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.

The second volume to be announced is a collection of Gil Kane’s work for The Amazing Spider-Man.

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.

Even more interesting and intriguing is The MAD: ARTIST’S EDITION, collecting a variety of original artwork from the early days of MAD’s history, when it was a comic book!

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?)



  1. RED NAILS by BWS Last I saw, they were all complete in one collector’s possession but that was long ago.

    SWAMP THING by Wrightson

    MORT CINDER by A. Breccia

    MASTER OF KUNG FU by Paul Gulacy

    Michael Golden at Marvel Comics

  2. Thanks for the update on the Eisner edition. I had thought that one had fallen off the list and was forgotten.

    My list of books I’d like to see get the Artist’s Edition…..

    Brian Bolland’s Killing Joke
    Byrne’s Uncanny X-Men #137 (and maybe any other issues of the Dark Phoenix storyline)
    Paul Chadwick’s Concrete
    Dale Keown’s Hulk
    Gary Frank’s Hulk
    Alan Davis’ Excalibur
    Steve Rude’s Nexus
    George Perez’s Teen Titans (the obvious choice would be that Terra storyline but I prefer the earlier stories with Tanghal’s inking rather than Giordano’s).
    Kirby’s FF with Sinnott inks
    Any Michael Golden (Micronauts and that Star Wars story would probably be asking too much, right?)

    I had Xenozoic Tales on that list too but I can happily cross that one off. I’m hoping that it will be all later issues as Schultz really hit got better and better later in the run. This really should be a marvelous book and, I hope, will inspire future inkers as to what is possible. But please, IDW, if you do a con exclusive, let us know early enough. :)

  3. I got the Mazzucchelli Artist’s Edition, and glorious though it is (and believe me, it is), the price tag is high enough that I probably won’t buy any more unless I have some special emotional/nostalgic connection to the contents. On that note:

    Bill Sienkiewicz’s New Mutants run
    Art Adams’s Uncanny X-Men/New Mutants specials
    Wendy Pini’s ElfQuest

  4. If they let people vote on these I bet it’d start some punchin’ fights.

    I’d shell out for Man of Steel, anything Rude, anything Garcia-Lopez — would love to see a Schaffenberger Superman one.

    How about Mad Love filled out with other Timm stories and maybe the original character designs and stuff from the show?

  5. I second the call for Garcia-Lopez!! A Batman collection would be EPIC. I love Gil Kane, but would rather see some of his other work that he inked himself, like ‘The Ring’.

    I’d also like to see:
    -Ditko Spider-man
    -Kevin Maguire’s JLI
    -Dave Gibbon’s 80’s Green Lantern run (because it deserves more than a crummy paperback!).
    -Neil Adams Batman or GA/GL

  6. Dream projects aside, inclusion in this series seems to require that either (1) an artist kept his/her original art, (2) the publisher retained the original art, or (3) a single collector acquired the original art of complete stories.

    I wish I knew more about what material fits those criteria.

  7. Dave Sim/Gerhard Cerebus
    Jaime/Gilbert Hernandez L & R
    Charles Burns Black Hole
    Michael Zulli Sandman
    Hal Foster Tarzan and/or Prince Valiant
    Anything by Kirby and Ditko
    Chris Ware Acme Novelty Library
    Rob Liefeld X Force

  8. Bernie Krigstein at EC!

    Or–how about this–a LITTLE ANNIE FANNY Artist’s Edition that reproduces the colored layers that Kurtzman would prepare on vellum? THAT would be a monster of a book!

  9. I don’t think there would be any fist fights over these. Lots of great choices, especially the ones I didn’t think of. But the Liefeld one was to see if I was awake and paying attention this morning, right? :)

  10. More than anything I’d love to see them put out something by Alex Toth (maybe “Bravo for Adventure” or a collection of some of his DC work from the 1970s).

    Other than Toth:

    “Man of Steel” by John Byrne

    “The Next Nexus” by Steve Rude

  11. BTW, I have the Mazzucchelli edition and the Wally Wood edition and both books are unbelievably beautiful.

    And just so people know, the Wood book is really, really huge. Much bigger than I expected it to be. I know the publisher’s intention is to present the artwork at its original size, but the Wood book is so big that it is actually difficult to read. I’m probably in the minority, but I would not have minded if that book had been reduced a bit in size (to, say, the size of the Mazzucchelli book).

    That said, if you’re on the fence about any of these, I highly recommend taking the plunge and getting them. I’m still kicking myself for not getting the Dave Stevens edition when I had the chance.

  12. I can’t believe nobody mention first six legendary episodes of ” Monster of Frankenstein”, by also legendary Mike Ploog! Please Idw!

  13. “I’m still kicking myself for not getting the Dave Stevens edition when I had the chance.”

    IDW announced a second printing of the Dave Stevens book at SDCC. You still have a chance!

  14. @ Shark Jumper
    I was being serious about Liefeld.
    I know his work is polarizing among superhero fans, but he’s rather well regarded in “art comic” circles.
    I find his manic, adolescent, dynamic, frantic art style fascinating and unique.

  15. Miller and Mazzucchellis Batman Year one. 1/2 the book his original b/w art the other half with overlays on the painted art by his wife Richmond Lewis.

    Same thing for Miller’s Ronin. LIne art one side acetate overlays on Lynn Varley’s color the other half.

    Kriby on FF

    Dikto on Spidey

    just off the top of my head that is what i would want!

  16. Ernie Colon’s run on Amyethyst. I know we’re about to get a b&w reprint, but his work on it was just so amazing.

  17. I’d love to see a Paul Smith X-Men book, or maybe Art Adam’s Longshot. I’m sure those pages are spread wide though.

    A Travis Charest collection would be a thing of beauty, maybe his Wildcats stuff.

    It’d be nice if they could do a redux version for individual comics, too. I’d love to see the likes of Kevin Nowlan’s Outsiders Annual, or Mike Golden’s GI Joe Annual, or Frank Teran’s 2 issues of the Punisher. Possibly that’s only me though…

  18. I know that it’s going to be virtually impossible to do while the stolen pages remain stolen, but Bissette & Totleben’s Swamp Thing. And I do mean the entire Moore/Bissette/Totleben/Veitch run from #20 through #64.

    Also, I know it gets the red-headed step-child treatment from Swamp Thing fans, but I liked the Pasko/Yeates run that preceded Moore. Liked it a *lot.* If you add the obviously classic Wein/Wrightson run to that list, then frankly, I think a multi-volume Artists’ Edition of Swamp Thing from his first appearance in House of Mystery through the entire first series and all the way up to Alan Moore’s last issue, plus the DC Comics Presents issue tie-in wouldn’t be out of line. Totally insane, but not out of line.

  19. MIKE GOLDEN – Avengers Annual #10…X-Men Annual Marvel Fanfare #1,2 & 47…Doctor Strange #55…some of The ‘Nam

    NICK CARDY – mix of some Aquaman, Teen Titans, Bat Lash and Brave & Bold

  20. JOHN BUSCEMA – Silver Surfer

    GENE COLAN – Howard The Duck

    JACK COLE – Plastic Man


  21. Oh yeah, a Kevin Nowlan one is required. An Adam Hughes Ghost one would be neat, fill it out with other stuff, I doubt folks’ll complain.

  22. Great updates, thanks! I can see that this could become VERY expensive and am becoming VERY selective. The Mad and Spidy issues will be “must haves”. How about some indies, like Ghost World by Clowes?

  23. Swan and Anderson on the Superman “Kryptonite Nevermore” arc. Neal Adams pencil and wash art from Creepy and Eerie. Barry Windsor Smith in Savage Tales.

  24. “I was being serious about Liefeld.
    I know his work is polarizing among superhero fans, but he’s rather well regarded in “art comic” circles.
    I find his manic, adolescent, dynamic, frantic art style fascinating and unique.”

    Then I apologize for the snark. Certainly, not every edition is going to appeal to all people and he does have his fans who do enjoy his art. And I can’t fault a guy for making art and getting paid for it or anyone that enjoys art. That is always a good thing.

    Maybe such an edition might win me over on his art? However, coming from an art background and knowing other artists, I haven’t come across the “well regarded” part. We tend to see the errors in the work. Unless you mean on the original art collecting side? I can see that, I suppose.

  25. I’m just happy that almost everyone of these things announced so far is something I’m not remotely tempted to purchase.
    What is most odd to me is how many feature work which isn’t inked by the same person doing the penciling.
    In that the focus of these volumes is on the artwork and the quality of reproduction, it would seem to me the best bets would be work where the artist inks his own work, and employs a “labor of love” ink finish to the pencils.
    Things which would interest me would be a collection of Frazetta’s work, The BWS RED NAILS, a complete Mike Kaluta SPAWN OF FRANKENSTEIN, SHADOW, or CARSON OF VENUS, certainly Ditko’s Warren stories if they could be found.
    I’m almost glad nothing I really want has been mentioned, because I could hardly afford them.

  26. Some of the above named books may have already been reprinted from the original art. Weren’t the EC and Barks library series in the 80s shot from the original art?

    How many, if any, of these books from IDW have been in color? How about some painted books like LITTLE ANNIE FANNY and MOONSHADOW?

    Sienkiewicz New Mutants hell yeah

  27. Another thing which seems odd to me (not to say some other person), is how many of these books look more like prestige format presentations of
    well known comic book stories. Take for example the announced SPIDER-MAN book. While I like Kane well he rarely inked his own work, and even when he did he did not produce the kind of lush finish which begs every nuance be savored. And that run of SPIDER-MAN (if I remember) was inked by several different people, and much of the artwork was either heavily retouched or completely redrawn by John Romita. So it’s really a SPIDER-MAN book.

  28. I keep asking (politely) that Dark Horse collect Concrete into a hardcover series. They published “The Complete Concrete”, which collects the initial series; and “Concrete: Complete Short Stories” which collected all of the short stories from Dark Horse Presents. I believe both were treasury size.

    “Think Like A Mountain” really deserved a hardcover edition.

    Since they’ve done Sin City and Hellboy libraries, it would be quite simple to publish a Concrete library as well.

    (And while they’re doing hardcovers, how about a Little Annie Fanny hardcover omnibus?)

  29. @Don Moroney–I agree! Krigstein definitely did enough EC work to fill one, and that would be the most fantastic book out there. From “Catacombs” to “Monotony” to “Flying Machine” and of course “Master Race”–Krigstein’s work was so exciting, I’d give my right arm for that book.

  30. I would like to see a Best of EC volume, collecting stories like Krigstein’s “Master Race”, Frazetta’s “Squeeze Play”, anything by Al Williamson, a Wally Wood story they may have found after the separate artist edition came out, an Ingels horror story, and a Kurtzman war story. I think the cost of putting out separate editions for each EC artist would be prohibitive (& too costly for people like me to buy).
    Regarding Barks, my understanding is that most of his artwork was destroyed & film negatives were used for reprints.
    And let me add my vote for “Red Nails.”

  31. Regarding a Carl barks Artists Edition:

    Unfortunately neither Disney or the artists got the art in return after stats were made. They were trashed at Western Publishing.
    Of the more than 6000 pages of Barks Disney art only around 200 pages have survived. Most of them are from the 60’s and were given to Barks as a retirement gift. Today these pages are scattered all over the world. I think that the Scrooge story Heritage auctioned off a while ago was the last story to be split up.

    But Disney do hold a lot of newspaper comic art from 1953 and onwards. (The earlier stuff was trashed in 1955.) Maybe something could be done out of that?


  32. Since I posted my previous comments, I finally obtained my first volume in the series (Wally Wood). After looking at it, I do have some additional thoughts.
    I am sympathetic to the earlier comment that the book is so huge that it is difficult to read. I pulled out a copy of Russ Cochran’s EC Portfolio #3 which reprints “Mars in Heaven” at roughly the same size as the other artist’s editions (“11 x16”). While the comparison is not the same in all respects (Cochran did not do full color scans), I cannot see any loss in detail.
    I would prefer to see the Spirit volume (a must buy for me) done a smaller size from a readability standpoint, particularly if it meant they could include more stories. However, I think IDW is committed to doing the
    stories at full size. And it’s a decision I can respect.
    Regarding the discussion of “Red Nails”, no one has mentioned how to fill out the rest of the volume as the story is 58 pages. Obviously, if IDW could find enough additional BWS Conan stories, that would be great. If not, I would suggest they include a couple of Kull stories if available. In particular, one of the tales done by the Severins and “The Skull of Silence” by Wrightson would be worthy choices.

  33. I cannot share the opinion of earlier comments on the size of artist’s editions. I think the whole point of IDW AE is to be able to see the art as it was originally produced by the artist (exact size and perfect reproduction reveiling clues on the process of creation of every piece). That experience is priceless to any aspiring comic book artist or conoisseur. I don’t think this books are meant to be read as much as to be behold and admired. They are not named ‘reader’s edition’s but’ ART editions’.
    By the way, though I respect every comment put here, I cannot think of any other word than HERESY after reading some comments asking for a reduced version of The Spirit AE. Those of you who have been lucky enough to have seen a Spirit original might know what I mean.

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