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Sneak peek at Weird Horrors & Daring Adventures: The Joe Kubert Archives


Fantagraphics has a first look at Weird Horrors & Daring Adventures: The Joe Kubert Archives Vol. 1, the upcoming 240-page hardcover collecting 33 of the late artist’s stories from the pre-Comics Code era — “they are more thrilling, violent and sexy (by contemporary standards) than much of his later, Code-constrained work” — with fantastic titles like “Bloody Yesterday,” “Marion Gilmore … Queen of the Waterfront Gangs” and “Death’s Pool!” It’s not all blood and violence, though, as the collection also features stories from Meet Miss Pepper and Abbott and Costello Comics.

The $39.99 book doesn’t ship for another couple of months, but Fantagraphics is offering a 22-page preview on its website.

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Gee, I hope Fantagraphics does a better job reprinting these Kubert stories than they’ve done with the Steve Ditko archives. At least two of those books have missing pages and the poor graphic design on Volume One’s Table of Contents make it impossible to read. The typeface on the TOC is so small and so dark that it merges with the dark background.)

Fantagraphics editor Kim Thompson said in an Amazon review thread for the Ditko archives that they would be correcting that volume in reprints and that the book’s editor was mortified that the mistakes had gotten past him. I’ll bet they are doing multiple passes from now on to catch those mistakes from happening.

Nope, not a single page out of order.

Funny story, though. In reviewing the material for this volume, we discovered that one of the stories had had two of its pages printed in reverse order in its original (and, up to now, only) publication. Which must have been really embarrassing back then, as it’s only a 4-pager. Being Fantagraphics, of course we had to have a discussion about whether to correct the error or stay true to the idea of re-presenting things the way they originally were and add a note up front explaining it.

So, I’m curious — what would you have done? And how would you justify your decision to the Jake Earlewines (discerning readers) of the world?

By the way, I think one thing the Kubert school teaches is to make sure the pages are clearly numbered when the job is turned in. This was an instance where Joe himself learned that lesson the hard way.

And it’s hard to see how the Table of Contents for this book could be made more legible. Check out the PDF linked to above to see for yourself. It’s as sharp as a laser in the printed book but still pretty good on screen, too. Anyone have trouble reading that?

— Mike Catron, Fantagraphics

The photograph above, by the way, is taken at an oblique angle that makes the book appear much slimmer that it really is. This is a thick, hefty book. (I thought the camera was supposed to make people and things look fatter, not skinnier!). Watch for a video to be posted later that shows the book from the side, so you can see for yourself what I mean.

– Mike Catron, Fantagraphics

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