Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Oh, Those Big Books Were Fun!

Doug: Today's discussion topic actually spins out of yesterday's comments on Fantastic Four Annual #14. As the BAB have spent the better part of the summer reminiscing about Giant-Size comics and the summer Annuals, maybe now is a good time to turn it over to you and let you bring forth your favorite books. And, let's not constrict it to just the Bronze Age -- if you have a fave book/story that was in the Silver Age, or if you want to head into the realm of the Treasury Editions (or DC's Limited Collector's Editions) and discuss a favorite tome, go right ahead. Make these discussions your own!

PS: The Mighty Thor arrives at the BAB tomorrow, kids!


Edo Bosnar said...

Interesting that you picture FF annual 6 here: my first exposure to Jack Kirby's art was in Giant-size FF 6, which contains a reprint of that annual. That issue was loaned to me by one my friends in second grade, together with Giant-size Iron Man 1, which is where I first encountered the art of Steve Ditko. Those two "big books" hold a lot of fond memories for me as a result.
My list of favorite annuals, etc. would be way too long, so I'll just mention another milestone, Amazing Spider-man annual 10, which was, I believe, the first annual I pulled off the spinner-rack myself. Loved that battle with the Fly, all drawn by Gil Kane!

Doug said...

The first "big book" that I recall owning was Giant-Size Avengers #5, which was a reprint of Avengers Annual #1. I loved that story! All of the (at the time) Avengers against all of their villains. I'd been following the early adventures of the team in Marvel Triple Action as well as a couple of low-grade originals that I'd somehow gotten my hands on. I loved that the tale was told in chapters, and showed great teamwork. The scene where Shellhead uses his repulsors to stop the descent of a huge Arabian sword is a memorable visual!


MaGnUs said...

My family lived in the US from 76 to 85; I was born in 1980 and I enjoyed looking at my older brothers' comic book collections. One of them was an avid collector (Daniel); the other just had a few books (Pablo). They're way older than I am, from '63 and '64 respectively.

They both sold their collections when we moved back to Uruguay. Pablo returned to live in the US very soon, within a year; while Daniel spent half of the year in the US, and half in Uruguay.

Daniel kept some of his books; most of them giant-sized editions, both from Marvel and DC. I used to read those as I started to learn to read, and ended up inheriting all of them.

For a while, however, Daniel kept all the books to himself, but always lended those to me. He did, however, have two copies of one of them, a Fantastic Four book (I need to check which, I couldn't find it among the Giant-Size Fantastic Four issues in comics.org)... and he gave one of them to ME!!!

Yes, it was the most battered copy of the two... but it was MINE. It was one of my most treasured possesions for a long time, and it still is an important part of my collection. It's one that includes a reprint of the first Baxter Building cutaway blueprints by Kirby. Now, the Fantastic Four are not among my own favorite books or characters; but they (and other characters like Spidey or the Ghost Rider; or The Flash and Batman over at DC) were part of my "comic book upbringing"; with authors and stories that weren't part of the normal fare for kids my age... they'd read books based on Super Friends or Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends; while I was exposed to authors like Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, the Buscemas, Romita Sr., Neil Adams, Norm Breyfogle, Carmine Infantino, etc.

These tabloid monsters are a major factor in my becoming an actual comic book fan and "connossieur"; not just a cassual reader; and eventually, a critic and writer.

Oh, and when I had my own bookcases made for my place, when I got married and moved out of my parents' house; I had the bottom and top shelves made larger than the others; the top for my RPG books, the botttom for my giant-sized comics.

Joseph said...

You've got some of my most beloved pictured there!

Growing up, I had Marvel Two-In-One Annual #2 and always wanted the first part of the story. As an adult, I was finally able to get Avengers Annual #7. Together, they are one of my all-time favorite Marvel stories.

Of course, if someone wanted to know about the character and soul of one Mr. Benjamin J Grimm, then Marvel Two In One Annual #7 is as good a story as you could find. As a lad, this really set him apart from other heroes for me. As an adult, I have never forgotten the story.

Anonymous said...

Those Englehart GS Avengers that link in to the main stories so well, esp. that big Kang arc.

Avengers Annual 7 & MTIO #2 are, as you say real classics, although Avengers Annual 10 is my favourite (the Claremont / Golden one with Spider Woman & Carol Danvers). Also, the Perez one with Doctor Spectrum.

Not sure which number it is, but the Miller Spidey Annual with Doc Strange ( Bend Sinister, that one).

Those Avengers / FF annuals that cross over (Skrulls, John Byrne art).

In terms of Treasuries, the 2nd Spidey one because it reprints that superb Gil Kane stuff, the first Conan one (Smith) but I have to say that, although I’m not a big fan of Thor, I enjoyed his treasuries the most, I think they chose the stories well....big, bold stories that gained from being in that format.
But, let’s face it, the greatest biggie of all time is Avengers #93. Kree /Skrull war, Adams & Palmer art, Roy Thomas writing, Hank Pym meets Raquel Welch....it had everything. Also, I’ve always credited Englehart with that long-time-coming revelation about the Vision’s body being the original Torch’s, but it wasn’t, was it? The first clue comes on Thomas’s watch, with Ant Man ‘s Fantastic Journey.


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