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CCL Podcast #372 – Adopt A Character 2014

Marvel Masterworks Atlas Era Heroes Volume 3 Namor, The Sub-Mariner
Marvel Masterworks Atlas Era Heroes Volume 3 Namor, The Sub-Mariner

Collected Comics Library Podcast #372
29.6Mb; 31m 42s
Well it’s that time of year again, time to Adopt a Character, creator, genre or just about anything else in the world of comic books and get acquainted with it all year long. It’s more of a challenge than anything else, and it’s been a fun way to read something out of the norm or try something new.
Here’s the rundown of what I have picked in past years:

2007: Thor
2008: Luke Cage and Iron Fist
2009: The Spirit Archives Volumes 1-27
2010: Steve Ditko’s Spider-Man
2011: Silver Age X-Men
2012: Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
2013: Fantastic Four by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

As you can see, it’s been mostly Marvel and that’s no different this time around. I’m going with Namor, The Sub-Mariner. I have all of the Masterworks, but I am going to forgo the Golden Age for now and start with Namor’s appearances in the Atlas Era and then move to his solo Silver Age adventures. Namor, of course, was created by the great Bill Everett and was with him all the way up until his death, a death that came all too soon. You may recall that Blake Bell has put together a very nice two-volume set of The Bill Everett Archives and the biography Fire & Water over at Fantagraphics. I read Volume 1, but have yet to read Volume 2. I think that is where I will begin. I will keep you posted throughout the year on my progress and for fun I will also be reading more of the Classic Valiant universe. More on that in the podcast.

Also on the show there’s a great question that I received from LinkedIn, of all places, on “What are the best Omnibus’ to buy?” – a loaded question, if there ever was one! That’s leads me to the unofficial announcement of the Infinity Gauntlet Omnibus¬†due out in July. Here are the particulars (which are different from the Wikipedia entry):

Silver Surfer (1987) 34-38, 40, 44-60; Thanos Quest 1-2; Infinity Gauntlet 1-6; Cloak & Dagger (1988) 18; Spider-Man (1990) 17; Incredible Hulk 383-385; Dr. Strange, Sorceror Supreme 31-36; Quasar 26-27; Sleepwalker 7; 1248 pages; July 15, 2014

Lastly, I do a rundown of the contents included in Batman: The TV Stories. This book is on the heels of the excellent Batman ’66 comic and the companion book will add a “Biff! Bam! Zonk! Pow!” punch to your collected editions library. You’ll be surprised just how DC put together this very affordable, very fun trade.


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Adopt a Character for 2011

It’s that time of year again; time to pick a character or creator, to immerse yourself in for 2011.

I started this for my own personal reason back in 2007, when I wanted to learn more about Thor. I remember growing up with the reruns of the The Marvel Super Heroes mini-cartoons and getting more familiar with him in The Avengers and Secret Wars comics of the 1980’s. But it wasn’t until he was seemingly killed off in the Disassembled storyline that I wanted to know more about him, Odin and Asgard. I reread the Masterworks and picked up inexpensive but essential comics from back issue bins.

In 2008, I chose to focus on Luke Cage and Iron Fist, reading all the Essentials that were published up to that point. In 2009, I went ahead with the daunting task of reading all 27 Volumes of The Spirit Archives. That works out to be one book every two weeks. Couple that with all the other reading I do for this blog not to mention spending time with my family and non-comics book activities and that’s a whole lot of reading to get done in one calendar year. Not only did I have a much better understanding for The Spirit, but also for his creator Will Eisner. That impacted me on my decision to switch things up in 2010 and instead of a superhero, I chose Steve Ditko. Not only did I reread everything I owned by him including my Spider-Man and Dr. Strange Masterworks (Marvel), but I bought Strange Suspense The Steve Ditko Archives (Fantagraphics), Strange & Stranger World Of Steve Ditko (Fantagraphics), The Creeper By Steve Ditko (DC), The Art Of Steve Ditko (IDW), his Atlas-Era Marvel comics and current independent work with Robin Snyder. I even recorded a five-part podcast series covering his entire body of work.

Now it’s 2011 and I’m going back to where it all began – The Golden Age Superman. In general GA comics are not the easiest comics to read. Most of the time super heroes fought petty criminals and mad scientists. You almost had to wonder why a God among men would bother with such lowlifes. But that’s the charm. It is a simpler time with simple writing and a country trying to get by while the men were away fighting WWI. I’m fortunate to own all the Archives: Superman in Action Comics Vols. 1-5, Superman Vols. 1-8, and Superman: World’s Finest Comics Vols. 1-2. I also have The Complete Diamond Anniversary Edition Superman Collection (Bosko edition) that wonderfully collects all of the 1941-1943 Superman cartoons from Fleischer Studios and Famous Studios. There are a few different DVDs of these cartoons, but from all accounts the Bosko disc is still the one to buy.

I hope you, too, pick a character(s) or creator(s) to learn more about and to let me know who it is.

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