Longtime listeners to this podcast will instantly recognize the name Hermes Press. For years this publisher has been synonymous with well crafted reprints of such comics strips like Lee Falk’s The Phantom and Ron Goulart’s Buck Roger’s In The 25th Century. They have also delved into comic book reprints that include a multitude of Gold Key titles including Dark Shadows, Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea and Land Of The Giants. Today I sit down with Publicity Director Alissa Fisher and Production Manager Troy Musguire to discuss process, marketing and all the new and exciting titles from Hermes Press.
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.
Picked by @AndrewJTom Hawkeye, Vol. 1: My Life as a Weapon (Marvel)
Those of you that read last week’s column know how much of an Ed Brubaker fan that I am. One of my favorite Ed Brubaker works is the brilliant and often under-appreciated “Immortal Iron Fist” from Marvel Comics. Iron Fist teamed Brubaker up with Matt Fraction (co-writer) and artist, David Aja. Together this team would produce a critically acclaimed series that redefined the character of Iron Fist and made him relevant for a modern audience. Enter 2012, and 2 thirds of the Iron Fist team has been reunited on Marvel’s Hawkeye (minus Brubaker). Critical reviews praising Fraction and Aja’s work on this title have been numerous and plentiful ever since it’s debut. Fraction crafts a story about Hawkeye’s life as Clint Barton, and not a swashbuckling super hero in a purple costume. Fraction portrays Hawkeye as a real person. He allows the reader insight into why this character is much more than he’s ever been portrayed in the pages of Avengers while over shadowed by Norse gods, living legends, and technological marvels. Never had I thought that I’d be buying a Hawkeye collected edition, but I’ll definitely be picking this one up. Collects Hawkeye (2012) #1-5 and Young Avengers Presents #6, $16.99
Picked by @adambesenyodi Star Wars The Clone Wars Defenders Of The Lost Temple TP (Dark Horse)
If there is one thing the Star Wars franchise did right, it was the Clone Wars TV show on Cartoon Network. We watched every season as a family in our house, and it’s because the show managed to pull off the one trick Episodes I through III were never able to do: Make me care about the prequel era characters. Dark Horse has done a nice job of translating the look and feel of the show over to these digest-sized trade paperbacks, and the kiddo has picked up most of them over the years. They are in-continuity with the series, which served double-duty by adding dimension to the characters on the show and adding weight to the stories in the books. With the news this week that the TV show has been, in effect, canceled, I have a feeling I might be pulling this one and others off the kiddo’s bookshelf a little more often to revisit this world. (Small world/full disclosure note: Writer Justin Aclin was one of the editors I worked with years ago when I freelanced for ToyFare magazine.) Set during season 4 of the animated series, $7.99
Picked by ChrisCampbell8 Chew Omnivore Edition HC Vol 3 (Image)
If your buying habits are anything like mine, you’ll find yourself double-dipping (or even triple-dipping) on certain titles. Maybe I couldn’t wait for the floppy, so I grabbed the digital copy while still in my pajamas on Wednesday morning (like with Batman Inc. issue 8). Or maybe I had some TPBs of Sandman and then the Absolutes descended on us without mercy for us or our wallets. Or maybe you’ve been reading Chew in single issues since the first issue, you’ve passes on the TPBs, but John Layman and Rob Guillory have made the wise decision to make available oversized hardcovers collecting 12 issues at a time. If you’ve ever spoken with me, you know this is my preferred purchasing path — single issues (digital or paper) followed by a 12-issue oversized hardcover. So this brings us to the 3rd volume of the Chew Omnivore Edition. Whether you’ve been reading this in single issues or not at all, fear not, this is a can’t-miss collection. This series keeps getting more and more absurd and hilarious, which is a great thing. And you also get the Secret Agent Poyo one-shot! Apologies for not spoiling any plot twists or developments in this collection, but you really have to experience the mega-arc of Major League Chew and Space Cakes for yourself. Tony and his twin sister Toni go to some strange places, and you should go with. Collects Chew #21-30 and Chew: Secret Agent Poyo, $34.99
Picked by @Dief88 Avengers Season One Premiere HC (Marvel), $24.99
Marvel’s “Season One” graphic novels may have seemed like a shameless rip-off of DC’s “Earth One” books when they were first announced, but they actually started fairly strong and have only come into their own even more since then. I’ve read several of them, and I haven’t been disappointed yet. (My favorite is still the first one, Fantastic Four: Season One.) Most of the Season One books have featured lesser known (but good!) creators so far, but Avengers has a bit more star power, with Peter David on writing duties and art by the wonderful Andrea Di Vito. Will it hold a candle to the revised Avengers origin stories told in the last few years by Joe Casey, Brian Bendis, and others? I’m not sure yet, but I’m definitely willing to give it a shot.
Picked by Shane Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 8 Library Edition Volume 4 HC (Dark Horse), $49.99
Although I’m both a comics fan and a SciFi/horror fan, they don’t always go hand in hand. I LOVE Star Wars, but really hadn’t collected the comics since the Marvel run when I was younger. Over the years, things changed, as did my consumption of stories from my favorite franchises. I now read a lot more of the Dark Horse Star Wars comics. Like Star Wars, I didn’t originally read Buffy comics. But that was mainly because I didn’t watch the show, so I had no interest in the comics. Now I was a rabid fan of Firefly by Joss Whedon and it showed me some of the greatness in his creations. A western in space was much more interesting to me then a teenage girl killing vampires. Buffy Season 8 came at a great time for me. A lot of people had raved about the greatness of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series, while I wrote it off as fluff for years. A friend of mine tired of hearing my excuses, bought me season one for a gift. So, knowing my friend’s tastes and my love of Whedon’s other creation, I sat down and gave it a try. While most fans will tell you season one isn’t the strongest, it does hook you in. So, I picked up season two, and thus started my LOVE for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I just kept getting the seasons one by one until I finished the series. The show is fantastic! This was a little before season 8 became available, so of course when it hit the stands, I jumped on it. Now I was a fan. More Buffy please!! What season 8 did was flesh out a much more elaborate universe. One that wasn’t that held captive by the budget of a television series. Things like a giant size Dawn (Buffy’s sister) and a tie-in to Whedon’s futuristic slayer tale, Fray (also a great read). It also took the action to a global scale, so it wasn’t just tied to Sunnydale. Most importantly, it had Whedon’s writing in the first story arc and his input throughout the series, so I trusted it would stay true to his vision. This series had some incredible imagery and fun storylines that continued and expanded the ongoing story of Buffy and her crew. This penultimate volume of the library series finishes the season 8 run with issues 31-40 as well as the Riley one shot. There are some good surprises in this finale that I don’t want to spoil so read it, because if you are a fan of Buffy, you are doing yourself a disservice not reading this fine run. And what better way to do so, then with these library editions? Beautiful oversize hardcovers loaded with content. This is the reason I’ve almost stopped getting monthlies altogether and just wait for the best possible package with which to purchase the material I want to own.
Picked by @ChrisCCL Mickey Spillane’s From the Files of Mike Hammer: The Complete Dailies and Sundays Volume 1 (Hermes Press)
Dad’s can teach you about many things: cars, girls, and how to throw a curve. My dad helped me in many aspects of life including the finer points of TV cops shows. Growing up I remember he watched them all including Barney Miller, Rockford Files, Streets Of San Francisco, and Mike Hammer – who was the toughest of them all. Stacey Keach played the hard-boiled detective starting in 1984 at the age of 43. I’m 42 and nowhere near the level of being a bad-ass like Keach was. The show was overseen by the creator of the character Mickey Spillane and that’s why it was so true to the pulp roots. Little did I know that there was a short lived comic strip of Mike Hammer until I saw the solicitation from Hermes Press a few months ago. The strip was done in collaboration with Joe Gill who was a long time Charlton Comics contributor with Steve Ditko. This book also has an introduction from noted mystery writer Max Allan Collins (Road to Perdition). I am all over this book and any fan of detective pulps, or even the TV Mike Hammer TV series should be too. Features Syndicate from 1953 to 1954, written by Spillane, Ed Robbins and Joe Gill, with art by Ed Robbins, $49.99
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.
Another full day at the Comic Con comes to a close and it was packed with cool, awesome and fantastic collected edition and reprint news!. Let’s recap: Fantagraphics
Well here’s some news we’ve been waiting for along time. Gary Goth announced that they will begin reprinting the classic EC comics. The first four, history laden, books will start to be released in 2012 and unlike the Gemstone Archives they will be black and white and more creator focused:
Corpse On The Imjin And Other Stories. This will reprint all of the Harvey Kurtzman written-and-drawn war stories from Two-Fisted Tales and Frontline Combat, as well as Kurtzman-written war work for EC “non-regulars” such as Gene Colan, Joe Kubert and Russ Heath.
Came The Dawn and Other Stories. This is a Wally Wood collection, but of his tightly-wound suspense stories rather than perhaps more traditionally lauded work.
Untitled Book Featuring Jack Davis’ Horror Stories. Another great artist and another perhaps unappreciated source of comics stories for that artist, this time all written by the great Al Feldstein.
Untitled Book Featuring Al Williamson’s Science Fiction Stories. This is exactly as it sounds, and promises 174 pages of material from Weird Fantasy and Weird Science.
Also announced by Groth and Fantagraphics is a 400-page collection of Bill Griffith’s work and a reprint of all of Jack Jackson’s work. The first volume will combine Los Tejanos with Lost Cause. That is scheduled for spring of next year. Lastly there will be a complete collection of Diane Noomin’s work.
You may have heard that The Strain from Guielmo del Toro with a script by David Lapham and art by Mike Huddleston will be three 8-issue chapters; all three will be collected as trades at a future date.
Howard Chaykin has announced a 6-issue prequel to Black Kiss, the 12-issue series originally published by Vortex Coimcs (1988). Look for a reissue of the original in 2012.
Editor-in-Chief Stephen Christy announced the upcoming Immortals: Gods and Heroes hardcover anthology. The title is a companion piece to the upcoming film Immortals film and wil be released in September. – Thanks to CBR
Coming in 2012 will be a reprint of the rarely seen Agent 13: The Midnight Avenger (1988), by Flint Dille, David Marconi, and Dan Spiegle, (based on the first two, of three novels, The Invisible Empire and The Serpentine Assassin). No word on if the second graphic novel, Agent 13: Acolytes of Darkness will be published, but if sales are good on the first one I bet it will be. – Thanks to Chris, Hermes Press Blog
Frank Miller’s Holy Terror isn’t the only project from Legendary Comics, Editor-in-Chief, Bob Schreck announced two more: a career retrospective on Paul Pope with an art book, PulpHope. It will feature more than 200 pages and include many never before seen pieces. It should be out 4Q 2011. Matt Wagner and Legendary’s Chairman and CEO Thomas Tull, have created the action/adventure The Tower Chronicles. – Thanks to CBR
This week on the podcast I sit down with comic book historian and writer, Chris Irving for a candid discussion about all things comics. From Marvel and DC reprint projects to digital comics and movies we even touch on current happenings. I’ve known Chris for a few years now but never had the chance to talk to him at length. He is a wonderful and very knowledgeable person and I am so glad he took the time out of his very busy schedule with Hermes Press and Graphic NYC to join me.
Sometimes when it rains it pours! Thhis week we’ve had a plethora of news come down from a number of companies. I covered a few items on my post this past Saturday, but since then and even through this morning more and more great collected editions have been announced: