1

Mandrake the Magician: The Complete King Years Volume 1


Mandrake the Magician: The Complete King Years Volume 1 (Hermes Press): The comic book version of the 20th Century’s most famous fictional magician sees print again in Hermes Press’ deluxe version of King Features comics’ Mandrake the Magician. Lee Falk’s newspaper strip offered readers magic, occult, and the fantastic, and King Feature’s comic book version, which saw print during the height of the Silver Age, was a worthy entry into the world of comics. This first volume of the complete comic book run of Mandrake the Magician presents the first five comics in the series together with all of the back-up stories printed in King Features’ Flash Gordon title. These stories feature artwork by such Silver Age luminaries as Don Heck, Werner Roth, and Andre LeBlanc with scripts by Dick Wood. Volume One also contains tons of extras, including extensive essays on Lee Falk’s Mandrake the Magician and the artists who created the comic book series. Also included (in addition to the comic book reprint of the story) is the complete original art to one of the back-up stories. 176-page 8” x 10” color hardcover. Available in November.

ARTIST/GALLERY EDITIONS

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.

Only one of these this month, (as you can already hear the collective sighs of comic art aficionados around the globe)… but it’s a BIG one!

Star Wars: Artifact Edition

Star Wars: Artifact Edition


Star Wars: Artifact Edition (IDW): Collecting much of the original art from Marvel’s original Star Wars comic books (specifically from the first 10 issues) by artists Howard Chaykin, Carmine Infantino, Tom Palmer, and others. All stories written by Roy Thomas. Plus, a suburb Cover Gallery featuring the series’ best (and earliest) covers! Other extras are promised. Keep in mind that these (expensive) books are often printed near to initial orders, and with the potential of the new film being one of the biggest ever, it’s possible that these will go fast, once the movie is out. Best way to protect yourself from First Printing sell-outs is to preorder now. 160-page 12” x 17” B&W (but scanned in color) hardcover. Available in November. Don’t miss out — or the Force wont be with you!

BOOKS ABOUT COMICS

Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir

Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir


Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir (Touchstone): In this gorgeously illustrated, full-color graphic memoir, Stan Lee — comic book legend and co-creator of Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Avengers, the Incredible Hulk, and a legion of other Marvel superheroes — shares his iconic legacy (with the assistance of Peter David) and the story of how modern comics came to be.

In this memoir, illustrated by celebrated artist Colleen Doran, Lee tells the story of his life with the same inimitable wit, energy, and offbeat spirit that he brought to the world of comics. Moving from his impoverished childhood in Manhattan to his early days writing comics, through his military training films during World War II and the rise of the Marvel empire in the 1960s, to the current resurgence in movies, Amazing Fantastic Incredible documents the life of a man and the legacy of an industry and career.

Stan Lee is a man who needs no introduction — which is good because he meets so many new fans every year! He’s one of the most legendary names in the history of comic books, and he has brought to life — and into the mainstream — some of the world’s best-known heroes and most infamous villains throughout his career. His stories — filled with superheroes struggling with personal hang-ups and bad guys who possessed previously unseen psychological complexity — added wit and subtlety to a field previously locked into flat portrayals of good vs. evil. Lee put the human in superhuman and in doing so, created a new mythology for the twentieth century. This is a must-have for collectors and fans of comic books and graphic novels of every age.

It’s also available in a pricy signed and limited (to 1,500 copies — and only 500 are available through Diamond/Previews) deluxe slipcase edition hardcover. This edition also includes Todd McFarlane’s foil-stamped rendition of Stan on the slipcase cover.

Celebrating Peanuts: 65 Years

Celebrating Peanuts: 65 Years


Celebrating Peanuts: 65 Years (Andrews McMeel): Now in softcover! Arranged by decade, this special tribute spotlights the classic stories and memorable moments of the world-favorite classic, as well as the behind-the-scenes development of the strip by creator/legend Charles M. Schulz. Packed with commentary from throughout Schulz’s career, this book is not only a heartwarming tribute but also a true fan collector’s item. Personally, I want to know more about the design of Charlie Brown’s shirt. Was that stripe an EKG, a really weird roadmap, a graph tracking Charlie Brown’s mood swings, a sales chart of Snoopy’s novel, what Frieda’s hair looked liked combed, or a cause for Linus’s anxiety and/or Lucy’s anger and frustration? Or was it just a stripe? Sigh. (Hardcover originally published in 2009 as Celebrating Peanuts: 60 Years.) 544-page 8.4” x 11” B&W and color softcover. Available in September.

Comic Book People 2: Photographs From the 1990s

Comic Book People 2: Photographs From the 1990s


Comic Book People 2: Photographs From the 1990s (Exhibit A Press): Jackie Estrada curates another collection of personal photographs, this time from the 90s. (Back when most of the guys still had hair!) (Wow, that’s just mean!) (That’s what I do — besides internal monologues.) Over 600 hundred photos by Jackie taken at San Diego Comic-Con, Wonder Con, Chicago ComiCon, APE, SPX, and other shows during the 1990s — plus commentary and anecdotes about each person. Features a nice mix of Golden Age greats and newbies! 160-page 9” x 12” hardcover.

Peanuts: A Tribute to Charles M. Schulz

Peanuts: A Tribute to Charles M. Schulz


Peanuts: A Tribute to Charles M. Schulz (BOOM!): Another Peanuts book celebrating the strip’s 65th anniversary! And it’s all-new material! It’s the Peanuts gang seen through the eyes of today’s greatest cartoonists in loving tribute to Charles M. Schulz. This jam-packed hardcover features never-before seen art from Matt Groening (The Simpsons), Jeffrey Brown (Darth Vader and Son), Raina Telgemeier (Smile, Drama), Terry Moore (Strangers in Paradise), and other legendary cartoonists and authors. Also included is art from Paige Braddock (Janes World, Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates), Patrick McDonnell (Mutts), Mo Willems (Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Elephant and Piggie), Jen Wang (In Real Life), Roger Langridge (Snarked, The Muppets), Art Baltazar (Tiny Titans), Lincoln Peirce (Big Nate), Liz Prince (Tomboy), Stan Sakai (Usagi Yojimbo), Paul Pope (Battling Boy, Batman: Year 100), Evan Dorkin (Milk and Cheese), and more. 128-page 11.5” x 9” color hardcover. Available in October.

Batman: The War Years: 1939-1945

Batman: The War Years: 1939-1945


Superman: The War Years: 1938-1945

Batman: The War Years: 1939-1945

Wonder Woman: The War Years: 1941-1945 (Chartwell Books): Three separate books written and compiled by Roy Thomas, concentrating on DC’s Big Three characters’ adventures during World War II. Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of details about each book yet, including information on the balance between art and text, but superheroes during wartime are always fascinating, and Roy is the right guy to tell us all about it. Each book is a 304-page 8” x 11” color hardcover. Available in October.

Tintin: Herge’s Masterpiece

Tintin: Herge’s Masterpiece


Tintin: Herges Masterpiece (Rizzoli): The definitive monograph on the art of Tintin. Since he first appeared in Hergé’s weekly cartoon strip in Le Petit Vingtième in Brussels in 1929, Tintin has become one of the most celebrated characters in the comic world. With more than 200 million copies of the famous twenty-four “albums” sold worldwide, Hergé’s iconic hero has exploded genres and expectations, bringing readers of all ages to his stories for their unique mixture of artistry, history, and adventure. If, like me, you met and bonded with the character at an early age, you’ve had the experience of a lifetime of unforgettable globetrotting adventures. If you haven’t, what are you waiting for?

Written by the Belgian art critic Pierre Sterckx — and translated by the British expert on Tintin, Michael Farr — this is the definitive book on the art of Tintin. With rarely seen pencil sketches, character drawings, and watercolors alongside original artwork from the finished stories, the book illuminates Tintin’s progress from whimsical caricature to profound icon and reveals Hergé’s parallel development from cartoonist to artist. Note: First English language edition. 240-page 9.6” x 11.5” color hardcover. Available in September.

ZINES

Alter Ego #136

Alter Ego #136


Alter Ego #136: Jim Amash interviews… Roy Thomas! — Celebrating his 50th year in comics! Congrats, Roy! Includes art by Herb Trimpe, Jackson Guice, Paul Ryan, Rafael Kayanan, Jim Valentino, and the Buscemas! (TwoMorrows)

Comic Book Creator #10

Comic Book Creator #10


Comic Book Creator #10: All you need to know about Warp! It was a short-lived sci-fi Broadway show from 1973 (pre-dating Star Wars!) Neal Adams art-directed! Also, Peter Bagge talks about Hate!, Weirdo, Neat Stuff, and Buddy Bradley! (TwoMorrows)

___________________________

KC CARLSON: Tragically born without vowels for his first name and has been psychologically scarred because of it. Which kinda sorta explains these goofy columns, don’t it?

WESTFIELD COMICS is not responsible for the stupid things that KC says. Especially that thing that really irritated you. Do not take on an empty stomach or while driving a motor vehicle.

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