Friday, November 1, 2013

Reprints You're Really Glad You Own

Doug:  If there's one thing we rely on in these parts, it's reprints of comics from days of yore.  You simply wouldn't have a Bronze Age Babies blog to hang out at if these hardcovers and trade paperbacks didn't exist.  Karen has said more than once that we truly are living in the golden age of comic book reprints, and she couldn't be more right.

Doug:  We talk about reprints often, I know -- most recently just a couple of weeks ago.  But I want to pin you down today and ask you to state publicly one book that you are just really happy to own.  Now we all know that our comic book loves are pretty fluid and what is number one now may not be so next month.  But for today at least, what's a reprint collection you own that is prized?

Doug:  For me, it's the very book that Karen and I will be working out of in the month of November -- Tales of Asgard by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.  We have the first two Mondays done and ready for your viewing, and as I was doing my part on the first one I was swept by a sense of warm satisfaction that Marvel had the care to put this fun little series between two covers and price it affordably.  Overall, the Big Two are doing a pretty nice job of rolling out their older material in one format or another.  But to have these supplemental stories of Thor and his mates separate from the Essentials was a stroke of genius.

Doug:  So let us hear what is on your warm fuzzy list today.  And yeah -- it might change tomorrow, but that's OK...

29 comments:

Edo Bosnar said...

Tough to narrow it down to just one, and I'm sure you're right that by tomorrow (heck, later this afternoon!) I may change my mind.
However, one book that just made me so happy once I bought it, and which I still prize above pretty much all others is the Black Panther Masterworks volume that collects the entirety of McGregor's run on Jungle Action. I just love those stories, and the book itself is put together beautifully. It's just something I'm happy to own.

Doug said...

Edo --

I also own that Panther Masterworks, and it's a treasure. To be honest, though, I've never read the much-praised "Panther's Rage" arc. I came to Jungle Action after that had concluded. McGregor's writing is solid, but so dense that it's sort of scared me off of trying to tackle that monster. But I know you and others regularly tout the merits of that long story. Some day...

Doug

themiddlespaces said...

Edo, Those original issues of Jungle Action are on my wish list, but out of my price range these days - maybe that Marvel Masterworks is the way to go. . . I'll check Amazon.

I actually don't own a lot of reprints except for some late Bronze Age (early Modern Age, I guess) collections of stuff now thought of as "graphic novels" - so Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns and From Hell, etc... (basically everything by Alan Moore). Oh, right - his Swamp Thing! Yeah, I love those. Those are my faves.

But my most recent purchase along those lines was the X-Men: Days of Future Past trade - I had not read those issues since they first came out and really held up and they were DEFINITELY out of my price range. Amazing what they could accomplish in a two-issue arc in the old days, these days Bendis would take 12-issues to do even that much and you'd still feel like nothing happened!

William said...

Wow! That's a though one. Over the years I have liquidated many of the individual issues in my collection and replaced them with collected works. So I have a LOT of trades and hardcovers. I have all the John Byrne X-Men, FF, Avengers, Captain America, Hulk, Alpha Flight, Superman, etc. in TPB/HC form. I also have all the Lee/Kirby FF, Lee/Ditko/Romita Spider-Man, Frank Miller Daredevil, etc. etc. You get the picture. So, as I said, it was incredibly tough to pick just one as my current favorite.

But, as soon as I read the question the first book that popped into my head was "Spider-Man: Marvel Team-Up" by Chris Claremont and John Byrne. Those are some of my all-time favorite comics, and I have very very fond memories of reading (and re-reading) them when I was a kid. So, when the collected volume finally came out, I couldn't wait to pick it up. It is one of the few titles that I own both the trade paperback and the individual comics as well. The only thing that keeps it from being the absolute perfect volume, is one important issue is missing - MTU #79 starring Spider-Man and Red Sonja. I'm not sure why it was omitted, but it probably has to do with publishing rights to Red Sonja. Aside from that, I love the book, and it is definitely worth picking up. If you are a fan of great classic Marvel comics it doesn't get any better, IMO.

Doug said...

Osvaldo, if there was a way to "like" or "favorite" your last comment, I would.

Doug

Doug said...

William --

Great choice. Another "win" from the Marvel marketing folks. Ditto to the Stern/Byrne Cap compilation we dug into a few weeks ago.

Doug

david_b said...

I'd love to pickup the Panther Masterworks, I only had one of the original issues as a kid and loved it for just how different it seemed to read than say ASM, Avengers, you name it. Very distinctive style.

As for fav reprints, I'm lovin' my hardcover Masterworks of several titles, but for fav reprints...? I'd go with the vintage reprint issues of Marvel Tales and MGC, and later the Marvel Double Action reprinting the old TOS stories.

Frankly, reading 'em as a kid next to the current titles was SUCH a treat, all year long. And heavens, I didn't even touch on the Treasury Editions...

themiddlespaces said...

Doug,

I feel like an old foggy yelling at kids to get out of my yard when I make those comments, but I feel them nonetheless.

It is not even like I think "decompression" (as they call it) is always bad, it is just like anything else, if that is all there is, it is bad. Comics need to have rhythm.

Doug said...

I'll add that while I don't have the same sort of warm fuzzy as I do with some of my paperbacks and hardcovers, I'm infinitely disappointed that Marvel didn't get all of their mainstay titles onto the dvd-roms. The ones that I do own (ASM, Avengers, FF, and Iron Man) are wonderful. I'm thankful to William for encouraging me to save them to an external harddrive, and I in turn have moved a lot of content onto my Kindle. Love it!

I'd also like to add that Karen may be a bit scarce around here in the next week. She and her husband are on vacation until next weekend (I think). Rest assured, however, that her presence will still be felt in our partner-reviews, as well as some posts she cooked up before leaving yesterday.

Doug

Greg said...

Great question. For me it would have to be the recent Avengers Bride of Ultron hardcover. That reprints both the classic Bride of Ultron and the Count Nefaria issues- those two stories are to me the absolute pinnacle of the Avengers.

A close second would have to go to Marvel Masterworks: Iron fist vol. 2.

Edo Bosnar said...

Osvaldo, it's interesting that the original single issues of Jungle Action are pricey now; back in about 1981, I bought the last 8 issues of the series - because the 3-part Panther story in Marvel Premiere piqued my interest in the original Klan story - for about $2.
Anyway, I definitely recommend the Masterworks book. Like I said, it's really beautifully done, with lovely reproductions, plus it has a foreword by McGregor, and an afterword by the (now, sadly late) Dwayne McDuffie. Also, it has some penciled pages from the never-done 25th issue by Rich Buckler. Besides Amazon, you might try checking Abebooks, and also eBay. Every now and then you can stumble onto relatively inexpensive new or like-new used copies (that's how I got mine).

themiddlespaces said...

Well, If I had a regular full-paying job I might not find them out of my price range - but right now ANYTHING is. . . But yeah, they are more than $2 for 8 issues!

Anonymous said...

I'd have to go with my Marvel Tales reprints from the early 80s of the Lee/Ditko-Lee/Romita Spidey issues (#1-50). I don't have all of them (yet!), but I have quite a few and they're what first introduced me to "classic" Spidey, even as I was reading the contemporary issues at the same time.

Mike W.

Graham said...

For Marvel, it would have to be the War and Remembrance collection that has been discussed here recently a lot. I had the original issues, but still remember it fondly, maybe because it didn't last very long.....I would have loved to have seen Stern and Byrne take things a little further.

On the DC side, I enjoyed a couple of sets....the Batman Strange Apparitions from Englehart and Rogers and the various Crisis on Multiple Earths collections....I was a big JLA/JSA fan.

Humanbelly said...

Giant-Size X-Men #2-- reprinting that unparalleled Thomas/Adams Sentinels arc. Heck, even that issue as a reprint is probably tough to find at this point.

The Marvel Treasury Edition that reprints RED NAILS-- boy, does that story look great on the bigger page!

The first Avengers volume of Marvel Masterworks.

The Omnibus(?) softcover editions of Death of Superman & Return of Superman. Got 'em beat-up from the library for, like, 50 cents. Holds up very well for a non-Superman reader.

Alan Moore's Swamp Thing, yes.

One of my least-favorite reprint forays was X-Men Classics, when they would insert new, "undisclosed" original material into the reprints of the Claremont/Byrne run. . . which was just hopelessly dumb, 'cuz NO ONE'S work was going to look good in that direct, side-by-side comparison. And yet I stuck w/ that book for a ridiculously long time. . . even though I had most of the original stories. . .

HB

jdh417 said...

Asgardian Wars, featuring my favorite comic book, New Mutants Special Edition #1, Home is where the heart is. The art is beautiful and the story is a huge amount of fun and pure imagination.

Anonymous said...

When I was a teenager I stumbled upon a used bookstore where someone had unloaded a pile of Marvel's Greatest Comics, Marvel Superheroes and Marvel Spectacular. It took a few months and a little hard-earned coin, but soon they ended up in my sweaty little hands. I was a happy lad.

Kid said...

Wow! You mean Karen is married to someone else? I couldn't have been paying attention - I though the pair of you were husband and wife.

Anyway, reprints I'm glad I own? Just about all of them, I'd say. From Masterworks to Omnibus editions, from Golden Book & Record Sets to Marvel Tales and Collectors' Item Classics - I wouldn't want to be without any of them.

However, those recent softcover Masterworks with the painted covers against black backgrounds are pretty nifty - and affordable.

Garett said...

In this last year, Kirby's become my favorite artist. I'm gobbling up his work! I picked up THOR Omnibus #2 just last month, which reprints #121-152, from '65-'68. I'd seen some of these in black and white, but wow it's way better in color! Also I enjoyed the letters pages, where the fans are debating the Tales of Asgard backup stories...should they continue, or should one Thor story fill the whole book? I'm glad they continued it, as it's great--nice to see it's all collected in that book you mentioned, Doug! I like how an Omnibus prints larger than a regular comic page--this one and the New Teen Titans by Perez benefit from the bigger size.

The other one I'm enjoying is CRIME in the "Simon and Kirby Library" series. Short stories from 1947-49, before the comics code cracked down. Not gruesome, but lots of gangster action, and sweet dames who get mixed up on the wrong side of the law! It took me a bit to get used to the rough inking style from that time- I assume by Simon- but once I did, the powerful Kirby action and storytelling shines through. Intro by Max Allan Collins.

Doug said...

Yep, Kid, you've been asleep at the wheel, dude! Karen and I are separated by half a country and have never even spoken on the phone -- we're a match made in technological heaven (or something like that).

Say, I was thinking that I'm also pretty happy to own the three Tarzan by Joe Kubert archives.

And on a wish list, which we've done before, I'd like to see Marvel's Planet of the Apes B&W series reprinted, as well as Marvel's Tarzan color series. Can't get enough of the Buscema boys!

Doug

William said...

Greg,

I have to agree that Avengers: Bride of Ultron is a totally awesome book. Definitely one of my favorites. In fact I had a tough time picking between that one and the Byrne/Claremont MTU book as to which was my #1. I also have to agree that it contains the best Avengers stories ever. At least as far as I'm concerned anyway.

Edo Bosnar said...

Nice to see someone (Graham) mention the War & Remembrance book; as I was thinking about this yesterday, I came to the conclusion that after that BP Masterworks I mentioned in my first comment, I have several "1a" books that I love almost as much: the aforementioned War & Remembrance, the trade collecting Goodwin/Simonson's Manhunter, and the paperback complete edition of Goulart and Kane's Starhawks paperback (despite it odd-sized and unwieldy format). I'm also happy that I was lucky enough to find all of those rather inexpensively...

Edo Bosnar said...

Oh yeah, Garret: interesting that it took you a while to get used to Simon's inking on Kirby's pencils. Over the years I've found that I like Kirby's art best when he collaborated with Joe Simon - with the possible exception of Sinnott, I consider him Kirby's best inker. That's why, if I can ever find them for the right price (i.e., cheap), I wouldn't mind getting all of those recent books that reprint their crime, SF, horror and romance stories from the '40s and '50s.

Rip Jagger said...

We live in the golden age of reprints, so there are a lot of gems to choose among.

But without doubt the reprint package I've gotten in recent years which has filled me with the most pure glee was the First Comics volume of Charlton's vintage E-Man comics by Nicola Cuti and Joe Staton. I never dreamed I'd have these fabulous tales in such a handsome, slick and easy to read package. It makes me happy, happy, happy.

Other reprints of note are Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibi (which I just picked up in paperback for the handiest of reading pleasure), the Captain Marvel (Marvel version) trade Masterworks volume along with two Essentials volumes of the Captain's wild times, and the current Jack Kirby and Joe Simon material from Titan Books which is large and beautiful and surprisingly light and easy to read.

I've been getting great old comics strips too, mostly not Bronze Age stuff like Prince Valiant, Popeye, Flash Gordon, and Phantom.

I feel like Richie Rich awash in so much plunder I don't know what to turn to next. Great times! New comics...Bah!

Rip Off

Humanbelly said...

Ooh, yes-- Rip does remind me that the careful and loving ongoing Prince Valiant reprint by Fantagraphic does indeed top my list. I have the first five volumes & the next couple are at the top of my Christmas list. They are simply extraordinary.

HB

Redartz said...

Marvel Masterworks volume reprinting Amazing Spider-man 11 - 20. Getting this book helped ease the pain when I sold the originals years ago. Lee and Ditko at their best!

A couple years ago, one of my sons gave me the Batman: Black and White tpb for Christmas. This was a very nice book and a chance to see some fine short stories by the likes of Brian Bolland , Walt Simonson and Bruce Timm...

Garett said...

Hey Edo, yes I like Simon's inking now. I'm looking forward to those other Simon + Kirby books too.

Ace Frehley Jr said...

Ive been enjoying The Forever People lately!

jim kosmicki said...

on my honeymoon in 1987, I stumbled upon 4 volumes of the Del Rey paperback reprints of Crockett Johnson's Barnaby comic strip. Those have been my most prized reprint acquisition ever since. I am SO happy that Fantagraphics finally got the rights and reproduction issues settled so that these strips are finally getting the hardcover treatment they deserve.

and I know you said only one, but I have similar feelings about King Aroo which was reprinted in an issue of NEMO way back when and is now coming out via IDW in hardcover volumes.

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