by KC Carlson
THIS MONTH IN CLASSIC COMIC BOOK COLLECTIONS
Brothers of the Spear Archives Volume 3 (Dark Horse): Reprinting the final chapters of this years-long epic story by Russ Manning and Gaylord DuBois. The quest of blood brothers Dan-El and Natongo comes to an end, as the brothers of the spear fight alongside their brides and their armies to liberate Dan-El’s people from the usurper Nagopa once and for all! Collecting this classic back-up feature from Dell/Gold Key’s Tarzan #110-156, #160, #161, #202, and #203. Forward by Stephen R. Bissette. Plus, Volumes 1 and 2 are back in print! 264-page color hardcover.
Captain Midnight Volume 1 (Dark Horse): Classic tales from one of the greatest military superhero comics of the 1940s! This volume contains selected stories from the original series, featuring the adventures of the Captain and Sergeant Twilight by comic greats Jack Binder, Mac Raboy, Dan Gormley, and others. Features stories from The Funnies, Popular Comics, and Captain Midnight. Plus, Dark Hose promises new Captain Midnight stories in your future! 232-page color hardcover.
Crime Does Not Pay Archives Volume 6 (Dark Horse): Continuing this excellent Archive series, featuring the sensational crime stories of the 1940s. Collects issues #42-45 of this infamous series, featuring tommy-gun-toting toughs, scandalous stories, and criminal scum! All ripped from the headlines! (Which means those newspapers are no longer Mint.) 244-page color hardcover.
EC Archives: Tales From the Crypt Volume 4 (Dark Horse): Well, this is a pleasant surprise! Apparently, Dark Horse has won the rights to produce all-new editions of the EC Comics Archives, beginning with the classic Tales From the Crypt. They’re starting with Volume Four (issues #35-40) with outstanding work by artists Jack Davis, Joe Orlando, Jack Kamen, Graham Ingles, George Evans, Reed Crandall, Bill Elder, and Bernie Krigstein! All the stories have been digitally recolored, using Marie Severin’s amazing color guides. Plus, the volume includes all the original ads, text pieces, and letters. Forward by Russ Cochran, the legendary publisher of the original EC Archives (beginning in 1978). If you’ve only heard the rumors about the quality of these classic comic books (and the reprints), then you need to check out these volumes for yourself. Dark Horse indicates that new volumes for Two-Fisted Tales and Weird Fantasy are also in the works! Welcome back, EC Archives! 216-page color hardcover.
Essential Daredevil Volume 6 (Marvel): Another huge collection of Stories Without Fear, as Daredevil faces off against The Torpedo, The Jester, Bullseye, Mind-Wave, Blood Brothers, Gladiator, Beetle, Cobra, Mr. Hyde, Man-Bull, and Mr. Hyde. Creators include Marv Wolfman, Bill Mantlo, Jim Shooter, Chris Claremont, Archie Goodwin, Bob Brown, John & Sal Buscema, John Byrne, Gil Kane, and George Tuska. Guest-stars include Black Panther, Iron Man, Sub-Mariner, and the original Nova! Collects Daredevil 126-146 and Annual #4, Iron Man #88-89, and Ghost Rider #20. 480-page B&W softcover.
The Joker: The Clown Prince of Crime (DC Comics): Long before he was headlining multi-title crossovers, the Joker had his own comic book back in the 1970s. It only lasted nine issues, but it looked at the Clown Prince of Crime facing off against other heroes (The Creeper, Green Arrow, Black Canary, Sherlock Holmes) and villains (Lex Luthor, the Royal Flush Gang, Two-Face, Catwoman, Scarecrow, and others). All nine issues are collected here, including work by Denny O’Neil, Elliott S! Maggin, José Luis García-López, Irv Novick, and Dick Giordano. 176-page color softcover. Available in November.
Mad’s Greatest Artists: Dave Berg (Running Press): Dave Berg produced regular work for MAD Magazine for 46 years, until his death in 2002. Best known for his regular “The Lighter Side of…” features, Berg’s work was often more grounded and traditional that some of MAD’s Madder Artists. This new volume presents much of Berg’s best work, in chronological order and including Berg’s rough sketches. There’s also a rare 1970 interview, a “growing up with Dave Berg” essay by his daughter Nancy Berg, and new versions of Berg’s best strips illustrated by several noteworthy cartoonists. Introduction by illustrator Drew Friedman. 272-page color and B&W hardcover.
Marvel Firsts: The 1980s Volume 1 (Marvel): Marvel greatly expanded its line of fantastic heroes in the Eighties — and this is just Volume One of first appearances! Includes Hulk #21, Marvel Spotlight #9, Dazzler #1, parts of Ka-Zar the Savage #11, Marvel Super Hero Contest of Champions #1, Hercules #1, Wolverine #1, Vision and Scarlet Witch #1, Marvel Graphic Novel #4 (first New Mutants!), Saga of Crystar: Crystal Warrior #1, Alpha Flight #1, Hawkeye #1, Cloak and Dagger #1, Falcon #1, Magik #1, Jack of Hearts #1, and Power Pack #1. Includes the first appearances of Dominic Fortune and Captain Universe! 472-page color softcover.
Marvel Masterworks: Sub-Mariner Volume 5 (Marvel): Collects the great run by Roy Thomas and Sal Buscema from the early 70s, and features team-ups by Hercules and Captain Marvel as well as the Hulk and Silver Surfer as the Titans Three (soon to be the Defenders!). There are also epic battles with Attuma, Prince Byrrah, Triton, Stingray, and the deadly Llyra. And the long-awaited wedding of Namor and Lady Dorma! Don’t forget your hankies! Collects Sub-Mariner (1968) #25-38 and Ka-Zar #1. 288-page color hardcover.
Neil the Horse: The Complete Comics Stories (Hermes Press): Arn Saba (now Katherine Collins) put out this charming and innovative comic book in the 1980s, originally published by Aardvark-Vanaheim and Renegade Press. All fifteen issues will be collected here, reproduced from the original artwork, along with documentary material and an historical essay by Trina Robbins. The series is quite musical (all the characters frequently sing and dance) and sheet music for original songs frequently appeared. The motto for the series was “Making the World Safe for Musical Comedy”. Neil’s friends were Soapy the Cat, who acted as the manager of the group, who smokes cigars and drinks. Mam’selle Poupée, a hopelessly romantic living doll from France, looks like a Barbie mannequin. There is also a Signed Limited Edition of the book with 32 pages of extra material and a special tipped-in art plate. 320-page B&W hardcover.
Savage Sword of Conan Volume 15 (Dark Horse): Collecting Marvel’s Savage Sword of Conan #151-160, including work by Chuck Dixon, Gary Kwapisz, Ernie Chan, Andy Kubert, and a cover by Joe Jusko. Conan’s travels take him to the desert kingdom of Stygia, so you know what that means — sand in his loincloth! (I hate when that happens!) 544-page B&W softcover.
Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: “Christmas on Bear Mountain” (Fantagraphics) : The title story is, of course, one of the historically most important (and funniest) Duck stores that writer/artist Carl Barks ever produced, being the first appearance of Uncle Scrooge. You can bet that the regular group of Barks scholars and annotators will have much to say about this one! This volume also includes the also classic “Volcano Valley”, where the ducks get stuck in a south-of-the-border country inhabited by sombrero-wearing, siesta-addicted Volcanians. Plus, the much-discussed “Ghost of the Grotto”, where Barks shows off some incredible silhouette art, as well as the self-explanatory “Adventure Down Under” and seven ten-page stories! 240-page beautifully colored hardcover. ALSO: This volume is available with last year’s Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: A Christmas for Shacktown in a special Christmas-themed box set.
The DC Comics Guide to Creating Comics: Inside the Art of Visual Storytelling (Watson-Guptill): The newest entry in DC Comics’ acclaimed series of how-to books is written by Carl Potts (who, as a Marvel editor, either discovered or mentored artists that included Jim Lee, Whilce Portacio, and Mike Mignola). This book takes all the basics from previous books (writing, penciling, inking, coloring, and lettering) and puts them together to take full advantage of comics’ sequential visual storytelling possibilities. It presents key principles and techniques for crafting exciting, professional-quality comics, making this the most comprehensive book yet in the best-selling series. Forward by Jim Lee. 192-page color & B&W softcover.
BACK IN PRINT:
Signal to Noise (Dark Horse): Another original graphic novel by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean is back in print from Dark Horse. Originally serialized in The Face in 1989, expanded and revised into a graphic novel in 1992, and adapted for radio in 2000, Signal to Noise has never stopped evolving. The bonus material in this hardcover edition captures every leg of the journey, including three related short stories unseen in nearly two decades, an additional chapter created for the CD release of the radio drama, and a new introduction by Dave McKean, along with the original by Jonathan Carrol and the radio drama introduction by Neil Gaiman. 96-page color hardcover.
Walter Simonson’s The Mighty Thor: Artist Edition (Second Printing) (IDW): This volume quickly sold out, so IDW’s bringing it back again in November. It reprints Thor #337-340 and 360-362 — Walter’s first Thor story followed by one of his favorite story arcs. All of these pages were scanned from Walter’s original artwork to ensure the finest quality reproduction, presented at the size of the original art (12” x 17”). One of IDW’s best Artist’s Editions! Don’t miss it this time! 176 oversize pages, B&W hardcover.
MORE BIG BOOKS!
Grendel Omnibus Volume 4 (Dark Horse): Collecting War Child, Devil Quest, and Past Prime, three Grendel tales that form the apotheosis of Matt Wagner’s groundbreaking, centuries-spanning epic. Includes the Past Prime novel written by Greg Rucka and illustrated by Wagner. Featuring work by Wagner, Rucka, Patrick McEown, Monty Sheldon, Bernie Mireault, Kathryn Delaney, and a cover by Simon Bisley. 542-page color softcover.
Nexus Omnibus Volume 4 (Dark Horse) Collecting the thrilling conclusion to a pivotal chapter of the Nexus Saga, by Mike Baron, Steve Rude, Paul Smith, John Nyberg, Les Dorscheid, and others. Collects Nexus Vol. 2 #40-52 and The Next Nexus #1. 424-page color softcover.
KC CARLSON: “Teeny weeny magic beanie pointing towards the sky; give me muscle, power, strength – form a super guy!”
Well, at least that’s better than “Split!”