What To Buy At The 2011 SDCC / Comic-Con International For Myself...?
Why, The Jack Kirby Collector Magazine, Of Course!
As Sold At The TwoMorrows Booth!
Top Photo: John Morrow helping a customer at his TwoMorrows Booth at the 2011 Comic-Con International: San Diego, (aka SDCC).
Bottom Photo: Michael D Hamersky holding his yearly purchase of a handfull of 'The Jack Kirby Collector' published by TwoMorrows, (with John Morrow in the background, along with well known 'Jack Kirby Tribute' attendee, David Siegel, wearing a red shirt).
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TODAY'S FEATURE - Blog #3478:
I recently ran a series of blogs, (twelve in total!) about the then upcoming 2011 Comic-Con International: San Diego, aka the San Diego Comic Con, or SDCC for short.
Including what I considered to be the 'Hi-lites' of each day's programs / panels to attend for those going to attend the SDCC for the first time, (newbies!).
One of those panels was the annual Jack Kirby Tribute, moderated by Mark Evanier, who has hosted those each year since Jack's passing in 1994.
I also mentioned that I haven't missed a one, and that it is a 'must see' for me, period... I don't care what else is programmed up against it, and I have missed some real good programs because of this!
Well, the TwoMorrows co-owner, John Morrow, and some of his company's freelancers / staff usually attend this panel also, and then later report on it, after taping it, transcribing it, and then editing it. And that is quite a job in itself, as there is a lot of conversations going on during this usual one hour long panel!
At the same time of the panel, I make sure that I have either already purchased the issues of 'The Jack Kirby Collector' since the previous year's SDCC at the TwoMorrows booth downstairs in the exhibit hall, or I go immediately afterwards to pick the issues up before they sell out!
I used to have a subscription to this fine publication, when it was published in a smaller sized format, but found that my postmaster's staff had a bad habit of bending it to fit either my PO Box or the larger temporary holding box that it could be placed in. I treasured each of the issues too much to have my own personal copy be treated in such a way!
So each year I pick up all the oversized tabloid sized issues that have been published since the previous Comic-Con and immediately walk them out to my car in the underground parking structure, so as to keep them Near Mint for my own collection!
So what did I miss this past year by not buying them direct from John's company, or buying them from my LCBS? Here's a run down of the three issues printed since the 2010 SDCC:
Summer 2011 - 84 pages - Tabloid Format
JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR #57 (84 tabloid-size pages, $10.95) focuses on “Legendary Kirby”—spotlighting Jack's use of the stuff of legend in his work! From angels and devils to Demons and demi-gods, we'll examine how Kirby put his own spin on classic folklore to immortalize it in the comics realm. There's TONY ISABELLA on SATAN'S SIX (with Kirby's unseen layouts for the series), the Biblical inspirations behind DEVIL DINOSAUR, THOR as viewed through the eyes of mythologist JOSEPH CAMPBELL, and how the legendary JFK Conspiracy affected Jack! We’ll also present a complete Golden Age Kirby story, a rare Kirby interview, plus MARK EVANIER and our other regular columnists, pencil art galleries showing uninked pencils from ETERNALS, the DEMON, NEW GODS, THOR, and more! All behind two Kirby covers (Jack's original ATLAS presentation inked by D. BRUCE BERRY, and a breathtaking fully-painted DEMON back cover by GIORGIO COMOLO)! Edited by John Morrow.
'My Take' On Issue #57? This is the issue I chose to read first... Why? Well the earlier promo for this issue was that it was to be on the 'immortals' or 'gods' that Jack Kirby started and possibly didn't have a chance to finish writing about. I enjoyed reading several of these series or one-shots when they came out, and wanted to know more about them. I found the issue to be mostly satisifying, and enjoyed the 'takes' of the different authors who wrote the articles. There seemed to be a lot of full page artwork pages, which is why John went to the oversized tabloid format to begin with. Which is good if you are into the artwork of those titles. I'm more of a reader of the articles usually... My comic book grade for this issue: VERY FINE PLUS (VF+) 8.5 out of a possible 10.0 grading scale.
Spring 2011 - 84 pages - Tabloid Format
JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR #56 (84 tabloid-size pages, $10.95) focuses on “Unfinished Sagas”—series, stories, and arcs Jack never got to properly finish, and concepts that never got off the ground. From TRUE DIVORCE CASES and RAAM to KOBRA and DINGBATS, there’ll be gobs of unused art and text, including a complete story from SOUL LOVE! We’ll also present the rarely-seen 1946 Boy Explorers story “Trip to the Moon”, two Kirby Tribute Panels, interviews with MICHAEL NETZER and PAUL KUPPERBERG, KURT BUSIEK and ALEX ROSS on their new series Kirby: Genesis, plus MARK EVANIER and our other regular columnists, pencil art galleries, and more! All behind two Kirby covers (the "Galaxy Green" presentation, inked by MIKE ROYER, and the unseen cover for SOUL LOVE)! Edited by John Morrow.
My 'Take' on issue #56? Those who read this Blog on a regular basis will know that my favorite series that Jack worked on was the 'Fantastic Four'. When he left Marvel for DC I picked up his new series, but it just didn't have the same 'feel' for me. However, his efforts at DC were just about the only titles I picked up at the newstand to read for pleasure from that Company. So this area that issue #56 covered was one that I didn't know that much about, and in hindsight is of valuable knowledge that has been shared by the authors of the articles that are published in this issue. Good reading! My comic book grade for this issue: VERY FINE / NEAR MINT (VF/NM) 9.0 out of a possible 10.0 grading scale.
Fall 2010 - 84 pages - Tabloid Format
In JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR #55 (84 tabloid-size pages, $10.95), "Kirby Goes To Hollywood!" as we examine the King's forays in and out of Tinseltown! Inside you'll find: Sergio Aragonés and Mell Lazarus recall appearing with Kirby on an episode of Bob Newhart's BOB! television show! A comparison of three most recent STAR WARS films to Jack's "The Pact" and "Himon" Fourth World issues! The King's time at Ruby-Spears animation as a designer on Thundarr the Barbarian examined, plus an interview with Joe Ruby and Ken Spears! How Kirby inspired Hollywood productions from 1940s serials and cartoon shows, to TV series and big screen blockbusters—plus how Jack worked films and TV into his own comics stories! Heretofore unknown tidbits about Jack's encounters with Frank Zappa, Paul McCartney... and John Lennon?! All this, plus Mark Evanier's regular column, a Kirby pencil art gallery, a Golden Age Kirby story, and more, behind a color Kirby cover inked by PAUL SMITH! Edited by John Morrow.
My 'Take' on this issue? Contrary to what you may think... I'm not really that big of a fan of 'Wonder Woman' in the comics. Even though I have a special photo album of Wonder Woman cosplayers, with and without me, at my Facebook Fan Page... I've never found the title(s) to be worthy of collecting. Sure, some story arcs in the past were worth buying to read, but overall... I just never 'collected' Wonder Woman comics. So that is why I left this issue to be the last of the three I purchased at the 2011 Comic-Con to be read. However, just like on several comic book covers of the past... This cover didn't really show what the contents of this issue were about! The articles on 'Jack Goes to Hollywood' were great! The best issue for me of the three! My comic book grade, a NEAR MINT MINUS (NM-) 9.2 out of a 10.0 possible comic book grading scale. A more obvious 'theme related' cover would have been nice, as I didn't 'get' the connection of the cover to the issue's theme that easily, if at all...
So, that's another 'year' in publishing on the Jack Kirby Collector! You would think that after 57 total issues that there wouldn't be much more to publish in The Jack Kirby Collector, but you would be wrong! I'm personally looking forward to issue #58 which is to be:
(Jack Kirby Collector #58)
128 page tabloid-size Trade Paperback - Written by Mark Alexander
Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Fantastic Four #1 with this special squarebound edition (#58) of The Jack Kirby Collector, about the two pop-culture visionaries who created the Fantastic Four, and a decade in comics that was more tumultuous and awe-inspiring than any before or since. Calling on his years of research, plus new interviews conducted just for this book (with Stan Lee, Flo Steinberg, Mark Evanier, Joe Sinnott, and others), regular Jack Kirby Collector magazine contributor Mark Alexander traces both Lee and Kirby's history at Marvel Comics, and the remarkable series of events and career choices that led them to converge in 1961 to conceive the Fantastic Four. It also documents the evolution of the FF throughout the 1960s, with previously unknown details about Lee and Kirby's working relationship, and their eventual parting of ways in 1970. With a wealth of of historical information and amazing Kirby artwork, Stan Lee & Jack Kirby: THE WONDER YEARS beautifully examines the first decade of the FF, and the events that put into motion the 1960s era that came to be known as the Marvel Age of Comics!
My personal thanks to John Morrow who 'turned me on' to his publication, 'The Jack Kirby Collector' way back in 1994! I look forward each year to his coming out to San Diego for the Comic-Con International to set up his TwoMorrows booth, so I can buy the JKC & other single issues of his other magazines that I have previously blogged about here!
I would recommend those reading this blog post to follow what else TwoMorrows Publishing is doing by 'Liking' the Facebook Fan Page for the Company as seen here!
Current issues of the publications by TwoMorrows can be found there, and for back issue copies that are OOP (Out of Print), feel free to check out my own online comic book shop at ComicBooksCircus.com!
~Michael D Hamersky
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