Every Comic-Con, IDW sells lots of copies of their oversized “Artist’s Editions”. These massive tomes reprint comics stories of well-known comic book creators, photographing the original art of seminal stories and reprinting the stories at original art size (usually 11×17 inches, or larger). Here’s a photo for scale, of Walt Simonson signing a copy of the Eisner-Award winning book!
This year, IDW was offering convention exclusives of both Sergio Aragonés’ Groo the Wanderer and David Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil Born Again. Both sold out, and if history repeats, the regular editions will sell very briskly!
These are beautiful volumes, reprinting the black-and-white art in color (that is, a color photograph of the black-and-white art boards), and last years’ Walter Simonson’s Thor Artist’s Edition won the Eisner award for Best Archival Collection/Project – Comic Books last Friday!
IDW also uses Comic-Con to announce their next volumes in the series, and did so Friday. (Another reason why it’s not good for comics companies to announce news during Comic-Con… it gets buried under the Hollywood hype.)
The first volume, MARK SCHULTZ’S XENOZOIC TALES: ARTIST’S EDITION, is planned for a June 2013 release. It will total some 144 pages, and will definitely showcase Schultz’ amazing artwork! Younger Beat readers might remember the brief “Cadillacs and Dinosaurs” cartoon which aired on CBS in 1993, which was based on Xenozoic Tales, and which is available for download at Amazon. To quote the PR:
Schultz creates a story that is beautifully told and exquisitely illustrated. A student of classic comic strip and comic book artists, Schultz’s influences include Al Williamson, Wally Wood and others, but, like all great artist’s, evolved into his own, unique self.
Flesk Publications recently collected the series, and preview pages can be found at their website.
Collecting Kane’s work on The Amazing Spider-Man issues 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, and 121, these are some of the most memorable and important Spider-Man stories of the era. Included in this volume is the infamous LSD storyline that ran without the Comics Code Authority, the six-arm storyline that also introduced Morbius, the Living Vampire, and the classic of classics, “The Night Gwen Stacy Died.”
The 216-page tome will retail for $125, and arrive on sale on November 21st, 2012.
The MAD: ARTIST’S EDITION will be approximately 160 pages and measure 15” x 22”. The expected release date is in December. It will include a dozen of the earliest covers and a selection of some of the finest and most memorable stories, including classics such as “Batboy and Rubin” by Wally Wood and “Howdy Dooit” by Elder. In the Artist’s Edition style, these covers and stories will be reproduced as very few people have ever seen them before.
Keep in mind that these archival editions require a lot of detective work, as well as some restoration, and may be delayed. The Will Eisner Artist’s Edition, schedule for last March, has been postponed (there’s no listing in the IDW store). The Joe Kubert Tarzan of the Apes edition, announced last May, is scheduled for September, but it is not yet available for pre-order. Of course, these beautiful books are well worth the wait (and the cost)!
So, Beat readers, what artist would you love to see get the “Artist’s Edition” treatment? The easiest one I can think of would be Amazing Fantasy #15, as the complete comic book resides at the Library of Congress, and IDW has a working relationship with Marvel. I don’t believe Disney ever returned the original artwork from the Dell comics stories… what Barks masterpieces might be found in their archives? (And do they possess the artwork to Jack Kirby’s adaptation of “The Black Hole” Sunday comic strip?)