Marvel Comics would probably prefer that their origins go unremembered, but comics historians Blake Bell and Dr. Michael J. Vassallo are here to rain on that parade with their new book The Secret History of Marvel Comics, which traces Marvel's roots in the sordid, exploitative pulp publishing empire of Martin Goodman. You'll also be treated to a bounty of rare, never-before-reprinted artwork by such comics legends as Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, Alex Schomburg, Bill Everett, Al Jaffee, and Dan DeCarlo, plus top-tier pulp artists, including Norman Saunders, John Walter Scott, Hans Wesso, and L.F. Bjorklund.
This essential exposé on early comics history is due in late October/early November; we'll have more sneak peeks for you as always, and you can pre-order your copy right here.
Ditkophiles rejoice! A fourth heaping helping of Steve Ditko's classic suspense and horror work from the 1950s is on its way to give you the creeps right around Halloween. Impossible Tales collects another 200-plus pages of tales from This Magazine Is Haunted, Tales of the Mysterious Traveler, Mysteries of Unexplored Worlds, Out of This World, Strange Suspense Stories and more, impeccably compiled by Ditko doyen Blake Bell and given our painstaking restoration treatment. Ditko's mastery of the comics page is in full effect here, with a real burst of creativity and innovation that marks this work as one of his peaks. Pre-order your copy here and stand by for more sneak peeks!
Amazing Man! Skyrocket Steele! Hydroman! They're back from the very earilest days of the Golden Age of Comics in this beautiful collection from one of America's most dynamic, exuberant, and versatile comic book artists — the legendary Bill Everett, creator of Sub-Mariner and co-creator of Daredevil!
PLUS: An essential look at Everett's work in other genres, including his not-to-be-missed horror shockers!
Look inside — and marvel at over 200 pages of Bill Everett comics, covers, and artwork painstakingly restored in full color and unseen since their original publication.
"Everett's vivid, varied work ... emanated from a man who was a lot like his most famous creations: a destructive antihero, always a little angry at the puny humans around him." – The A.V. Club
"Heroic Tales is a wonderful anthology of material from several different eras of Everett's career. After an insightful introduction, editor Blake Bell presents 150 or so pages of comics... Bill Everett was a tremendous and thoroughly unique talent in comics art. Heroic Tales reminds us that Everett's career was long, but his talent was obvious. ...[T]his is a delightful book." – Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin
"These publications rode the superhero wave initiated by the companies that would later become DC and Marvel, and while they didn’t withstand the test of time, they’re still a kick to read, buoyed by their no-nonsense action plots and by Everett’s propensity for drawing narrow figures poised to commit acts of violence." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club
"What’s exciting for me about this book is watching Everett develop as an artist and storyteller and figure out the medium in relatively rapid fashion.... What you see here are the glimmers of an artist struggling to comprehend the potential of this relatively new medium [and] how he can push it to match his own interests." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6
The 1939 creation of the Sub-Mariner for the first issue of Marvel Comics assures Bill Everett a place in history. Co-creating Daredevil, the Man Without Fear, for Marvel Comics in 1964 gave Everett a link to one of the most popular superheroes of the past 50 years. And producing over 400 additional pages of superhero-related work in the very early days of the Golden Age of Comics (1938-42) makes Bill Everett a legend.
Heroic Comics: The Bill Everett Archives Vol. 2 collects over 200 pages of never-before-reprinted work from such titles as Amazing Mystery Funnies (1938), Amazing-Man Comics (1939), Target Comics (1940), Heroic Comics (1940), and Blue Bolt Comics (1940). These titles feature an endless array of vintage Everett characters such Amazing-Man, Hydroman, Skyrocket Steele, The Chameleon and many more, all produced by Everett’s shop Funnies, Inc. for such clients as Centaur, Novelty Press, and Eastern Color. This book also features, reprinted for the first time, the rarest of Everett material, his romance work from the early 1950s for Eastern Color on titles such as New Heroic Comics (1950/51) and Personal Love (1953). All of the stories within display Everett’s brilliant cartooning and energetic storytelling growing by leaps and bounds.
Edited by best-selling author and comic-book historian Blake Bell (Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko), The Bill Everett Archives is a stunning companion to Bell’s 2010 critically acclaimed Everett biography and art book, Fire and Water: Bill Everett, The Sub-Mariner and the Birth of Marvel Comics. This volume follows the format of Bell’s Steve Ditko Archives series; never-before-reprinted, beautifully restored, full-color stories from one of comic books’ greatest visionaries and most accomplished artists. This book also includes an introduction about the man, his art, the history of the era, and his relationship with Marvel Comics.
Editor Blake Bell has collected more rousing vintage stories from one of the all-time greats, who already set himself apart with this early Golden Age work: Bill Everett, creator of the Sub-Mariner and co-creator of Daredevil! In Heroic Tales: The Bill Everett Archives Vol. 2, you'll thrill to the exploits of Amazing Man, Skyrocket Steele and Hydroman; gasp at Everett's chilling horror shockers; and delight at his rare humor and romance work! All with Bell's insightful introductory essays.
We've excerpted 3 full Skyrocket Steele stories, along with the Table of Contents and more, for you to read and download. The book will be out next month; pre-order here, and take advantage of our discounted gift set with Vols. 1 and 2 here!
• Richmond, VA: Don't miss this! Dash Shaw brings his animation and comic slideshow presentation to Velocity Comics tonight -- his talks are always compelling and fascinating, so get there on time! (more info)
Host Danny Fingeroth will interview the authors about the making of the book. After the slideshow presentation, there will be an audience Q&A, followed by a book signing session for all three men. This book isn't slated to be in stores until November, so now's your chance to scoop up an early edition!
Tickets are $15 non-members, $10 members, $7 students/seniors, and are available online here. (Pre-order the book through us, and pay only $7 admission!) The Society of Illustrators is located at 128 East 63rd Street.
We're kinda busy. All of these books are slated to come out in a 4- to 6-week period from August to mid-September! (Plus a few others we've already shown you.) We're going to take the less-is-more, show-don't-tell approach with this update; each photo links to the product details page where you can learn more and pre-order each title. And of course we'll have more pretty preview pics coming soon. Get your wallets ready!
The tallest seedlings of Online Commentaries & Diversions:
• Review:ForeWord looks at Dash Shaw's New School. "Like its predecessors, New School is unlike everything else out there.…It’s a startling, yet aptly mundane vision of one man’s future, made all the more believable by Shaw’s expressive, cartoony drawings and generally solid scripting…ultimately, it’s an entertaining and thoughtful graphic novel," writes Bill Baker.
• Review:Paraphilia Magazine covers the two Malcolm McNeill books about his collaborations with William S. Burroughs. "Observed While Falling is an invaluable addition to the library of any Burroughs fan…Having shed light on a previously dark corner of the Burroughs legacy, will hopefully provide vital research material for critical analysis of this gravely neglected work produced during a largely overlooked period in his career," writes Edward S. Robinson. The Lost Art of Ah Pook enchants, "Mc Neill’s images – they’re more than mere illustrations – are rich, complex, and often very strange indeed. Disturbed and disturbing…Mc Neill’s large-form images are remarkable works of art…throughout the quality of Mc Neill’s draftsmanship is of a rare standard."
• Review:Comics Worth Reading recommends Pogo Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 by Walt Kelly. "These upscale volumes collecting the classic Pogo comic strip are archival quality, beautifully reproduced and a pleasure to look upon…Pogo is well-loved for a reason. The strips are beautifully drawn and keenly observent of human nature."
• Interview (audio):Janet Hamlin is interviewed by Anna Maria Tremonti on CBC Radio show, The Current, about working on Sketching Guantanamo and being at the courtroom trials. "What I'm working on that day is determined by whatever activity is in court…"
• Review (audio): Brian Heater is a guest on Bullseye with Jesse Thorn and brings up Peter Bagge's Other Stuff. Heater gabs, "…the iconic underground cartoonist of the 90s, anything depicted a slacker or the grunge era was probably by Bagge. Other Stuff has an overly cartoony look that is nicely juxtaposed by true-to-life stories…"
• Interview (video):Ed Piskor is interviewed by Jared Gardner during his Columbus Museum of Art Residency and speaks on his life through comics and Hip Hop Family Tree. "I grew up in just a hip hop environment, my house was the nucleus between three parks in town you could go to any given one and see some hip hop going on, rudimentary stuff …a few slabs of linoleum and a boombox," answered Piskor.
• Review:ConSequential reviewed The Hypo by Noah Van Sciver recently. "Van Sciver’s depiction is sufficiently sympathetic as to make the reader really root for him as he struggles against rival suitors, Mary’s family and his own anxious temperament. …the fact that it’s endearing, engaging and an all-round good read should make it your kind of thing as well," writes Lucy Boyes.
• Plug:Our Man in Boston profiles David Wojnarowicz and 7 Miles a Second. "Artists James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook vividly depict David Wojnarowicz’s life and struggles in a much improved edition…" says Robert Birnbaum.
• Review:Grovel reads Beta Testing the Apocalypse by Tom Kaczynski. "Anyone that likes the exploration of ideas, particularly the relationship between humanity, geography, architecture and technology, might get a kick out of reading something different, especially presented in such an unusual form," writes Andy Shaw.
•Review:MetroPulse checks out the EC Library Comics from Wallace Wood and Harvey Kurtzman. "EC had no fear of getting political, long before comics 'grew up.'…Fantagraphics’ EC Comics Library is a must-own for anyone who considers themselves a serious comics fan."Corpse on the Imjin! is "Thoroughly researched and meticulously detailed, Kurtzman’s stories are grim stuff in an era when most Americans believed their country could do no wrong… Grade-school boys reading these dark tales at the time must have had their minds completely blown." Meanwhile, Wally Wood's Came the Dawn! "The tales here are mostly crowd-pleasers with the sort of twist endings that would later become a Twilight Zone trademark."
• Review:Everything is an Afterthought by Kevin Avery is examined in Caught by the River. Andy Childs says, "it becomes apparent that when the history of rock’n'roll is ever written as it should be then he, Nelson, will take his place as a pivotal and hugely influential figure…Kevin Avery does a masterly job in re-constructing Paul Nelson’s reputation and after the enthusiastic critique in the first half of the book the examples of his work in the second half do not disappoint at all."
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