Is there one book that is a “must have” collected edition that came out this week? My friends Andy Tom (@AndrewJTom), Chris Campbell (@ChrisCampbell8), Marc Diefenderfer (@Dief88), Shane Hannafey, Adam Besenyodi (@adambesenyodi), Joey Nazzari (@CaptDS9E), Wallace Ryan (@ReverendLove) and I (@ChrisCCL) are sharing some comic book collected editions, reprints and/or graphic novels released this week that you may be interested in.
Picked by @andrewjtom
S.H.I.E.L.D. By Steranko: The Complete Collection TP (Marvel)
Collects Nick Fury, Agent Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (1968) #1-3 and #5, and material from Strange tales (1951) #151-168, $34.99
Like most comic readers my age I have always heard about the greatness that is Jim Steranko. Steranko was always a bit elusive to me when I was growing up. His work existed within that nebulous region between Jack Kirby & Steve Ditko and guys like John Byrne, Walt Simonson, and Frank Miller. Like many creators, Steranko is a creator that I grew to appreciate later in life. With education and appreciation for the comics medium, I now look back and realize that Jim Steranko should’ve been in the conversation with Jack and Steve when I was a kid. His body of work (though small) is one of the most influential works by any creator. He crafted art that told stories using new and exciting techniques that we still see in modern comics today. This week, Marvel has released the S.H.I.E.L.D. by Steranko: The Complete Collection. This volume collects the entirety of Steranko’s Nick Fury stories. It’s a must have for any comics historian and a definite “buy” if you’ve been enjoying the recent Fury MAX.
Picked by @CaptDS9E
East Of West, Vol. 1: The Promise TP (Image)
Collects East Of West #1-5, $9.99
Every year there are always 3-4 new series that rise to the top, and get a lot of buzz. The few that get a lot of nominations come awards time. Last year it was Saga, this year it will be East of West. Published by Image Comics, Written by Johnathan Hickman and art by Nick Dragotta, these two creators have come up with a story that frankly feels like it was made just for me (just how I felt Saga was last year). East of West is a mashup of Western/Sci-Fi/alternate history, and a few other genres. The United States is not as we know it, as history took a different course. The Civil war ended differently leaving a union and confederate state, the Native American’s still have a strong presence, and many other different changes leaving the country split into 7 different large states. Many of the leaders from these states are working with three Horsemen of the Apocalypse to bring an end to the world as we know it. However as we know there is a fourth Horsemen, but this one has set out on his own, to stop their plans from coming to pass. That Horsemen is shockingly Death himself. Traveling with two strange companions, Death’s reasons for stopping them are at first a mystery, but as the first volume goes along we learn why he left the other Horsemen, and how they have something shocking tied to Death at the center of their plans. Something that could never be forgiven. And Death may not be the only ones who have decided that they do not like the way things are going
The story Hickman is weaving here is fantastic, like many of his other works, but Dragotta’s art is the star for me. There are so many different locales, and character types in this book, and he hit’s a home run with every single one. Wether it’s a Chinese city on the West Coast, a Futuristic Sci-Fi Tower in the Midwest, a dive bar with strange doings in the middle of nowhere, cool new vehicles, or just plan old desert, every single one is a joy to look at. I have gone back over issues just looking at the art work from key scenes to soak it all in. East of West is always moved to the top of my reading piles. And for $9.99 retail, there is no reason you should not give this fantastic series a chance.
Picked by @adambesenyodi
Heroic Tales The Bill Everett Archives Volume 2 HC (Fantagraphics), $39.99
When I was growing up and first discovering comics, my paternal grandmother gave me a handful of comics she’d saved from when my dad was a kid. What stood out among those half-dozen or so books – that included the likes of Classics Illustrated #58: Jack London’s Sea Wolf and Tales to Astonish #72 and #73 – was Sub-Mariner #33! That was my first conscious exposure to Bill Everett. And although his creation of Namor the Sub-Mariner and co-creation of Daredevil for Timely/Atlas/Marvel are his most bankable calling cards, Everett’s history with the medium is much farther-reaching. Now on volume 2, Fantagraphics continues to impress with their Bill Everett Archives series. This hardcover compendium follows the same format as the first volume (Amazing Mysteries) by pulling work primarily from the late 1930s and early 1940s that hasn’t been previously reprinted. The real find here, though, is a rare assemblage of Everett’s romance work in the early ’50s for Eastern Color’s New Heroic Comics and Personal Love. Ultimately, this series, edited by historian Blake Bell, serves as a companion of sorts to the Everett biography and art book Bell wrote and compiled in 2010. But the bottom line is that this book is a tremendous opportunity to archive and appreciate a master cartoonist.
Picked by @ReverendLove
P. Craig Russell’s Opera Adaptations HC, Set of 3 Books (NBM), $59.99
I have loved P. Craig Russell’s work since I first saw it gracing the pages of Marvel’s “Killraven” and nothing he’s done in the past three decades has done anything to diminish my passion for the quiet Maestro. So, this week when his three book set of his “Library of Opera Adaptations” appeared at my local comic book shop, I had to have it!
These books were released singularly during the early years of this new century and I had always meant to purchase them but for one reason or another, had not yet added them to my library. The first book in the set, “the Magic Flute” adapts Mozart’s classic opera and is one of Russell’s more simple and sophisticated stories. The second volume starts with Russell’s “Parsifal” that saw print in the late 70′s from Star Reach Productions and has always been possibly my favourite of all his operatic adaptations. The book also has the “Songs of Mahler” and “Ariane & Bluebeard” along with a black and white piece called “the Clown (I Pagliacci)” to wind it up.
The final book in this series collects “Pellens & Melisande”, “Ein Heldentraum”, “the Godfather’s Code” and closes out this volume with Richard Strauss’s operatic adaptation of the Oscar Wilde play “Salome” as interpreted by Russell. I’d seen the story years ago when it was published by Eclipse and as with most of P. Craig Russell’s work, I fell in head over heels over it.
P. Craig Russell Library of Opera Adaptations is not for the average comic book aficionado but for those whose interests stray into other fields like opera or literature, these books are well worth exploring and falling in love with on first read. These three books are treasures filled with characters and stories from some of the greatest minds of all time and delivered with a graphic grace and elegance that could only have issued forth from the magic brush of P. Craig Russell.
Picked by @Dief88
Iron Man By Kurt Busiek and Sean Chen Omnibus HC (Marvel)
Collects Iron Man (1998) #1-25, Captain America (1998) #8, Quicksilver #10, Avengers (1998) #7, Iron Man & Captain America Annual 1998, Fantastic Four (1998) #15, Iron Man Annual 1999, Thor (1998) #17, Peter Parker: Spider-Man (1999) #11, Juggernaut: The Eighth Day and Iron Man: The Iron Age #1-2, 1024 pages, $125.00
What’s really great about the comics collected in this Omnibus is that they were created at a time when Marvel was walking a healthy line between telling extended storylines and maintaining a sense of accessibility for new readers. As a result, these issues play both to the “any issue could be someone’s first” mentality and the kind of intricate plotting that warrants collected editions of such massive size existing in the first place. In this series, which takes place immediately following Tony Stark’s return from the “Heroes Reborn” alternate universe, the character deals with a range of interwoven conflicts: trying to explain his months-long disappearance and recent sudden reappearance; the takeover of Stark Industries by another tech corporation; the threat of a mysterious new villain who calls himself the Arms Dealer; and, of course, personal drama among his supporting cast of Pepper Potts, Happy Hogan, Black Widow, and new love interest Rumiko Fujikawa. This is one of the great unsung Iron Man creative runs, and the perfect opportunity to get the whole thing in a single package.
Picked by @ChrisCCL
Society Is Nix, Gleeful Anarchy At the Dawn of the American Comic Strip 1895-1915 (Sunday Press Books), $125.00
If you’re at all like me (and I hope you are because you come by this awesome blog) then you’ll have an appreciation for old comic strips. But not just any “old strips” — really old strips. Well thank God for Pete Maresca and his Sunday Press Books imprint. Pete has gathered up another fine collection of Sunday newspaper comics in Society Is Nix, Gleeful Anarchy At the Dawn of the American Comic Strip much of which has not see the light of day since they were first published over 100 years ago! Pete has been publishing these “Platinum Age” comics for some time now and he was also a guest on Podcast #307. There are over 150 original size comics, by over 50 cartoonists. That’s right, the book is 16×21. Don’t let the $125 tag scare you, history is priceless.
Now it’s your turn. What books that came out this week do you recommend? Take a look at the sidebar to see this weeks collected edition releases.