Tag Archives: golden age

6 Collected Editions Worthy Of Your Attention #4

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

Deva Zan HC
Deva Zan HC

Picked by @AndrewJTom
Deva Zan HC (Dark Horse), $49.99
“Hey Andy! Why should I drop $49.99 on a book & creator that I’ve never heard of?”
I know that’s what the majority of you are thinking right now, but let me give you the low-down on why this is a must have for your bookshelf. Yoshitaka Amano is more well-known than you realize. He’s the guy behind the amazing visuals for Vampire Hunter D and Final Fantasy. Amano even had a short stint with Neil Gaiman on Sandman several years ago. After 10 years worth of preparation, Deva Zan is ready for its world premiere from Dark Horse. Not only is he bringing the story to life visually… but for the first time, he is providing the words to go with his glorious paintings & sketches. Deva Zan is based on the legends of Asia. It has an amnesic samurai, gods, guardians, evil forces, and epic battles from the fields of ancient Japan to the streets of present day New York City.
Please understand that this is NOT your standard 300 page comic book. It’s more of an “illustrated novel”; but with over 200 illustrations by Amano, this is a book unlike any other on your shelf.

Star Wars Blood Ties TP Vol 2 Boba Fett Is Dead
Star Wars Blood Ties TP Vol 2 Boba Fett Is Dead

Picked by Shane
Star Wars: Blood Ties Volume 2 – Boba Fett Is Dead TP (Dark Horse)
Collects Star Wars: Blood Ties-Boba Fett Is Dead #1-4, $14.99
This one came as a surprise to me, since I only recently read and enjoyed the first volume. I have enjoyed many of the Dark Horse Star Wars comics I’ve read over the years, but I’m especially fond of any featuring Jango or Boba Fett. Boba Fett is a character I’ve loved since I first got my hands on the Kenner action figure in the late 70s as part of their free promo offer. I like the way he has been handled in books and especially in the comics. I highly recommend checking this out as well as other comics with the character. A great way to start is the Boba Fett Omnibus which features most of the early stories all in one collection.

Heavy Metal: The Movie Expanded Edition SC
Heavy Metal: The Movie Expanded Edition SC

Picked by @adambesenyodi
Heavy Metal The Movie Expanded Edition SC (Heavy Metal), $24.95
Theatrically released in 1981, it wasn’t until a few years later that I would finally see the movie Heavy Metal. Like most ’80s kids, it was an early high school sleepover at a friend’s house, and the movie was surreptitiously recorded off of HBO. After parents were tucked into bed, the tape came out, and malleable minds were blown. (The movie quickly entered into our trippy film rotation that included a taping of Forbidden Planet from a USA Network “Night Flight” airing.) The art, the violence, the nudity. The movie had it all! Then to learn this sprang from the fertile ground of a namesake magazine that packed more of the same… it was all too much! Cult status is probably no longer completely appropriate, but the up-side of wider exposure is treats like this expanded edition release of the movie’s original companion magazine. With behind-the-scenes and production-to-final animation, along with film illustrations based on stories from the likes of Mike Ploog and Bernie Wrightson, and the “Neverwhere Land” story cut from the original film, this looks to be a packed with plenty of Heavy Metal goodness.

Transformers Regeneration TP Vol 1
Transformers Regeneration TP Vol 1

Picked by @ChrisCampbell8
Transformers Regeneration Volume 1 TP (IDW), $19.99
After IDW successfully relaunched the iconic G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero series from Larry Hama, they decided to do the same thing with another 1980′s Marvel series – The Transformers. Back at the helm are fan-favorite creators Simon Furman and Andrew Wildman, along with original inker Stephen Baskerville. The artwork is definitely a throwback to the style of original series, which feels refreshing in this modern era of comics. Whether you were a fan of the fiction or the toy line, this volume represents a great opportunity to revisit your childhood. And if you’re looking for another take on the Autobots and Decepticons, also consider he wonderful Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye.

The Golden Age of DC Comics 1935-1956
The Golden Age of DC Comics 1935-1956

Picked by @ChrisCCL
Golden Age Of DC Comics 1935-1956 HC (Taschen), $59.99
In 2010 Taschen in conjunction with DC Comics and under the editorial direction of Paul Levitz published 75 Years Of DC Comics: The Art Of Modern Mythmaking. The mammoth sized book was 15.6 x 3.5 x 11.4 inches in size, topped out at 720 pages and cost $200. It covered the entire history of DC Comics and even was divided up into five chapters or five eras of comic book publishing. No Levitz has decided to publish each era in its own individual hardcovers that includes updated information and more artwork. Golden Age Of DC Comics is smaller in dimension size, but still manages to include 400 pages of material. If you missed out on the first BIG one volume edition, these smaller books should be more available and much more reader friendly.

and…

MAD: Artist's Edition
MAD: Artist’s Edition

MAD: Artist’s Edition HC (IDW)
Every issue of MAD from #1 to #18 is represented by either a cover or story (and often both!) and is scanned from the actual original art and printed same-size as drawn, $150
On the advent of the 60th Anniversary of MAD Magazine, comes the latest IDW Artist’s Edition. This behemoth measures a 15″x22″ and is one of the larger books of the series. Most of us grew up with the Alfred E. Neuman magazine, but for the first 24 issues it was a regular old comic book – but what a comic it was! Some of the greatest artists and writers ever to work in the industry worked on MAD from EC Comics; the same EC Comics that was responsible for Tales From The Crypt and Weird Science. We all know how well that ended, but MAD endured. Here with this book is a birds-eye-view in to the creative process of one of the greatest, culturally significant and longest running books ever.

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.

Sunday Review: Superman: The High-Flying History of America’s Most Enduring Hero

It’s said that you can read, study, and read some more and you’ll still never become an expert on any one subject. That’s because the world is ever changing. History gets a new perspective and new details are unearthed all the time. Also, the bigger the subject, the bigger the myth. There’s no bigger superhero then Superman and the stories that accompany his journey through time is just as big. In the new book Superman: The High-Flying History of America’s Most Enduring Hero, Larry Tye gives us everything we could want to in a very in-depth biography of the great fictional character. From his birth in the comics to radio, cartoons, afternoon serials, TV and movies and even the stage, it’s all covered in this book.

Anyone who knows Superman has seen him in his countless forms and portrayals. But what you may not know is the story of then men who created Superman: Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. It goes much deeper then the two boys collaborating in high school and trying year after year to get their hero published. Tye’s book is a decade by decade look at arguably the greatest fictional creation in history as well as a struggle for creator rights, fair pay and redemption. Sure the heartbreak of George Reeves, TV’s Superman, will get you chocked up but so will the legal hardships Siegel and Shuster had to endure year after long year. It’ll make you angry how little they got paid (or did they?). Perhaps they got the money they deserved and just spent and invested it unwisely. I found it interesting the more popular Superman got the more often Siegel and Shuster sued and sued for more money each time!

The saga of the a big screen movie Superman is equally intriguing. I knew that Paul Newman was a possibility to wear the cape but I didn’t know about Muhammad Ali! What a movie that would have made. As with the comic publishing, the egos out shined our hero, including writers, directors, producers and even Marlon Brando who, when it was all said and done, made over $1 million per minute of screen time – 19!!! Christopher Reeve was always the champ. He even stuck it out through Superman III with Richard Pryor and Superman IV: The Quest For Peace with Nuclear Man. After rereading about his life, accident and death, I truly miss my Superman.

At the core this book is about a father, Jerry Siegel and his son, Superman. The boy grew up quickly and didn’t always have his dad to watch his back. No, others who had their own plans did that. But now Superman is back on top and the right men are in charge. He’s stronger the ever. More popular then ever. And now we get the full rich history tell-all he deserves.

Superman: The High-Flying History of America’s Most Enduring Hero HC
By Larry Tye
432 pages, $27.00, 2012, Random House
A copy of this book was supplied to me by Random House

Recommended reading:
Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book HC by Gerard Jones

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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Sunday Review: The Great Comic Book Artists Volumes 1 and 2

Last Christmas I participated in the The Third Annual 11 O’Clock Comics/Marvel Noise Gift Exchange. It’s pretty simple and anyone can do it. The only “rules” are that you supply a gift to someone and someone else gives you a gift. There is no limit and from what I gathered everyone had a good time.

What I received was truly exceptional:

  • Speed Racer complete manga set
  • X-Men Files
  • The Wizard King by Wally Wood
  • some Looney Toon toys for the kids
  • and an original Batman sketch

(this is what I gave away to Travis aka Night Nurse)

Also included, to me, was a nice reference book that I had never heard of: The Great Comic Book Artists Volume 2 by Ron Goulart. I have, just this past week, tracked down Volume 1 on eBay and I can’t tell you what an indispensable pair of books they are.

I readily admit I had no idea who Goulart was but I found out he is a writer of many science fiction and fantasy novels. He was the ghost writer for William Shatner’s Tek War books and he even did some scripting at Marvel in the 1970’s and for you DC Archives collectors, Goulart did the introductions to Superman Volumes 2 and 7, Plastic Man Volume 2, and The Spirit Volume 5.

But here, we get the historian in him. The two volume set (by now there should be a volume 3 or 4!) is quick and concise 2 page spread of the artist and his black and white illustrated work. This includes a short, well written biography and background. I’d go so far to say that it’s a wikipedia before there was wikipedia. Don’t be fooled either, these are not just Goulart’s “favorite” artists – these are the best, from as far back as the 30’s and 40’s with Will Eisner and Mac Rayboy up until the 80’s with Frank Miller, Bill Sienkewicz and Howard Chaykin. Everyone is covered and you’d be hard pressed to list what “great artists” are missing – well, perhaps Gray Morrow.

If you are into history and reference like me, then you want these on you bookshelf. I can’t thank Thermite on the 11 O’Clock Comics Forums enough for giving me this book. I have no intention of ever giving away to anyone other then my children.

The Great Comic Book Heroes Volume 1
by Ron Goulart
Special Thanks to Jerry Bails, Mike Barson, Jerry DeFuccio, Don and Maggie Thompson, Bruce Hamilton (Another Rainbow), Russ Cochran and Steve Saffel (Marvel Comics)
128 pages, $12.95, 1986, St. Martins Press
Also includes a selected informal bibliography of all artists listed in the book

Artist profiles:
Neal Adams, Matt Baker, Carl Barks, Dan Berry, C.C. Beck, Charles Brio, Dick Briefer, John Buscema, John Byrne, George Carlson, Howard Chaykin, Gene Colon, Jack Cole, Reed Crandall, Jack Davis, Steve Ditko, Will Eisner, Lee Elias, George Evans, Bill Everett, Lou Fine, Frank Frazetta, Fred Guardineer, Paul Gustavson, Bob Kane, Gil Kane, Walt Kelly, Jack Kirby, Bernard Krigstein, Joe Kubert, Harvey Kurtzman, Joe Maneely, Jesse Marsh, Sheldon Mayer, Mort Meskin, Frank Miller, Bob Montana, Klaus Nordling, George Perez, Wendy Pini, Bob Powell, Mac Rayboy, Jerry Robinson, John Romita Sr. Alex Schomberg, John Severin, Joe Shuster, Bill Sienkewicz, Walt Simonson, John Stanley, James (Jim) Steranko, Frank Thorne, Alex Toth, George Tuska, Ed Wheelan, Barry Windsor-Smith, Basil Wolverton, Wally Wood, Bernie Wrightson

The Great Comic Book Heroes Volume 2
by Ron Goulart
Introduction by Ron Goulart
112 pages, $12.95, 1989, St. Martins Press

Artist profiles:
Arthur Adams, Murphy Anderson, Segio Aragones, Steve Bissette, Brian Bolland, Wayne Boring, Carl Burgos, Jack Burnley, Nick Cardy, Paul Chadwick, Johnny Craig, R. (Robert) Crumb, Bob Davis, Mort Drucker, Will Elder, Billy Ely, Ken Ernst, Creig Flessel, Gill Fox, Bob Fujitani, Joe Gallagher, Dave Gibbons, Jean Giraud (Moebius), Jerry Grandenetti, Mike Grell, Milt Gross, Chad Grothkopf, Irwin Hanson, Russ Heath, Graham Ingels, Al Jaffee, Mike Kaluta, Fred Kida, Bob Lubbers, Russ Manning, Norman Maurer, David Mazzuccehelli, Tarpe Mills, Ed Morre, Paul Murry, Bob Oksner, Carl Pfeufer, Fred Ray, Pierce G. Rice, Frank Robbins, Boody Rogers, Fred Schwab, Howard Sherman, Dan Spiegle, Dave Stevens, George Storm, Curt Swan, Frank Thomas, Jimmy Thompson, Ogden Whitney, Mary Wilshire

Recommended reading:
Star Hawks The Complete Series By Ron Goulart and Gil Kane (Hermes Press)

Sunday Review – The Thing: Liberty Legion

I’m glad that Captain America: The First Avenger spent so much time on the 1940s Cap rather then rehash the 1990 movie. In that bad version, you may recall that, about the first 45 minutes was devoted to the origin and then Steve Rogers was frozen in time only to be thawed out and resume his fight with the Red Skull in the present.

It’s important to remember that Cap was born out of necessity in the worst war of all time and into the greatest generation. Even though we are all familiar of Captain America thanks to The Avengers #4 (March 1964) and Tales of Suspense #58 (Oct. 1964), Marvel Comics is well aware that the importance of the character lies with his earliest adventures in Captain America Comics #1-75 and other Golden Age titles (All Winners Comics #1-19, Marvel Mystery Comics #80-84 and #86-92, USA Comics #6-17, and All Select Comics #1-10). Over the years Marvel has painstakingly republished the stories as part of their Masterworks line and even collected the short lived 1950′s Atlas Era revival. But the love of the Golden Age version has always been a favorite of Roy Thomas.

Thomas was a writer and editor-in-chief at Marvel and was looking for a new angle on classic stories. He came up with The Invaders. This was a 5 member team of Captain America, Bucky, Sub-Mariner, The Human Torch and Toro, all of whom did have adventures with one another in the 1940′s comics, but did not ever consolidate into a formal team. The Invaders #1 (1970) changed all that with the premise being untold tales of this retro fitted superteam. It worked so well that in just a few issues Thomas quickly expanded the lore by reintroducing more obscure golden age characters including Whizzer, Miss America, Blue Diamond, Jack Frost, The Patriot, Red Raven, and The Thin Man in the pages of Marvel Premiere. Under Bucky’s leadership they became known as The Liberty Legion and now the complete storyline has been collected in Marvel Premiere Classic – The Thing: Liberty Legion.

The plot is as simple as they come: Cap, Namor, Torch and Toro have somehow been captured and brainwashed by the Red Skull and it’s up to Bucky to rescue them before they and the Nazi’s destroy New York City and take over the world. Bucky realizes that he is a bit out of his league and must recruit the other heroes and form the Liberty Legion. With each appearance Thomas retells the origins and brings us up to speed. As with most reviews here on the CCL Blog, I avoid spoilers but I can tell you that the fight sequences and the interaction between characters are well done, especially when brainwashed Cap meets up with The Patriot and calls him a poor imitation. The Red Skull is in typical form, even when his master plan goes array he yells out, “Not Now! Not when I’ve come so close to total triumph”!

The 4 part crossover with The Invaders did so well, that the Liberty Legion would see three more comics, this time teaming up (of sorts) with The Thing and the rest of the Fantastic Four for a series of time traveling adventures. It should be stated that a few of the characters, The Patriot, Red Raven and The Whizzer were reintroduced into the Bronze Age before Marvel Premiere #29, but here Thomas sets it all straight in the Golden Age taking into account their individual appearances elsewhere.

As for the extras in this book there are none, but what is nice is the complete Liberty Legion story all in one book. Marvel’s Invaders Classic TPB collects the initial 4-issue cossover, but nothing else. Also reprinted are the end notes from the original issues. In them Thomas describes just who these forgotten characters are and when they first appeared. Without them, the reader (of yesterday or today) would be lost and wondering who these people are. Thanks to books like these and the Captain America movie, Golden Age Marvel is in style and will be for another great generation.

Marvel Premiere Classic – The Thing: Liberty Legion Variant (Volume 69)
Written by Roy Thomas
Art by John Buscema, Sal Buscema, Frank Robbins, Don Heck and others
168 pages, $24.99, Marvel Comics
Collects The Invaders #5-6, Marvel Premiere #29-39, Fantastic Four Annual #11, Marvel Two-In-One Annual #1 and Marvel Two-In-One #20

Recommended reading:
Marvel Masterworks Golden Age Daring Mystery Volume 2 – The Blue Diamond (introduced Daring Mystery Comics #7, April 1941)
Marvel Masterworks Golden Age USA Comics Volume 1 – Jack Frost (USA Comics #1, Aug. 1941)
No reprint of first appearance – Miss America (Marvel Mystery Comics #49, Nov. 1943)
Marvel Masterworks Golden Age Human Torch Volume 1 – The Patriot (Human Torch Comics #3, Spring 1941)
Golden Age of Marvel Volume 2 TPB – Red Raven (Red Raven Comics #1, Aug. 1940)
Marvel Masterworks Golden Age Mystic Comics Volume 1 – The Thin Man (Mystic Comics #4, July 1940)
Marvel Masterworks Golden Age USA Comics Volume 1 – The Whizzer (USA Comics #1, Aug. 1941)