Sunday, January 13, 2013

Discuss: Whatever the 1st Commenter Says We Should Discuss!

While Karen and Doug are on vacation in January, our readers have been entrusted with carrying on the daily conversations.  Today's Discuss is a do-it-yourselfer.  As we've done in the past, the first commenter gets to pick today's topic of conversation.

Generally speaking, the Discuss category is for narrow topics.  For example, in the past we've started conversations on topics such as the Sub-Mariner, Animal House, and the Captain America television movies.

Thanks for holding it down for us!


Tony said...

What is your favorite Treasury sized comic? Superman vs Spiderman? Superman vs. Muhammed Ali? Let's hear about it

William said...

I've never really thought about it, but I guess I'd have to go with the original Superman vs. Spider-Man. I still own two copies of that book. As I recall it was a really big deal at the time. Nothing like it had ever been done before and it was very exciting to see the "Big Two's" big two go head to head.

humanbelly said...

I don't have many of them-- but of the ones I've read, I'd say the two that benefit the most from the larger format are a) The Spider-man treasury edition that reprints Spidey Annual #1 (Sinister Six), for the full-page, single-panel fight scenes alone. Even though I wasn't a huge Ditko-appreciator as a youngster, I was still blown away by the tremendous effort and obvious joy that Ditko took in drawing it. And then b) the treasury that reprints Barry Smith's RED NAILS Conan stories. Again, bigger is definitely better for such an amazing visual presentation (man, that "gibbering" creature near the end. . . brrrrrrr!!). Happily, I do own both of these Treasuries.


Edo Bosnar said...

Man, I wanted that Superman vs. Spider-man book so bad when I was a kid, but never got it.
Anyway, I went to just to make sure I was remembering the rather small number of the various Marvel and DC treasury comics I had (a whopping total of 8!). Back then I loved them all because they were such a treat - each time I got one it was like a special event - but I think my favorite was Captain America's Bicentennial Battles. I remember reading that one several times over back then. Also, unlike most other treasury editions, it featured all new material, and to this day I think it's absolutely the best work I've ever seen Kirby do on any Captain America story.

Anonymous said...

Well I'd have to say the first Spider-Man #1 Treasury edition as well as #5 featuring the Hulk - both of which incidentally I picked up a few years ago at my local comic book store. Spidey's cover had seen better days but I had to have it!

- Mike 'Marvel really needs to revive Treasury editions!' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Dougie said...

I've been blogging about the Treasuries and the Tabloids of late. My favourites are probably the first Holiday Grab Bag and the second Conan Treasury for sentimental and nostalgic reasons.

The biggest disappointment was probably the Legion Wedding Tabloid which I finally read, after decades of longing, a few years ago. The script is fairly lacklustre.

I'd like to have seen Dracula and Red Sonja Treasuries way back when. I think the Steranko Cap/Madame Hydra issues and the Adams X-Men/ Sauron strips would have looked good in that format. Kamandi, also.

William Preston said...

#1, Spidey, and #8, the holiday issue. Great great stuff. The Spider-man one was a revelation to me. I loved the giant format for that artwork, and that cover was a favorite.

Graham said...

The first three or four (Spidey, FF, Thor, and Conan) were all eye-openers to me because they basically served as my introduction to Marvel's universe. I always wanted to join, but didn't have all the background info on each series and was tentative about jumping in. Those and the Holiday issue with the first Thing/Hulk battle and the aforementioned Spidey/Sinister Six were my favorites.

On the DC side, I liked the Batman with the Neal Adams cover and the one with the Aparo cover, the Superman issue with the painted cover, and the two Tarzan editions that reprinted ERB's first two books. I have to admit that the Marvel editions were much better to me.

The Superman/Spider-Man was a big deal here, too. A lot of folks who usually didn't read them were reading the first one. I never saw the Superman/Ali one, but I bet the Rope-A-Dope was ineffective.

Garett said...

Batman vs. The Hulk is my favorite. Art by Garcia Lopez, inks by Giordano, story by Wein. Many memorable scenes, including where Joker gets unlimited power and lets his imagination run wild, reshaping reality.

Great cover, and I like how they included the various rough versions, changing the poses, etc for maximum effect.

I also like Kubert's Tarzan books in Treasury size. Dougie's idea of Adams X-Men in large format would be great as well. An oversize Perez Teen Titans would look great, with all the tiny details he draws. Has Perez ever have a Treasury-sized book?

Redartz said...

The Holiday Grab Bag treasury was a lot of fun, and Superman vs. Spider-Man was a blockbuster. My personal favorite was the first Spider-Man treasury, with it's striking red Romita cover. It came out shortly after I started collecting, and gave me a great intro to the array of artists featured on the book. Plus, it had a Daily Bugle page, which actually had a cover date matching the day I first bought it! I thought at the time, that was incredibly cool...

Doug said...

I have about a dozen treasury-sized books from the Bronze Age. However, one of my favorites went missing -- I enjoyed the Superman vs. Wonder Woman tale, set in WWII. I am excited to see that it is included in the forthcoming Garcia-Lopez Superman hardcover. I'll get that book just to again have that treasury story.

As we've discussed these sort of books a few times here on the BAB, I've really begun to look around on eBay to see how affordable they are. Surprisingly, any issue, Marvel or DC, can be had for around $10 max. That makes me want to start filling in some holes.

I think my favorite is one I never even owned: the Avengers. Reading the then-current mag in the #120's onward, and the Marvel Triple Action reprints of the Kooky Quartet era, seeing that treasury at the supermarket was really my entry point to the Thomas/Buscema years. To this day I wish I'd have gotten it that day (Mom said "no"). Of the ones I do have, I think the first Legion treasury with the 2-part Mordru story is the best. Again, it was an entry point to the Curt Swan years, and the pre-Cockrum costumes. I just loved the 1950's-era Smallville scenes. Dougie's comments on the script of the second Legion tabloid makes me want to go pull that off the shelf! I've not read it since I bought it.

Others that have been mentioned that I have downstairs are the first Spidey one and Cap's Bicentennial Battles. I also enjoyed the Marvel's Greatest Super-hero Team-Ups (which were all battles, and included the incredibly awesome Sub-Mariner #8) and the Thor 4-parter with Ulik and the Mangog. I have the Adams Batman book, as well as a couple of Conans -- I don't have the ones with the Song of Red Sonja or Red Nails, but would like to acquire them. I have the FF one that reprints the Galactus/Gabriel/Surfer 4-parter -- great cover!

Great conversation, everyone -- who didn't love these big books as kids?


Garett said...

Thanks for the heads up about the Garcia Lopez Superman book, Doug! I saw a Gil Kane Superman book just came out this week.

Doug said...

You're welcome, Garett!

I also have the Superman/Spider-Man treasury (we reviewed it some time ago -- you can access it off the sidebar), but have never read any of the subsequent Marvel/DC crossovers that occurred in the treasuries.

Someday we'll have to review the very fun Batman/Captain America prestige-format story around here!


Tony said...

I ended up having 10 DC and 6 Marvel books. I just recently picked up the first Tarzan book, which I have to admit, Joe Kubert's artwork is stunning in a large format.It's hard to pick a favorite from DC. I had all the Superman vs, the Legion wedding of Lightning Lad and the first Secret Origins Villians, and the first movie Special. It's a toss up between vs The Flash, Muhammad Ali, and the movie Special. But the Supes/Wonder Woman book was pretty good too. And the Supes/Shazam book. Hmmm..this is harder than I thought. For Marvel, I think my favorite was either The Defenders or Treasury #19 featuring Conan. Of course I also had the two Star Wars books, which hold a special place by themselves. I still have a few kicking around.

Doug said...

Speaking of large-size books, Tarzan, etc...

Are you all aware of IDW's "Artist's Series"? Their Tarzan book is quite tantalizing -- check it out.


Fred W. Hill said...

I'll go with the Howard the Duck Treasury edition, in which Howie meets the Defenders. Also included are his first two solo stories, from the back of issues 4 & 5 of Giant-Size Man-Thing! Fun stuff, even if I didn't notice the unintended sexual joke in that title until decades later.
Otherwise, I'd go with the two Thor editions, the first featuring his epic battle with Hercules, then his rescue of Hercules from Hades; the 2nd his first and best confrontation with Mangog. Another good one in my collection was the first FF, featuring their initial encounter with Galactus. Yeah, a lot of stuff was cut out, but the main story is all there, with huge Kirby art.

david_b said...

I'd definitely go with the Spidey Treasury ish 1, for all the reasons listed. In fact, I slightly disappointed in the Marvel ones that followed. The 1st Spiderman Treasury had such a fantastic and memorable front and back covers; the others covers that followed didn't seem as majestic or original.

I liked the FF one with the original Big G trilogy and the Defenders one with Howard as well.

lefty891 said...

I'm not sure whether it would be the Supes/Spidey one, or the DC Tarzan. I have to say that Kubert's art on Tarzan still stuns me after all these decades, though I didn't appreciate it nearly as much when I was 12.

Rip Jagger said...

Hard to choose.

Spidey versus Superman was a blockbuster!

The Golden Age reprints from DC were awesome at the time they first came out.

Conan the Barbarian really shines in this format.

Superman versus Muhammed Ali is amazing.

Captain America's Bicentennial Battles might well win the contest, so rich with Kirby goodness it truly is.

But my vote ultimately might be for a comic I don't actually have. Gold Key's King Kong adaptation is in tabloid format apparently. I'd love to get hold of one. That would be the greatest and most suitable use of the format that I can think of.

Rip Off

Anonymous said...

Hi Edo – completely agree about Cap’s B. Battles. I loved that. It was so un-super-hero like. Later I assumed Kirby pinched the basic story from one of the 50’s or 60’s TTA, TOS, ST, JIM type comics and adapted it so that he learns lessons specifically about America’s past so that it suited Cap and the Bicentennial. But at the time I just loved it. I ordered it in the mail (something I could ill afford to do) and kept it in the envelope it came in for years.

Dougie – funny you reference Adams Xmen. I loved GS Xmen 2 (reprinting the Sentinels story) when I was little and I remember thinking how great that would have been as a Treasury.

I agree about Conan – esp. the Smith one. That beautifully detailed art that really lends itself to being blown up. And, of course, you get the naughty version of the Song of Red Sonja. By Crom.

I really wanted the Doc Strange one, and only acquired it a few years ago. The story choices were a disappointment. I’d have gone for a single Arc like Silver Dagger or similar. But the Brunner cover is wonderful.

I liked the 18th one with Spidey for 2 reasons. I liked the Band on the Run cover, which seemed very cheeky to me at the time, and also because it printed a story with the four piece Xmen from their lost years. Very exciting to have an Xmen update in those days.

Ultimately, I line up with Fred. Those two Thor were practically designed, both by their length and the scale of the story telling, splash pages, etc, to be done in the Treasury format. They were Treasuries waiting to happen.

I notice that we reference reprints in TPB’s in several places, but we fail to make the obvious connection: the Treasuries WERE the TPB’s of their day. They were the dry-run.


Edo Bosnar said...

Richard, your comment about keeping that book in the envelope brought a smile to my face. The first two treasury-sized books I had were from DC - the second origins of super-villains book and the Batman one that had Gotham City and the bat signal in the background on the cover - which my mom let me order (i.e., gave me the money) in the mail. I was so excited when that big cardboard envelope came, and kept those two books in it for the longest time...
You're also right about treasuries being the TPBs of their day, although I think the actual dry-run for today's ubiquitous reprint collections were those digests that DC especially began publishing from the late 1970s onward.

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