Marvel Comics in all of its’ history has had three phases: Timely Comics (1939-1951), Atlas Comics (November 1951-October 1957) and Marvel Comics post 1957. Atlas grew out the Golden Age era showcasing more science fiction, horror and western titles all of which were a sign of the times on television and movies. Although the Atlas line only last a few years, it’s influence by the artists, writers and creators have had effects on titles all the way through today. Marvel has done a wonderful job in preserving these classics in their Marvel Masterworks. Let’s take a look at those books which feature the entire run of the Atlas Heroes line and a few from the Horror, Fantasy and Science Fiction line.
- Heroes Vol. 1 (Variant Vol. 73) Collects Marvel Boy #1-2, Astonishing #3-6 and Young Men #24-28
- Heroes Vol. 2 (Variant Vol. 92) Collects Men’s Adventures #27-28, Captain America #76-78, Human Torch #36-38 and Marvel Super-Heroes #16
- Heroes Vol. 3 (Variant Vol. 104) Collects Sub-Mariner #33-42
- Journey Into Mystery Vol. 1 (Variant Vol. 106) Collects Journey Into Mystery #1-10
- Journey Into Mystery Vol. 2 (Variant Vol. 118) Collects Journey Into Mystery #11-20
- Strange Tales Vol. 1 (Variant Vol. 85) Collects Strange Tales #1-10
- Strange Tales Vol. 2 (Variant Vol. 113) Collects Strange Tales #11-20
- Tales to Astonish Vol. 1 (Variant Vol. 57) Collects Tales to Astonish #1-10
- Tales to Astonish Vol. 2 (Variant Vol. 94) Collects Tales to Astonish #11-20
- Tales of Suspense Vol. 1 (Variant Vol. 68) Collects Tales of Suspense #1-10
- Tales of Suspense Vol. 2 (Variant Vol. 98) Collects Tales of Suspense #11-20
- August 26 2009 Black Knight/Yellow Claw Vol. 1 (Variant Vol. 123) Collects Black Knight #1-5 & Yellow Claw #1-4
- October 28 2009 Menace Vol. 1 (Variant Vol. 126) Collects Menace #1-11
Archie Comics is as American as it gets. The company has been around as long as Superman (1939) and has a group of characters just as famous as the Justice League or The Avengers. Everyone knows who Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica and Reggie are, everyone.
There have been so many Archie Comics and products over the years, but lets look at a select few collected editions:
- Archie Americana Series (Best Of) Forties Vols. 1-2, Fifties Vols. 1-2, Sixties Vols. 1-2, Seventies Vol. 1, Eighties Vol. 1, and Nineties Vol. 1
- Archie Day by Day Selections from Archie’s worldwide syndicated newspaper strip are collected in the special volume.
- Archie New Look Series Vol. 1 Bad Boy Trouble and Vol. 2 The Matchmaker.
- The High School Chronicles Volume 1: Freshman Year collects the Freshman Year saga, originally presented in the pages of Archie #587-591.
- Sonic The Hedgehog Archives Vols. 1-10 collecting up to #37.
- Katy Keene Model Behavior Every Katy Keene story from Archie & Friends #101-110, it also includes an all new story from Andrew Pepoy that charts Katy’s whirlwind career.
- Best of Josie & the Pussycats Josie’s rock band in a tune-filled trade paperback volume that gets to the heart of the band’s comic book roots!
- The Shield – America’s 1st Patriotic Comic Book Hero The Golden Age of comics first super patriot.
Founded in 1984 by Ben Dunn out of San Antonio, TX, Antarctic Press is best known for publishing “American Manga” style comic books. They have published over 850 titles with a total circulation of over 5 million. Antarctic Press is not only one of the largest comic book companies in the United States, but they also license products for development as comic books and toys.
Among their many titles Gold Digger written and drawn by Fred Perry is one of the most popular. Started in 1991, the comic tells the story of the extended Diggers family, who live in a fictional version of Atlanta, Georgia. The series recently passed the 100 issue milestone.
Let’s take a look at some Antarctic Press books:
- Gold Digger II Pocket Manga TP Vol 6
- Gold Digger Ultimate Collection Two Disc DVD-ROM Vol 1
- How To Draw Shoujo Pocket Manga TP Vol 1
- How To Draw Pirates Supersize TP Vol 1
- How To Draw Manga Pocket Manga Volume 2 TP
- How To Draw & Fight Zombies Supersize TP
- Beowulf Color Vol 1 TP
- Twilight X TP Vol 2 Before Peace
- Rod Espinosa Prince Of Heroes Pocket Manga TP Vol 1
- Sky Sharks Volume 1 TP
- Oz the Manga Pocket Manga TP Vol 1
- Pirates Vs Ninjas TP Vol 2 Up The Ante
Alternative Comics is operated by Jeff Mason out of Gainesville, Florida. It was founded in 1993 and has been the spring board for many up and coming comic book talent. Alternative Comics has been the publisher of many industry award recipients, including many Xeric Award winners. Some of the more notable titles include:
- 9-11: Emergency Relief by various writers and artists, 2002
- Detour by Ed Brubaker, 1997
- Bipolar by Asaf Hanuka & Tomer Hanuka, 2001–2004
- Grickle and Further Grickle by Graham Annable, 2001
- The Masochists by Nick Bertozzi, June 2001
- The Mother’s Mouth by Dash Shaw, 2006
- Red Eye, Black Eye by K. Thor Jensen, 2007
- Rosetta edited by Ng Suat Tong, 2003–2005
- Slowpoke by Jen Sorensen, 1998-ongoing
In June 1994, Acclaim Entertainment (the video game company) bought Valiant Comics for $65 million and created Acclaim Comics. The purpose of this was so Acclaim could convert successful comic books properties into viable video game franchises. The most notable of this was Shadowman, created by Steve Englehart and David Lapham and Turok, Son of Stone which was first created in 1954. Acclaim would go in to cancel many of the Valiant line of comics, reboot old characters and in some cases create brand new ones. However, the Valiant Universe was separate from the Acclaim Universe, until 1999 when they merged with the planned six-issue, but only published three-issue, Unity 2002 by Jim Shooter, and Jim Starlin. Due to several lawsuits and a decline in their video game sales Acclaim auctioned off their comic book line in 2004. In 2008, Valiant Entertainment, Inc. was recreated (or reformed) but we’ll go over that in a future installment. For now let’s takes a look at the collected editions of the most famous original Acclaim Comics characters, Quantum & Woody, written by Christopher Priest and drawn by M. D. Bright and Greg Adams.
- Quantum & Woody had a total of 23 issues (0, 1-17, 32 – a flash forward issue and 18-21). There have been four Quantum & Woody trade paperbacks:
- Volume 1 The Director’s Cut collects #1-4
- Volume 2 Kiss Your Ass Goodbye collects #5-8
- Volume 3 Holy S-Word, We’re Cancelled?! #9-13
- Volume 4 Magnum Force #14-17
- More information on Acclaim can be found at the Valiant Entertainment site