Category Archives: Golden Age Comics

IDW to publish newspaper adventures of DC’s Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman

SUPERMAN: THE SILVER AGE NEWSPAPER DAILIES, VOL. 1: 1958-1961
SUPERMAN: THE SILVER AGE NEWSPAPER DAILIES, VOL. 1: 1958-1961

Media Release — IDW’s Library of American Comics and DC Entertainment proudly announce the beginning of a new partnership to reprint some of the rarest DC Comics stories — the Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman newspaper strips.

“We’re thrilled to announce a comprehensive publishing program for these historic strips,” said Greg Goldstein, IDW President and COO. “The Library of American Comics is the premier home for archival newspaper strips and this new partnership with DC Entertainment further cements the imprint’s reputation as second to none.”

At the same time that Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman became the world’s most famous and recognizable superheroes in comic books in the 1940s and beyond, they also starred in runs of newspaper comic strips, most of which have not been seen since they first appeared.

The Man of Steel’s newspaper adventures ran for more than 25 years, from 1939 until 1966. Only about 10% of these strips have ever been reprinted. The complete comics will be released in three sub-sets, starting with The Silver Age, then The Atomic Age, and finally, The Golden Age. The black-and-white daily and color Sunday strips contained distinct storylines and will be released in separate, concurrent, series of deluxe hardcovers.

The line kicks off this July with SUPERMAN: THE SILVER AGE NEWSPAPER DAILIES, VOL. 1: 1958-1961. Fans can look forward to nearly 800 strips featuring classic artwork by Curt Swan, Wayne Boring, and Stan Kaye. While most of the stories from the Atomic Age and Golden Age were original and completely different from the comic books, under Mort Weisinger’s editorship in the late 1950s Silver Age stories, Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel was brought in to script adaptations of then-current comic book tales.

“It’s like discovering an entire alternate universe of famous Silver Age comic book stories,” said Dean Mullaney, LOAC Creative Director who’s editing and designing the series. “It’s better than an imaginary story—it’s Jerry Siegel doing a remake of his classic Superman’s Return to Krypton! …it’s Curt Swan, not Al Plastino, drawing The Menace of Metallo. Superman fans might want to consider these strips as taking place on a brand new world— Earth-N for Newspapers!”

Covers for each book are being specially created by Pete Poplaski to evoke the look and style of the times; Volume One is an homage to Curt Swan’s art and Ira Schnapp’s lettering design. Tom DeHaven, author of the novel It’s Superman!, is writing the foreword, and the introductions are by Sidney Friedfertig.

Additional details on the Sunday strip books as well as the Batman and Wonder Woman collections will follow, but eager fans should begin watching the skies in July!

SUPERMAN: THE SILVER AGE NEWSPAPER DAILIES, VOL. 1: 1958-1961
(HC, B&W, $49.99, 288 pages, 11″ x 8.5″)
ISBN: 978-1-61377-666-7

About The Library of American Comics
The Library of American Comics is the world’s #1 publisher of classic newspaper comic strip collections, with 21 Eisner and Harvey Award nominations and four wins for best book of the year. Titles include Bloom County, Dick Tracy, Little Orphan Annie, Tarzan, Flash Gordon, Superman, Terry and the Pirates, L’il Abner, and more. LOAC has become “the gold standard for archival comic strip reprints.”

About IDW

IDW is an award-winning publisher of comic books, graphic novels and trade paperbacks, based in San Diego, California. Renowned for its diverse catalog of licensed and independent titles, IDW publishes some of the most successful and popular titles in the industry, including: Hasbro’s The TRANSFORMERS and G.I. JOE, Paramount’s Star Trek; HBO’s True Blood; the BBC’s DOCTOR WHO; Toho’s Godzilla; and comics and trade collections based on novels by worldwide bestselling author, James Patterson. IDW is also home to the Library of American Comics imprint, which publishes classic comic reprints; Yoe! Books, a partnership with Yoe! Studio.

IDW’s critically- and fan-acclaimed series are continually moving into new mediums. Currently, Warner Brothers and Barry Sonnenfeld are attached to adapt LORE into a feature film starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jerry Bruckheimer Films and Disney are creating a feature film based on World War Robot, with Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes and Sony bringing Zombies vs. Robots to film.

About DC Entertainment

DC Entertainment, home to iconic brands DC Comics (Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, The Flash), Vertigo (The Sandman, Fables) and MAD, is the creative division charged with strategically integrating its content across Warner Bros. Entertainment and Time Warner. DC Entertainment works in concert with many key Warner Bros. divisions to unleash its stories and characters across all media, including but not limited to film, television, consumer products, home entertainment and interactive games. Publishing thousands of comic books, graphic novels and magazines each year, DC Entertainment is the largest English-language publisher of comics in the world. In January 2012, DC Entertainment, in collaboration with Warner Bros. and Time Warner divisions, launched We Can Be Heroes—a giving campaign featuring the iconic Justice League super heroes—to raise awareness and funds to fight the hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa.

CCL Podcast #353 – Why Flash Comics Is The Greatest Golden Age Comic Book Ever

Flash Comics 1
Flash Comics 1

Collected Comics Library Podcast #353
27.8Mb; 29m 49s

When it comes to listing the BEST of anything – ANYTHING is capable of being the best. That’s why when I set out to prove to all of you that Flash Comics, 104 issues between January 1940 and February 1949, was the best Golden Age comic ever put together, I had to put some weight behind it – how long-lasting are these Golden Age characters and are even relevant today in DC’s New 52. The characters from Flash Comics: Flash, Hawkman, and Black Canary give us that. Also taken into account was the amount of reprinted material. There’s a strong case for All-America Comics, which of course gave us Green Lantern, Doctor Fate, Hour-Man, the Spectre, and the Sandman, but with my criteria, it comes up a little short.
Oh and I do give reasons why Action Comics, Detective Comics and Adventure Comics don’t quite make my cut.
Lastly, keep in mind that this is all in good fun, so take this whole podcast with a grain of salt – please.

Cheers!

Chris

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CCL Podcast #320 – Interview with Richard Graham, Government Issue

Collected Comics Library Podcast #320
63.4Mb; 69m 11s

In the early beginnings of the Golden Age the United States government recognized that advertising to a young audience would help garner pro-American support for the War effort. So much so, that heroes like Batman, Superman and Captain America wanted kids (and the adult parents) to help out by purchasing war bonds. But even after WWII, the US didn’t stop there. Hundreds of public service announcements were authorized through various publishing houses and even commissioned to-notch artists and writers like Will Esiner, Milton Caniff and Walt Kelly, to name a few. Governemt, and even Corporate, sponsored ads even run today and now, for the first time a collection has been published Government Issue – Comics for the People, 1940s-2000s (Abrams ComicArts) that showcase this artform and today I interview the editor, Richard L. Graham. This truly is a fascinating look into the USA’s forgotten and overlooked use of some of our favorite super-heroes and cartoon characters. Original art abounds from Walt Disney and Joe Maneely and scores of others. If you like your comic book history, and I know that listeners and readers of the podcast and blog do, then you will enjoy this trip back through time.

I want to thank Richard Graham and Abrams ComicArts for supplying me a copy of this book and if you would like a free copy for yourself, please listen to find out how.

Chris

Links Of Note:
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries Image & Multimedia C0llections – Government Comics Collection

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Titan Publishing to issue The Complete Flash Gordon Library

Here we go again. Looks like Titan will now reprint every, single Flash Gordon Strip in their own unique way. You may recall that, now defunct, Checker BPG offered seven volumes of Flash and instead of continuing with Volume 8, Titan will go back to Volume 1. If I sound synical it’s for a good reason. I have no doubt that Titan will do a much better job, but it won’t be that hard since Checker has received awful reproduction reviews over the years. But I feel for those patrons that have already purchased the Checker books and have been patiently awaiting the series to continue. Granted Kitchen Sink did their own set of reprints before Checker, so the wheels, do, keep on spinning. Time to sell the lot on eBay and re-coop some costs!

Press Release-
Titan Books has announced the publication of The Complete Flash Gordon Library. Compiling every strip and every story, this series of restored full-color hardcover volumes will showcase the action and artistry that thrilled audiences for decades.

Everyone knows Flash Gordon–the most iconic science fiction swashbuckler ever to burst forth from the newspaper pages. His adventures wielded so much energy that they inspired everyone who followed, no matter what the medium. Filmmaker George Lucas famously revealed, “Growing up in California, I was enchanted by two things…race cars and Flash Gordon. The first love I put to use in American Graffiti, the second eventually turned into Star Wars.”

Flash Gordon first hit superstardom in 1934 with his comic strip adventures, which continued unabated for seven decades. His influence spread like wildfire into every medium–films, television, novels, comic books, radio plays, and more. Every generation has had its incarnation of the character, and yet another major motion picture is reported to be in the works.

The mission of The Complete Flash Gordon Library will be to collect every strip and every story, offering them in affordable, full-color hardcover volumes, carefully restored and revealing the action and the artistry that thrilled audiences for decades. Through the painstaking efforts of renowned comic strip historian Pete Maresca, readers will experience the heroics of Flash Gordon, the beauty of Dale Arden, the evil of Ming the Merciless, and the exotic setting of the distant planet Mongo. Each installment will be meticulously reworked so that the intricate artwork, the vivid colors, and the unparalleled action will explode off of the page.

Beginning with the renowned stories written and illustrations by Alex Raymond–the genius behind the hero–The Complete Flash Gordon Library will continue with the other brilliant illustrators who took the helm and ran with his creation: Austin Briggs, Mac Raboy, Dan Barry, and many more. Each page will be 11″ x 10″ — specifically designed to spotlight the action-packed artistry of the creators, and each volume will feature 176 or more pages of full-color action. Volume One, “On the Planet Mongo,” will feature a foreword by renowned illustrator Alex Ross, and future installments will offer other special features revealing the secrets behind the strip and its creators.

The Complete Flash Gordon Library joins Titan’s other long-running newspaper strip collections including the critically acclaimed Simon and Kirby Library, and the Modesty Blaise and James Bond 007 series. Once the library is complete, readers will forever thrill to an epic adventure unparalleled in American popular culture.

Sunday Review: Special Edition Series Volume 2: The Ray & Black Condor

Well my friends after nearly 10 years I finally did it! I found and bought a decent copy of Alan Light’s Special Edition Series Volume 2: The Ray & Black Condor. I did a podcast on this this and the two other companion books, Volume 1: Captain Marvel and Volume 3: Captain Marvel Jr. back on January 17, 2007 for show #104. I first came across these books long before that, but I was unsure as to what they were all about. As my Collected Edition hunting skills has transformed me from a novice to an expert, I have patiently awaited the day to strike on eBay. Listed by the seller as a Very Good condition, it turned out to be Good by my standards. There is a small tear at the bottom of the spine and a few dog ears here and there, but I got it for only $10.00! Other copies have been listed upwards of $100.00. So for a book published in 1974 and one that probably has changed hands a few times, I’ll take it any day.

Now, some of you are wondering what the fuss is all about. Well this book is Special indeed because when it comes to the Golden Age Ray and Black Condor this is the only near-complete reprint available. This book is really a tribute to the creator of both characters, Lou Fine. Fine worked with and under Will Eisner at the Eisner/Iger Studios and actually filled in as inker for The Spirit, with Jack Cole’s (Plastic Man) pencils while Eisner was away serving in World War II. You may not have known that Eisner helped on writing with Fine for Black Condor’s debut, which is another reason why this book is a rare gem. Jim Steranko supplies the introduction, which can be summed up as a love letter to the work of Lou Fine and his all too short comics career.

Black Condor ran in Crack Comics #1-31 and this book collects his first 19 adventures. The Ray ran in Smash Comics #14-40 and here we have the first 16 stories. The quality of the reprints are just ok, (photostats?), and considering when this book was published and the lack of technology, the book is enjoyable and readable. I’m sure Alan Light was planning to do a follow up volume which would have completed both runs, but for whatever reason it never came to fruition. Unfortunate to say the least, but what is even more unfortunate is that DC Comics, which now owns the the rights to these and other Quality Comics characters, has not offered any reprints of these classic and all too often overlooked comic books. The reason DC may be apprehensive is because these are unknown superheroes, but it’s the work of Lou Fine that should be celebrated regardless of the popularity of the fictional protagonist.

Special Edition Series Volume 2: The Ray & Black Condor
by Louis K. Fine with Will Eisner, Reed Crandall and Others
Created by Alan Light
Compiled by Ken Mitchell
Introduction by Jim Steranko
Thanks to Robert Overstreet and Murray Bishoff
316 pages, $14.95, 1974, Special Edition Publishing Company
Collects: Black Condor in Crack Comics #1-19 and The Ray in Smash Comics #14-30
Note: book is in black and white except for the first 8 pages of Smash Comics #19 which is in color.

Recommended reading (if you can find them at a good price):
Special Edition Series Volume 1: Captain Marvel
Collects Whiz Comics #7-28 with Introduction Interview by Bruce Hamilton with C.C. Beck
Special Edition Series Volume 3: Captain Marvel Jr.
Collects Master Comics #27-42

Recommended listening:
CCL Podcast #104 – Alan Light’s Special Edition Series