Topic: Comic Books - New
TODAY'S FEATURE IS BLOG #3682 - I make it a practice of stopping in at the TwoMorrows booth each year during the Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC).
Why? Well, ever since John Morrow, publisher of this fine magazine, increased the size to over-sized format, I had to stop my subscription to it because of damage in transit to my USPS PO Box. So I make it a yearly habit to buy the previous issues each year at the Comic-Con, as seen in the above photo!
So what did I miss out on this past year since the last Comic-Con?
Well, only issue #58 was printed... So I picked it up on the Preview Night of the Comic-Con, and read it while I was standing / sitting in lines for panels during the next four days, (plus this week!).
What's this special double sized issue (book) all about? Here's the publisher's story on it:
"160-page 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, at regular magazine-size, 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 completed this book just prior to his recent passing, and it 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, Lee & 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!"
So, I was pleasantly pleased with this double sized issue that I picked up on Preview Night at the Comic-Con. As it was a softcover TPB, it would fit nicely in my pack that I carry around during comic conventions. Plus this was a subject that was dear to me... The Wonder Years from 1961 - 1970 of Stan Lee & Jack Kirby.
First, there was an introduction page by the publisher, John Morrow, stating that the writer of this double issue, Mark Alexander, had died before the double issue (book) was published. I was sad to hear that...
Then there was the Foreword / Fourword by Mark Alexander, where he explained his mission with this double issue. Plus what the heck the 'At A Glance' sections were all about. Those sections would cover the Fantastic Four issues #1 - 102 that Stan & Jack created. In addition, those sections were broken up into time periods.
Next there was a little bit of background on Atlas Comics (the Pre-Marvel Comics name), of the company that Martin Goodman owned and ran. This was the chapter titled 'The Knockoff Champion'. Most of this I already knew, from other books I've read in the past, but it was a good refresher, and would be doubly good for a new reader.
The next chapter was 'Winds of Change: The 1950s', a continuation of the background history.
Then 'The Days of Dr. Droom', (Droom, Not Doom!), which was a feature pre-Fantastic Four. Good little history of this feature...!
Next was 'Genesis', the start of where the Fantastic Four came from, and what led to it being formatted for publication.
Then followed 'The Early Years' with its three 'At A Glance' sections.
Then 'Momentus' with its three 'At A Glance' sections.
Followed by 'Apothesis' along with its three 'At A Glance' sections.
And then... Finally... 'Decline' with its three 'At A Glance' sections!
Very finely tuned for a presentation!
I did find that I didn't agree with all of the choices that Mark made in the 'At A Glance' sections, but found his reasoning to be based on good facts.
The writing was not 'dry' in presentation, and I found that although I read the book in pieces during sitting in lines for panels, that the writing was not 'choppy', and made sense.
This is a really good overall book, and I'm glad that John Morrow downsized the Jack Kirby Collector to a book size for this double issue!
My comic book grade for this book / double issue is a Near Mint (NM) 9.4 out of a possible 10.0 comic book grading scale!
Here is where you can order your copy now, direct from the publisher!
Oh, and issue #59 was sold on Friday of the Comic-Con, as John received a shipment of them while at the convention. More on that issue in a following blog!
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Note: My online 'Loca8' Comic Book Shop (LCBS), carries many different genres of comics, magazines, graphic novels, and comic con promotional items. Possibly even copies of the item(s) that was mentioned here today...! If I have it, you'll find under the BIG TOP of Comics, at Comic Books Circus.com, including the book 'Gotham City 14 Miles' that I am shown holding to the left. I'm 1 of 14 essayists in that book! !
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