Tag Archives: fantagraphics

6 Collected Editions Worthy Of Your Attention #41

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) Chris Partin (@ChrisPartin) and I (@ChrisCCL) are sharing some comic book collected editions, reprints and/or graphic novels released this week that you may be interested in.

X-Men: X-Corps TP
X-Men: X-Corps TP

Picked by @Dief88
X-Men: X-Corps TP
Collects Uncanny X-Men (1963) #394-409 and Annual 2001
Published by Marvel
$39.99
Starting in 2001, Grant Morrison catapulted superhero comics into the new millennium in the pages of New X-Men. Can you even imagine being the guy assigned to write Marvel’s other X-Men comic at the time?
But while it may have played second fiddle in its day (and been widely overlooked in the decade since, for that matter), Joe Casey’s run on Uncanny X-Men has a lot going for it. Although the key players of Morrison’s comic are essentially off the table, Casey assembles a great B-team in Angel, Nightcrawler, Iceman, former Generation X member Chamber, and (on occasion) Wolverine. Chamber is an especially inspired choice; his presence makes for some suitably dramatic moments when the team comes up against his former mentor, Banshee, whose new X-Corps organization has been attempting to fight crime through decidedly questionable means. It’s not all perfect – Casey’s run introduces the ill-conceived Stacy X, a mutant prostitute whose power is basically that she can seduce people – but on the whole its unique cast and story structure separate it (in the best way) from most other X-Men collections out there.

Star Trek: The Next Generation / Doctor Who: Assimilation: The Complete Series HC
Star Trek: The Next Generation / Doctor Who: Assimilation: The Complete Series HC

Picked by Shane
Star Trek: The Next Generation / Doctor Who: Assimilation: The Complete Series HC
Published by IDW
$34.99
Crossovers are always hit or miss, especially with well-established franchises. In the nineties, the Star Trek/X-Men crossover wasn’t very well received, but the recent Star Trek/Legion of Superheroes was a pretty solid story. Having both Star Trek and Doctor Who licenses, IDW tempted fate and brought two of television’s oldest science fiction franchises together. The result was a very well written and fairly seamless crossover. Both Doctor Who with his companions and the Next Generation crew fought similar enemies in the Cybermen and the Borg, so it was a natural fit to team our heroes together against these horrible adversaries. Both enemies have a mission to basically rob people of their humanity and make them part of a collective consciousness. It was a lot of fun seeing the characters from two iconic scifi shows working together against great odds to try to defeat these nearly unstoppable foes.
I had recommended this series before when the two trades came out. Now we have the option of a nice hard cover edition collecting the entire series. I rarely buy monthlies anymore, but did on this occasion. I couldn’t wait for this series to be collected. If you did wait and haven’t read it yet, there are no excuses now. If you are fan of either franchise or both, you’ll want to read this story.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Vol. 6: City Fall, Part 1 TP
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Vol. 6: City Fall, Part 1 TP

Picked by @CaptDS9E
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Vol. 6: City Fall, Part 1 TP
The latest collection of the red-hot ongoing series kicks off with Kevin Eastman’s solo issue #21, a prelude to the first three parts of “City Fall”
Published by IDW
$17.99
City Fall is the first major event in the latest incarnation of the TMNT comics by IDW. Over the course of the first 7 trades (including the Heroes Micro series, and the Secret History of the Fall Clan) the Shredder has been moving his pieces into place, and has decided finally is now the time to strike and take over the entire city criminal empire. To do so, he will have to not only take down all the major crime families/gangs, but also the Ninja Turtles as well. Moving things into place ,Shredder and his foot clan abduct one of the Turtles closet allies. The turtles with a little bit of help, arrive at the place their friend is being held. A little late, as the Shredder does something horrific to their friend, starting a major battle. What the Turtles do not know, is that this has been Shredder’s plan all along. He has set this up to set up a larger plan. Something so shocking that even I could not believe it when it happened (it even ties back into the Secret History of the Foot Clan series I recommended before),And I’ve read and watched everything ever made of this property. Tom Waltz and Kevin Eastman are doing comic of the year type story telling in this series, but the shining star of this arc is Mateus Santolouco (Secret History of the Footclan) on art. His work is so damn good I had to buy a page from the first issue of City Fall. Hell I may buy another down the road. It’s must see stuff

Cowboy Ninja Viking Deluxe HC
Cowboy Ninja Viking Deluxe HC

Picked by @ChrisPartin
Cowboy Ninja Viking Deluxe HC
Collects Cowboy Ninja Viking #1-10
Published by Image
$39.99
If there was a series I really thought deserved more attention and more issues it would be A.J. Lieberman and Riley Rossmo’s COWBOY NINJA VIKING. The series was about counter-intelligence unit that were transformed into people called Triplets and imbued with multiple personalities, in this case three of them, where they were able to tap their abilities and go into combat. The best of the bunch was a man named Duncan who had the abilities of a cowboy, a ninja, and a Viking.
I had a chance to talk to A.J. Lieberman back on my podcast, Image Addiction, about the series. At this point I was already a huge fan of the series because of Riley Rossmo’s amazing visuals. Lieberman’s conversation with us on the podcast elevated that excitement for the series. There really had been very little like this series before it, and there’s not been anything like it since and it’s a shame this series only lasted ten issues. The possible life this book could have had focusing on various Triplets over the course of a story arc could have been a lot of fun. What does make me happy is to see Image has not given up on this series and is giving it this deluxe hardcover treatment.
The series was originally printed in Golden Age format which really allowed Rossmo the room he needed to produce some of his best work of his career. The trade paperbacks that were released carried on this format, but now having it in an oversized volume collecting all of the series – breath taking! This deluxe hardcover will look great on your shelf as well as great in your hands as you read it over and over again. Definitely a must have in 2013 for me, and it should be for you as well.

Hellboy: The Midnight Circus HC
Hellboy: The Midnight Circus HC

Picked by @AndrewJTom
Hellboy: The Midnight Circus HC
Published by Dark Horse
$14.99
Look… I love me some Hellboy comics. Mike Mignola is responsible for some of my favorite stories over the last 20 years. That said, (I know this may sound “blasphemous”) but my favorite Hellboy stories are the ones drawn by Duncan Fegredo. Now, I know that this makes no logical sense when you consider that caliber of talent that has contributed to the Hellboy mythos in the past. Guys like Mignola and Richard Corben (both Master Cartoonists) have turned in wonderful HB stories. But Duncan Fegredo has really done some career defining work with Hellboy. He’s crafted a Mignola style sensibility, but, with his own flair that makes his issues seem both familiar and fresh at the same time. Hellboy: Midnight Circus is the latest Mignola/Fegredo collaboration. It’s an out of current continuity story that recounts a tale from Hellboy’s youth, which always lends itself to great time in the Hellboy universe. Pick this book up when you get a chance, it’s one that you won’t want to miss.

Impossible Tales: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 4 by Steve Ditko and Blake Bell
Impossible Tales: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 4 by Steve Ditko and Blake Bell

Picked by @ReverendLove
Impossible Tales: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 4 by Steve Ditko and Blake Bell
Published by Fantagraphics
$39.99
I was elated today as I entered my local comic book store and found a copy of “Impossible Tales: the Steve Ditko Archives Volume 4” waiting to jump into my trembling hands.
I have been an admirer of Mr. Ditko’s work since I was a kid and was first introduced to the Maestro of Mystery by his 60′s DC character, the Creeper. I don’t know what it was, but I was entranced, reading that first issue over and over until it passed into comic book heaven. As I grew older, I discovered his work on the Sorcerer Supreme, Dr. Strange and it cemented my love of Ditko’s dark lines of delineation and moody shadow work. Over the past few years, Fantagraphics has been releasing of Steve Ditko Archives covering a lot of his early work from the 1950′s and reprints a lot of his work that I had never seen before these archive editions.
This volume has stories from such classic comics as “Tales of the Mysterious Traveler”, “Out of this World”, “Strange Suspense Stories” and many others including my personal favourite, if for the title alone, “This Magazine is Haunted”. In these stories, you can see hints of future creations and techniques that would later grace the pages of the Atlas monster comics and lead eventually on to Dr. Strange and the Creeper.
When I read these stories, I could see the path that Ditko would continue to tread for decades as he progressed as an artist and a quiet pioneer of graphic storytelling.

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.

6 Collected Editions Worthy Of Your Attention #40

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) Chris Partin (@ChrisPartin) and I (@ChrisCCL) are sharing some comic book collected editions, reprints and/or graphic novels released this week that you may be interested in.

The Black Beetle Volume 1: No Way Out HC
The Black Beetle Volume 1: No Way Out HC

Picked by @ChrisPartin
The Black Beetle Volume 1: No Way Out HC
Published by Image
$19.99
Francesco Francavilla is one of those creators that once you see what he can do with a comic book page you can only want to see another and another and… well, you get the point. BLACK BEETLE is Francavilla’s creator owned series at Dark Horse that will make you stand up and pay attention to what he’s capable of as a writer and as an artist.
BLACK BEETLE is a love letter to those pulp comic greats like THE SHADOW and THE SPIDER and there’s not a page or panel that you see in this hardcover that does not remind you of Francavilla’s influence by those characters and stories. The moment you open this book to the time you get to the last page you’re enveloped into a world of action and mystery. There’s very little opportunity to catch your breath and that is what makes this book so enjoyable – there’s no need to slow the pace down. The story is wall to wall action and you’re pulled in and are dragged behind the Black Beetle as he swings from roof tops, punches bad guys, and defeats the big, bad evil guy. All of it, you’re pulled in and Francavilla does an amazing job at keeping you in and entertained.
BLACK BEETLE VOL 1 HC is something that fans of high action and old-school mystery should pick up and be entertained by because that’s what it’s here to do.

Walt Disney's Donald Duck Volume 5: Christmas On Bear Mountain by Carl Bark HC
Walt Disney’s Donald Duck Volume 5: Christmas On Bear Mountain by Carl Bark HC

Picked by @ReverendLove
Walt Disney’s Donald Duck Volume 5: Christmas On Bear Mountain by Carl Bark HC
Published by Fantagraphics
$28.99
I was never a huge cartoon duck fan outside of Howard the Duck and would have remained so if not for picking up Don Rosa’s Eisner winning “the Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck” a few years ago. It turned me into a huge fan of the duck genre and then, to make matters worse, Fantagraphics decided to release an archive series that would collect the work of the Maestro of Cartoon Ducks, the legendary Carl Barks! I was trapped and had to give in to the guilty pleasure that comes from reading a well crafted duck tale.
This volume’s title story, “Christmas On Bear Mountain” is the first appearance of the richest duck of them all, Uncle Scrooge McDuck. In this story, Scrooge is a lot grouchier, bitter and ill tempered than his later incarnations and closer to the Dickens persona rather than Bark’s character. It’s a typical Christmas story with Donald, short on funds again, taking his nephews to Uncle Scrooge’s chalet on Bear Mountain to find some way to celebrate Christmas. As usual, the situation goes from calm to madcap crazy as Scrooge dresses up as a bear to test Donald and his nephews and somehow, a bear cub and his Mother get into the chalet and caught up in the story.
As with the other books in this series, there are a couple of other long form stories including the classic Barks tales “Volcano Valley”, “Adventure Down Under” and one of his more moody graphic works, titled “Ghost of the Grotto”. The book has seven 10 page short gag stories similar to the other books in the series and these certainly do not disappoint. Although the longer form stories are my favourites, I still enjoy Bark’s shorter pieces for their energy, light frivolity and slapstick timing.
I know that whenever I bring up the subject of ducks with my comic book pals, they look at me a-scant but I highly recommend this fabulous collection from Fantagraphics that celebrates the life and prodigious body of work of the Dean of Duckdom, the irreplaceable Carl Barks.

Bloodshot Vol. 3: Harbinger Wars TPB
Bloodshot Vol. 3: Harbinger Wars TPB

Picked by @CaptDS9E
Bloodshot Vol. 3: Harbinger Wars TPB
Collects Bloodshot #10-13
Published by Valiant
$14.99
Valiant’s first big event, The Harbinger war is upon us. When Bloodshot attacks the PRS, all hell breaks loose. The Harbinger children (who have all sorts of special abilities) who were being help captive, escape into the general population. A large group goes into nearby Vegas and takes over a hotel, along with the Harbinger renegades from the proper Harbinger book. In this trade, another group escapes and travels with Bloodshot. Not only trying to evade the PRS who are hunting them down, but the Harbinger Foundation as well. They try to make there way to Vegas to join up with the other escaped group, but even though the young group he travels which thinks him to be their hero, Bloodshot does not realize that he has had a massive impact on these kids lives before, and not all of them who escaped may want his help, or call him ally. Bloodshot has been one of my favorite books since the Valiant relaunch because he is a very interesting character. Not even he knows his true history, because of all the reprogramming done to him over the years. Duane Swierczynski does a great job during this event showing his side of the tale, and Barry Kitson does a great job on the art duties. Not really a jumping on point, but more a recommendation to catch up on this series to this point.

Complete Golden Age Airboy And Valkyrie HC
Complete Golden Age Airboy And Valkyrie HC

Picked by @ChrisCCL
Complete Golden Age Airboy And Valkyrie HC
Published by Canton Street Press
$24.99
First, I want to thank Canton Street Press for supplying me a copy of this book. As many of you know, I’m a fan of Golden Age material and especially Golden Age material that is reprinted for a new generation. Canton Street Press is a relatively new company and as they say on their website, “specializes in quality restorations of long out-of-print books of historical significance”. There’s no doubt that Airboy is one of those comics. Airboy was first published in Air Fighters Comics Vol. 1 #2 (November 1942) and was created by writers Charles Biro and Dick Wood and artist Al Camy. But as the title says, “Airboy AND Valkyrie”, so this books collects all the Golden Age appearances of the villainess – and later heroine. After reading the stories she reminds me of several women featured in Will Eisner’s The Spirit, particularly Sand Saref and Silk Satin. Not only is she dangerous, but she has dangerous curves and could give The Phantom Lady a run for her money in a cleavage contest.
The book, itself, is very affordable at $25 and the restiration and presentation is top notch. I only have one small complaint – the table of contents does not include the month and year of the comics collected in this book. Therefore, I have added them here for reference:

Air Fighters Vol. 2 #2 Airboy Meets Valkrie – November 1943
Air Fighters Vol. 2 #7 The Dath Lights – April 1944
Air Fighters Vol. 1 #12 Misery! – September 1943
Airboy Vol. 2 #12 The Return Of Misery! – January 1946
Airboy Vol. 3 #6 An American Legend – July 1946
Airboy Vol. 3 #12 The Wind of Battle – January 1947
Airboy Vol. 4 #10 Valkrie’s Viking Flying Club – November 1947
Airboy Vol. 9 #2 Valkrie Strikes Again – March 1952

With a quick glance it looks like the story “Misery” is out of place, but really if it was not included then “The Return Of Misery!” wouldn’t make much sense, hence it is included for continuity sake, but interestingly, it does not contain Valkrie. I hope CSP will be able to reprint the entire Airboy series in thicker editions similar to Marvel’s Masterworks, but I understand if there isn’t a market for them. If you are interested pick up this hardcover and be sure to check out other offerings from Canton Street Press including the complete Canteen Kate from Matt Baker.

and…

DC Comics Essentials: Wonder Woman #1
DC Comics Essentials: Wonder Woman #1

DC Comics Essentials: Wonder Woman #1
Collects Wonder Woman #1 (Volume 4)
Published by DC Comics
$1.00
I’ll make this recommendation very simple – if you haven’t picked up Wonder Woman yet – do it now. For only a buck you can experience, what is now my favorite book of DC’s New 52. What artist Cliff Chiang and writer Brian Azzarello are doing is nothing short of spectacular. What’s nice is that it doesn’t feel like a “superhero” book because it intertwines with Greek mythology and the JLA stays out of it. In fact, it’s difficult to pinpoint just where in DC continuity this takes place, which is fine by me. 5 Stars!

and…

Marvel's Thor: The Dark World Prelude TP
Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World Prelude TP

Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World Prelude TP
Collects Marvel’s Thor Adaptation #1-2, Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World Prelude #1-2 and Thor: God Of Thunder #13
Published by Marvel
$14.99
It’s that time of year again – time for another Marvel Cinematic Universe Movie. That movie is Thor: The Dark World and with it comes this easy to read trade. You can plainly see why they first two min-series are collected but why God Of Thunder #13? That’s because it features the Dark Elves who play an integral part in the Dark World film. As with Wonder Woman above, the God Of Thunder series by writer Jason Aaron and artist Ron Garney is one of the best books on the market and one that’s at the top of my “to read” pile every month. If you’re interested in catching up, you can do so by picking up the first two collected editions of God of Thunder: Vol 1. God Butcher and Vol. 2 Godbomb.

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.

6 Collected Editions Worthy Of Your Attention #34

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.

Nova Vol. 1: Origin Premiere HC (Marvel)
Nova Vol. 1: Origin Premiere HC (Marvel)

Picked by @andrewjtom
Nova Vol. 1: Origin Premiere HC (Marvel)
Collects Nova (2013) #1-5 and material from Marvel Now! Point One #1, $24.99
Y’know, I really have no knowledge of the Marvel Cosmic line. I know of a character named Nova, and I’ve heard how great Abnett & Lanning’s Guardians of the Galaxy run was. Outside of that, I’ve really never had much of an exposure to that stuff. This new Nova collection is tailor-made for guys like me. Say what you will about Jeph Loeb’s stories (I know that he has his haters), but the man knows how to craft a fun & entertaining story (Commando wasn’t exactly Schindler’s List). With this book Loeb seems to have produced another fun “popcorn” style story. He brings along his frequent collaborator, (the immensely talented) Ed McGuinness for what seems to be a story about a young coming of age hero who has been blessed with great power and great responsibility (sound familiar?). The nice thing about guys like Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness, is that they know that not every comic needs to be “high art”. Sometimes, comics should just be a lot of fun; and they excel at making fun comics. Go out and try this out… and remember to have a good time reading it.

Classic Space: 1999 – To Everything That Was (Archaia)
Classic Space: 1999 – To Everything That Was (Archaia)

Picked by @adambesenyodi
Classic Space: 1999 – To Everything That Was (Archaia), $24.95
The very definition of cult TV show, Space: 1999 was a British import on these shores in the mid-’70s. On the premise of a nuclear age cautionary tale, the show centered on the inhabitants of Moonbase Alpha, who are stranded in space when the nuclear waste humanity was storing on the far side of the Moon explodes on September 13, 1999, hurtling the Moon out of the Earth’s orbit and on an interplanetary journey. Since Hanna-Barbara owned the merchandising rights to the classic TV show, it made sense that the comics licensing went to Charlton Comics, who had an existing relationship in place. Bronze Age Charlton Comics boasted a pretty damn impressive bullpen of top-notch talent and licensed properties, with John Byrne, Roger Stern, and Bob Layton all producing work for the venerable imprint. And titles like The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman could be found alongside Space: 1999 on the roster. Carrying a “Selected Remastered Works from the Comic Archives, 1975-1979” subtitle, Archaia has rescued myriad Space: 1999 artifacts and presented them here, including selections from the Charlton series and from the British children’s magazine Look-In. The collection is in continuity between the first and second seasons of the TV show, and features an absolutely gorgeous, previously unpublished Gray Morrow painted cover (the kind Charlton could be counted on for producing in most all of their ’70s titles).

Once Upon a Time -  Shadow Of The Queen Premiere HC (Marvel)
Once Upon a Time – Shadow Of The Queen Premiere HC (Marvel)

Picked by Shane
Once Upon a Time –  Shadow Of The Queen Premiere HC (Marvel), $19.99
The beauty of having so many companies under your umbrella is that not only do you have crossover potential, but a means to get your product out there in so many different forms of media. Disney’s ownership of Marvel means comic adaptations and/or original stories from their many properties. Some of which might not be feasible or cost effective to tell in the television format. We saw this happen with Castle. Marvel did a great job with a couple of graphic novels, not necessarily based on the TV series, but based on the” writings” of the main character, a best-selling author. These were stories that would have probably never been told on television. We are also seeing the reverse, whereas ABC is launching the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series this fall. With the universe of Once Upon a Time, there is an incredible amount of material with which Marvel can play mine from. After two seasons, I’m still really enjoying this TV series a lot. Not only have they turned fairy tales upside down and given me stories that are familiar yet different, they have also taken it from a Disney perspective. So, while the comic book series Fables (another favorite of mine) has its own versions of these classic characters, almost everyone knows of the Disney versions, even if they aren’t comic book readers. This TV series did a great job of taking those beloved characters and interweaving their stories into a bigger tale that ropes in viewers both young and old and still changing things up to give you an entirely different experience. If you haven’t seen the TV series, I say give it a try. While the series has a huge array of characters from fairy tales, the main story is predominantly about the Evil Queen and Snow White. This first ever graphic novel tie in is a story about the Evil Queen, her quest to capture Snow White and the Huntsman she uses to help her with her devious plan. This should be a fun book whether you are a fan of the TV series or just a fan of classic fairy tales. Check it out!

Avengers: Endless Wartime OGN-HC (Marvel)
Avengers: Endless Wartime OGN-HC (Marvel)

Picked by @Dief88
Avengers: Endless Wartime OGN-HC (Marvel), $24.99
Marvel’s “Season One” graphic novels must have sold pretty well, because now the company has set out to publish a new series of OGNs (this time set in current Marvel continuity), starting with Avengers: Endless Wartime. These books will apparently boast higher-profile creators than “Season One” did; for Endless Wartime, we get Warren Ellis and Mike McKone. All Marvel has revealed about the plot is that it involves a villain from Captain America’s past, though whether this villain is an established character or a brand-new one has yet to be revealed. It’s also unclear at this point exactly how self-contained Endless Wartime will be, or to what extent it will be referred to in the ongoing Avengers comics. Ideally, in my opinion, this book would lean toward the former. Either way, though, I’m interested to see what direction Ellis and McKone take with this book.

Heroic Tales The Bill Everett Archives Volume 2 HC (Fantagraphics)
Heroic Tales The Bill Everett Archives Volume 2 HC (Fantagraphics)

Picked by @ChrisCCL
Heroic Tales The Bill Everett Archives Volume 2 HC (Fantagraphics), $39.99
I didn’t know much about Bill Everett other than he created Namor The Submariner and Daredevil until I picked up Blake Bell’s Bill Everett Archives Volume 1. Bell is the one of the best curators of classic, hard to find material and refreshing it for the 21st Century audience, just look at his Steve Ditko Archives series. Well now, Bell is back with a second go around with Everett and from what I hear, the comics here are superior to what we saw in Volume 1. If that’s the case, then we are all in for a real treat!

and…

Conan Red Nails Original Art Archives HC (Genesis West)
Conan Red Nails Original Art Archives HC (Genesis West)

Conan Red Nails Original Art Archives HC (Genesis West), $150.00
I’ve never heard of Genesis West publishing until I saw the solicit for this book. From what I dug up this is similar to the Artist’s Editions being published by IDW. This particular Conan tale “concerns Conan encountering a lost city in which the degenerate inhabitants are proactively resigned to their own destruction.” – Wikipedia; and was originally told from Robert E. Howard in his last Conan story he wrote and the last major fantasy he completed, in Weird Tales magazine from July to October 1936. This comic adaptation is from Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith for Savage Tales #2-3 (Marvel, Oct. 1973 and Feb. 1974)). It has also been reprinted in collected edition form many times since then, both in black-and-white and in full color, by Marvel and more recently by Dark Horse The Chronicles of Conan: Volume 4: The Song of Red Sonja and Other Stories (Dark Horse Comics, 2004). Is this worth $240.00? Hmmmm…I’m not sure. If you see it in the wild or buy it let me know.

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.

6 Collected Editions Worthy Of Your Attention #29

Is there one book that is a “must have” 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.

Willard Mullin's Golden Age Of Baseball Drawings 1934-1972 HC (Fantagraphics)
Willard Mullin’s Golden Age Of Baseball Drawings 1934-1972 HC (Fantagraphics)

Picked by @AndrewJTom
Willard Mullin’s Golden Age Of Baseball Drawings 1934-1972 HC (Fantagraphics), $29.99
I just want to throw this one out there for you all to see. Otherwise, I can totally see how this book will go unnoticed by the masses. To be perfectly honest, I have little to “no” idea what is in the body of this 200 page book. But what I DO know is this… Fantagraphics publishes REALLY high quality books, Willard Mullins was a FANTASTIC cartoonist who focused on sports (primarily baseball). Charles Shultz respected Mullins so much that Lucy once claimed she was gonna’ sue Willard Mullins in a Peanuts strip. The last thing that I “know” about this book is that if all of you baseball fans out there order this book from my LCS, they’ll probably run out and I’ll have to order one and practice a seldom used skill… patience.

and…

Mark Schultz's Xenozoic Complete TP (New Printing) (Flesk Publications)
Mark Schultz’s Xenozoic Complete TP (New Printing) (Flesk Publications)

Mark Schultz’s Xenozoic Complete TP (New Printing) (Flesk Publications), $39.95
This is a special week for me. It’s not because I get to write about a book that I am especially excited about. It’s because I have the opportunity to share my love for a book with all of you; and (thanks to a new printing with an all new cover) you now have the chance to experience this book for yourselves. The book I’m talking about is Xenozoic by Mark Schultz. Xenozoic reprints the entirety of Mark Schultz creator owned series Xenozoic Tales (also known as Cadillacs and Dinosaurs). I’m not gonna’ run down the story synopsis for you (you can go over to www.instocktrades.com and read it in the solicit). I will tell you that in this tome you’ll experience something that we rarely see in a cartoonist. You’ll see Mark Schultz grow as a storyteller and as an artist. If you compare the first and last page of this book, you’ll see the strides that Mark has made during his run on the series. And make no mistake, this is some of the most beautiful art you will see on the printed page. The biggest error one could make in the next few months is to let this book go out of print without procuring a copy for yourself. I was fortunate enough to score a first printing of this book a few years ago, but soon afterward, it was out of print and unavailable. I was no longer able to recommend this to any of my friends (until now). In addition, IDW will be releasing a Mark Schultz Xenozoic Tales Artist Edition in the next few months. But if you want to enjoy Mark’s stories and craftsmanship in a more economical format, you should definitely pick this up. Flesk has made a wise decision by making this book available again on the dawn of IDW’s Mark Schultz Artist Edition. Lastly, I’ll leave you with this bit of wisdom… I believe it was Vince Bonavoglia who once said that the measure of an artist is directly in correlation to how well they draw a dinosaur. Mark Schultz draws one heckuva’ nice lookin’ dinosaur.

Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan: The Sunday Comics 1931-1933 HC (Dark Horse)
Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan: The Sunday Comics 1931-1933 HC (Dark Horse)

Picked by @ReverendLove
Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan: The Sunday Comics 1931-1933 HC (Dark Horse)
Collects every Tarzan Sunday strip from September 1931 – September 1933, $125.00
When it comes to the comic strip, anything with the legendary Hal Foster’s name attached to it, is worth buying! This week, Dark Horse has put together for us a beautiful over-sized collection of Foster’s Sunday strips from 1931 to 1933 and it is one book that I will be, without a doubt, buying this week.
Now, regular fans of Foster may find his early material disappointing when compared to his later work on Prince Valiant but I have always been a fan of the process as much as the product and actually really enjoy seeing the first steps of a future master of the art form. Foster’s figures and faces, even with his early work, are solidly constructed and sizzle with beauty and grace that few in the comic strip business could match.
Hal Foster began illustrating the weekly Tarzan in 1929 and did so for only 7 months before he was replaced by Rex Mason. Almost two years later, Foster returned and took the reins of the Tarzan Sunday colour strip in 1931 and continued on until May of 1937 when he was replaced by Burne Hogarth. Foster had reportedly grew weary of working on other people’s characters and set to creating his own strip, the now classic Prince Valiant which began a few months before he was relieved of his Tarzan duties. If there is any down side to this fabulous tome of Foster’s work, it’s the $125 price tag which may scare away the novice collector…but not myself!
When it comes to comic strips…there are few adventure strip artists as talented and skilled as Hal Foster.

and…

Superman: The Silver Age Newspaper Dailies, Vol. 1: 1958 - 1961 HC (IDW)
Superman: The Silver Age Newspaper Dailies, Vol. 1: 1958 – 1961 HC (IDW)

Superman: The Silver Age Newspaper Dailies, Vol. 1: 1958 – 1961 HC (IDW)
Collects almost 800 strips from December 15, 1958 – July 1, 1961, $49.99
The summer sun was as oppressive as Superman’s heat vision today as I walked into my local comic book shop and found the first volume of Superman: the Silver Age Dailies 1959-1961 from IDW’s Library of American Comics waiting for me. Right from the start, I was smitten.
I loved the brightly coloured Swanesque art that adorned the cover with it’s strong Silver Age design vocabulary. I sat down with the book in hand, began to peruse the opening chapter and found myself lost in a simpler time of heroes and their wild deeds of daring-do! I have always been a huge fan of Curt Swan, considered by most to be the penultimate Superman artist, and this book, in that regard, will not disappoint the seasoned Swan-meister! They have the innocent quality and corniness as the Superman comics that I loved as a kid and it was a sheer joy to experience that feeling all over again! It’s classic Swan!
Swan was replaced on the dailies by the quirky and campy Wayne Boring, who’d become famous with his barrel chested Superman. I myself, don’t mind Boring’s style but there are a lot of Superman fans out there who don’t share my affection for this particular manifestation of the Man of Steel. I think this book is well worth the read and at only $49.99…it’s a steal!!!
All things considered, Superman: the Silver Age Dailies 1959-1961 is yet another fine addition to the award-winning Library of American Comics label and is one book that this very night, will find its own Fortress of Solitude on my shelves.

Kevin Keller Volume 2 Drive Me Crazy TP (Archie Comics Publications)
Kevin Keller Volume 2 Drive Me Crazy TP (Archie Comics Publications)

Picked by @adambesenyodi
Kevin Keller Volume 2 Drive Me Crazy TP (Archie Comics Publications)
Collects Kevin Keller #5-8, $11.99
The gang from Riverdale never appealed to me growing up, and I never read an Archie comic before Kevin Keller came along. I admit I initially checked out the character because my oldest son is gay and when stories like this get buzz I tend to take notice, but the stories Dan Parent has been creating with Kevin Keller are so enjoyable I have continued to read the comic long after that early hype pulled me in. I’m always happy to see characters like Young Avengers’ Wiccan and Hulkling, and Alpha Flight’s Northstar show up on the pages of my Marvel comics, but there is something to be said for a gay character headlining his own book the way Kevin Keller is. And for that character to not be a superhero, for him to be so ordinary (inasmuch as the denizens of Riverdale High School can be considered ordinary), is what makes the book’s success so remarkable. The issues collected here include stories about first cars, first dates, and teenagers being inspired by their heroes (in this case, Kevin by Star Trek’s George Takei). There is as much value in straight kids picking up a mainstream comic and seeing Kevin Keller among the personalities, as there is value in gay teens being able to find a character that reflects who they are on the pages. That Parent has crafted a character that is just so inherently likable simply makes it all the more satisfying.

and…

Capote In Kansas HC (Oni Press)
Capote In Kansas HC (Oni Press)

Capote In Kansas HC (Oni Press), $19.99
What Ande Parks pulls off with his 2005 Capote In Kansas graphic novel (referred to as “a drawn novel” on the cover) is a perfect echo of what Truman Capote did with In Cold Blood forty years earlier: crafting a riveting nonfiction (and in Parks’ case, graphic) novel. Fictionalizing Capote’s trip to Kansas to research the Clutter Murders for what would become In Cold Blood, Parks projects his own version of Capote’s experience. While using the specter of one of the victims in the storytelling ends up diminishing the actual contributions his childhood friend Harper Lee likely made in the journey Capote took researching In Cold Blood, it’s the juxtaposition of Capote’s New York socialite persona trying to insinuate himself into small town Middle America that’s most compelling. Although I prefer artist Chris Samnee’s work elsewhere more so than here (particularly his runs on Queen & Country, Daredevil, and Thor, The Mighty Avenger), his stark black and white approach is a good fit for the story at hand, reprinted here in hardcover format by Oni.

and a bonus collected edition recommendation from last week…

Avengers: Heavy Metal TP (Marvel)
Avengers: Heavy Metal TP (Marvel)

Picked by @Dief88
Avengers: Heavy Metal TP (Marvel)
Collects Avengers (1963) #286-293, $24.99
In a way, Roger Stern is like Marvel’s forgotten son of the 1980s. The writer had long tenures on several prominent series, including Amazing Spider-Man and Avengers, but for the longest time, there were only a few scattered collections of his work. One of those was the classic Avengers: Under Siege, collecting Avengers #270-277. It’s only in the last year or so, though, that we’ve seen collections of the issues that came immediately after that story, and Avengers: Heavy Metal is the final book in that series (following Avengers: Assault on Olympus, published in 2011). In these issues, Stern completes his run and passes the reigns over to writers Ralph Macchio and Walt Simonson (yes, that’s Simonson writing, not drawing!), with the incomparable John Buscema on art. Although the cast of characters may not be comprised of the A-listers we’ve grown accustomed to seeing in current takes on the Avengers, this book is worth a look just to see how other writers attempted to pick up where Stern left off with his still-celebrated creative run.

and now for something completely different…

Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox Blu-Ray DVD (Warner Home Video and DC Comics)
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox Blu-Ray DVD (Warner Home Video and DC Comics)

Picked by @CaptDS9E
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox Blu-Ray DVD (Warner Home Video and DC Comics), $24.98
In a first for DC’s animated division, they decided to make a feature based on a very recent event. Flashpoint was the story which transitioned the old DC to the new 52. I really enjoyed the comic series, so I was very interested how they would take a story that spanned a miniseries, and a ton of spin-off books into one feature. Barry Allen AKA The Flash wakes in an alternate timeline where he is no longer the Flash. He has no powers, his mother is alive, and the entire planet is different from how he remembers. Atlantis and Themiscyra are at war, most of Europe lies in ruins, parts of the world are ruled by other super beings, there is no Superman, Batman is not the same man, and no one knows who the Flash is. This is just the tip of the iceberg, as everything is turned upside down. Barry needs to find out what is going on, and who caused this. He joins up with this alternate Batman and Cyborg to create a group of super beings to stop the new worlds destruction, and to get things back to the way they should be. I really enjoyed the film as it holds nothing back that was in the comics. Parts of it are very brutal, and it is one of the more adult of the DC animated features. I enjoyed that they tried to stick as much stuff in there as possible, but it’s also the one small issue with the film. Some of the stuff they could have cut, and it would not have been missed. Some other things would really have been great if more expanded upon, or added from the comics. However I really enjoyed it, and it put my fears to rest on using a work that is very recent. Stay tuned afterwards for a tease for the next animated film JL: War based on the first arc on the New 52 Justice League.

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.

6 Collected Editions Worthy Of Your Attention #26

Is there one book that is a “must have” 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.

Love And Rockets Companion 30 Years And Counting SC (Fantagraphics)
Love And Rockets Companion 30 Years And Counting SC (Fantagraphics)

Picked by @AndrewJTom
Love And Rockets Companion 30 Years And Counting SC (Fantagraphics), $29.99
There are several comic series over the years that I’ve been interested in trying out.  Friends of mine like Jeff Douglas and Bobgar Ornelas have always told me, “Dude, you’ve gotta’ read Love & Rockets.  You’ll love it!”. But, like any other long running independent series, Love & Rockets has always seemed a little bit impenetrable.  Regardless of the countless comments from those two guys of “You can jump in anywhere”, I’ve always been a little hesitant to jump in and read it, knowing what a rich world the Hernandez brothers have built with this series.  For guys like me that want to try L&R, yet are afraid of diving in, I’m recommending the new Love & Rockets 30 years Companion.  This book is treasure trove of DVD style bonus features that help to flesh out and understand the Love & Rockets universe.  It has interviews with the creators, a family tree of the characters, unpublished art, DVD covers, and all sorts of other goodies.  It’s a great introduction for the trepidations of Love & Rockets novice, or a great collection of bonus material for a hardcore L&R fan. If you have any interest at all in the work of these creators, this is a “must have” book for you.

Star Wars: Purge TP (Dark Horse)
Star Wars: Purge TP (Dark Horse)

Picked by @adambesenyodi
Star Wars: Purge TP (Dark Horse)
Star Wars: Purge (2005), Star Wars: Purge – Seconds To Die (2009), Star Wars: Purge – The Hidden Blade (2010) and Star Wars: Purge – The Tyrant’s Fist #1-2 (2012), $17.99
The Star Wars universe can be a bit overwhelming. As an Original Trilogy fan, I tend to be a bit discerning regarding what I consume from the expanded universe. Marvel’s original adaptations and ongoing series, Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn Trilogy, the Clone Wars TV show, Dark Horse’s Darth Vader and the Lost Command… those are the places I’m comfortable. Added to that list are the Purge books. Dark Horse produced three one-shots and a two-parter, all centered around Darth Vader hunting down the Jedi who escaped the original execution of Order 66. John Ostrander penned the first two issues back in 2005 and 2009 before handing the reigns to Haden Blackman in 2010 and Alexander Freed late last year. Set shortly after the events of Episode III and well before the rise of the rebellion, these are fun, easily digestible stories that will feel both new and familiar to old school Star Wars fans.

Absolute Blackest Night HC (DC Comics)
Absolute Blackest Night HC (DC Comics)

Picked by @CaptDS9E
Absolute Blackest Night HC (DC Comics)
Collects Blackest Night #0, Blackest Night #1-8, Untold Tales Of The Blackest Night #1, DC Universe #0, The Blackest Night Director’s Cut #1, and Green Lantern #43-48 and #50-52, 576 pages, $125.00
The reason I got back into reading comics was because of Geoff Johns Green Lantern /Peter Tomasi’s Green Lantern Corps runs. I had mentioned to a few friends, that I wanted to try out a few things, after being away from comics for 10+ years, So more then a few mentioned that I really should read the last 4+ years worth of issues as a big event called Blackest Night was coming. I caught up in a months time, and I am very glad I did. In the 4+ year build up to Blackest Night, we learned that there are more Color Spectrum powers out there then the just the Green we have known about. There are also Red, Blue, Indigo, Yellow, Orange and Star Saphire (Pink), each for a different emotion. Hal Jordan and the other Earthling Lanterns are told about a Blackest Night prophecy, that once new Corps for these color spectrum powers came to pass, there would be a War of Light that would destroy the Universe. We learn that it’s not one of these Corps that will make that happen, but another Corps called Black Lanterns, which are for the Death of all living things. The Black Lantern Corps members led by Nekron and Black Hand, are the dead risen back to life. As this army of risen dead spread across death across the universe The Seven Corps of the Emotional spectrum must put aside their differences and join together or all life will be lost. This series has a lot of twists are turns, as heroes thought dead return, a lot of Lantern characters we learned to like are no more, but for me it was a satisfying ending to a very long tale. The art by Ivan Reis is really fantastic, and I can not wait to see it in the Absolute format. If there is an event to be owned in this format, Blackest Night is one of them.

Mouse Guard, Volume 3: The Black Axe HC (Archaia Entertainment)
Mouse Guard, Volume 3: The Black Axe HC (Archaia Entertainment)

Picked by @ReverendLove
Mouse Guard, Volume 3: The Black Axe HC (Archaia Entertainment)
Collects Mouse Guard: Black Axe #1-6, a reprinting of the 2010 Free Comic Book Day story and Introduction by Monty Python’s Terry Jones, $24.95
The book I’m itching to read the most this week is the third collection of David Petersen’s “Mouse Guard” comics called “the Black Axe”. I was a big fan of “Mouse Guard” from the first issue in 2006 and have loved every new instalment of the book the Eisner winning Peterson has produced in the intervening years. It’s one of those comics like “Bone” that reaches a broad audience of all ages and yet is surprisingly well written. The art is quietly spectacular and the storytelling is second to none, with a fresh pace and thoughtful framing. I think the best way to describe “Mouse Guard” is that it’s like “Prince Valiant”…but for mice.
Squeak, squeak!

The Lone Ranger Behind The Mask HC (Insight Editions)
The Lone Ranger Behind The Mask HC (Insight Editions)

Picked by @ChrisCCL
The Lone Ranger Behind The Mask HC (Insight Editions), $45.00
So I took Patrick to see The Lone Ranger last week and I just can’t believe all the negativity it has received from critics! We both thought it was a fun, fast-paced summer movie! OK I do understand that Johnny Depp did his best not to make Jack Sparrow into an Indian, but he was a driving force as executive producer to bring this hero to the big screen. I remember when my dad brought me to see Legend Of The Lone Ranger back in 1981 – now that was a stinker. Even the old black and white TV show is campy. Let’s face it, it’s hard to compete with the more contemporary superhero movie heroes of today; Westerns are just so hard to make and market in 2013. Yes, True Grit did well and was acclaimed at the Oscars, but the even with the good films we also get Cowboys & Aliens and Jonah Hex – both comic books and both much, much worse then The Lone Ranger. OK all that said, I like coffee table books that give the definitive behind-the-scene look at a big blockbuster movie. It’s very much like DVD extras on paper. They can also be nice investments as they get under ordered and thus under printed and become rare gems on eBay. This particular Lone Ranger book was written by unit publicist Michael Singer with a foreword by producer Jerry Bruckheimer and an introduction by director Gore Verbinski.
Hi-Ho Silver!!!

and…

Back Issue 65 B Teams
Back Issue 65 B Teams

Back Issue Magazine #65 – features the Bronze Age’s battling “B-Teams”, TwoMorrows Publishing, $8.95
Want a quick and easy way to get ready for the upcoming Guardians Of The Galaxy movie or get ready for Marvel Comics next big event featuring the Inhumans? Then skip Wikipedia nd get some real sight form some of comics greatest creators with the latest installment of Back Issue! Other teams covered in this issue include: The Defenders, The Champions, Peter David’s X-Factor, Teen Titans West, Legion of Substitute Heroes, and Doom Patrol!

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.