Arriving in bookstores today is The Simon & Kirby Library: Science Fiction, a 320-page collection from Titan Books that spans more than 20 years, beginning with the very first collaboration between Joe Simon and Jack Kirby.
Before they created Captain America, the legendary duo worked together on Simon’s Blue Bolt, a character whose origin, in the words of Don Markstein, “is even more excruciating than that of most superheroes”: College football star Fred Parrish is struck by lightning during practice, and then stumbles to an airplane to fly for help — only to be struck again by lightning. The plane crashes, depositing Parrish underground, conveniently where a scientist named Bertoff has established a laboratory. The danger-prone athlete is revived and treated with radium, which grants him with lightning powers. Oh, and he also gets a lightning gun. Hey, it was the 1940s.
This week, your favorite U.K. comic shops and online retailers should have received Everybody Loves Tank Girl, the latest volume in the ongoing saga of everyone’s favorite kangaroo-lovin’ chaos magnet (it will arrive in the United States next week). Since co-creator Alan Martin brought the character back in 2007, she’s been drawn by a succession of amazing artists: Ashley Wood, Rufus Dayglo and the elusive, legendary Mick McMahon. For this book, Martin has teamed with the great Jim Mahfood, marking the first time the U.K. comics icon has been drawn by an American.
Mahfood has made no secret of his love for Tank Girl, and he has clearly relished the opportunity to draw her and her extended cast of violence-loving misfits, producing some of the best work of his career. ROBOT 6 sat down with Martin to discuss this project and its unique origins, Tank Girl’s ongoing momentum, and the rumors that he is again working with the character’s co-creator Jamie Hewlett, still the only comic book artist in living memory to have ever quit the business to become a bona fide international pop star.
It’s time once again for our monthly trip through Previews looking for cool, new comics. As usual, we’re focusing on graphic novels, collected volumes, and first issues so that I don’t have to come up with a new way to say, “ Life with Archie is still awesome!” every month. And I’ll continue letting Tom and Carla do the heavy lifting in regards to DC and Marvel’s solicitations.
Also, please feel free to play along in the comments. Tell me what I missed that you’re looking forward to or – if you’re a comics creator – mention your own stuff.
Richie Rich Gems Winter Special - In addition to their modern-look Richie Rich, Ape has also re-introducied the classic version in both new and reprinted adventures. I missed the solicit for Richie Rich Gems #44 last month (which picked up where the Harvey series left off in 1982), but the series continues with not only the Winter Special, but #45 as well.
Dragons vs Dinosaurs - I haven’t had great luck with Arcana’s books in the past, but c’mon. The title alone…
Hero Happy Hour: On the Rocks - This, on the other hand, is no risk at all. I’m a big fan of Dan Taylor and Chris Fason’s superhero bar stories and this is an all-new, 80-page adventure. Not reprints; not even a printed version of the webcomic. It’s all-new and I need it.
The Dare Detectives: The Snow Pea Plot Collected Edition – Archaia prepares for their publishing Ben Caldwell’s Dare Detectives: The Kula Kola Caper by re-publishing the first story that was originally put out by Dark Horse.
Titan Books will publish The Complete Flash Gordon Library, a restored full-color hardcover series collecting every strip from the legendary sci-fi adventure comic. The first volume, On the Planet Mongo, will be released in March 2012.
Created by Alex Raymond, Flash Gordon debuted in January 1934, chronicling the adventures of the titular polo player and his companions Dale Arden and Dr. Hans Zarkov as they attempt to save Earth from Ming the Merciless, ruler of the planet Mongo. The strip ran in newspapers for seven decades, inspiring radio serials, movies, television series and comic books, and helping to inspire Star Wars.
The 192-page first volume, which retails for $39.95, includes a foreword by Alex Ross. Check out the official announcement after the break.
The new two-issue series, which kicks off in November, features the Undertaker and Rey Mysterio fighting zombies in Mexico. Like the previous miniseries, it’s written by Keith Champagne, who is joined by Tom Nguyen on art.
A short press release and the book’s second cover can be found after the jump.
Scooping his own company’s blog, DC Co-Publisher Jim Lee posted the final pencils for the cover of ICONS: The DC Comics and WildStorm Art of Jim Lee to his Twitter account last night. Trinity-tastic! Anyone else having a hard time getting used to Batman being in the forefront of the Batman-Superman-Wonder Woman pose-offs these days, though?
ICONS comes out this August from Titan Books. You can check out a less dark’n'dramatic rejected cover composition for the book at The Source.
UPDATE: The Source also has the final inks, if you like your Dark Knight extra dark.
According to the Jack Kirby Museum blog, Titan Books, publishers of the recent Best of Simon and Kirby, is going to be releasing a comprehensive, 480-page omnibus of every single superhero comic Jack Kirby and Joe Simon worked together on — that didn’t involve DC or Marvel properties of course.
The Simon and Kirby Superheroes will be released in summer 2010 in the special 11″ x 7-1/2″ oversized format, making it possible to reproduce the comic book pages in their original printed size. “Comics were larger in the Golden Age of the medium,” explained series editor Steve Saffel, “and we wanted to be able to give readers the full experience of these brilliant stories.” As with The Best of Simon and Kirby, the stories will be fully restored by Kirby historian Harry Mendryk, presented on quality matte stock paper in vivid color.
Included in the book will be such colorful characters as the Fighting American, Lancelot Strong, The Fly and the Stuntman, which, I’m sure, bears no relation to the Peter O’Toole movie.
Need more info? Titan has a special site already set up, where they hint at plans to release separate collections of the detective, horror and romance stories the celebrated duo worked down the road.
The San Diego Comic-Con is almost upon us … watch for a few more updates later today.
Wi-fi | I think I swore after last year’s con that I’d go see that Eagle Eye movie because they sponsored free wi-fi access at the con last year … pretty decent wi-fi, from what I remember. Never saw the movie, though; I think it’s been showing on HBO, so I’ll go set the TiVo once I’m done here. This year’s access is sponsored by iGoogle, which I won’t have a problem supporting; Google is where I keep all my internet stuff.
Booths | The con folks have posted an “Around the Booths” document that details what various exhibitors have going on on the floor of the show.
Creators | Man of Action Studios, the creative collective of Joe Casey, Joe Kelly, Duncan Rouleau, and Steven T. Seagle – creators of the Ben-10 franchise and the upcoming Generator Rex for Cartoon Network, as well as countless comic books, will return to booth 2007 at CCI. MOA will be stocked with all of the Ben 10 DVDS as well as a full selection of this year’s new Man Of Action Comics (published through Image). Series artists Marco Cinello (Soul Kiss), Max Fiumara (Four Eyes), as well as Rouleau (The Great Unknown) will be signing – check the booth for schedules. Kelly and Seagle appear Thursday at 4:30 on the panel: Workshop – Creating Creator Owned Comics The Image Comics Way (Room 7A/B). Casey will appear on the Marvel Comics : Dark Reign panel Saturday at 11:30 (Room 6A). Each Man of Action will be announcing a new series at the con and the company is actively seeking artists for a variety of new projects, so bring portfolios by for review.
Creators | Brian Wood posted his schedule for the con; as previously mentioned, he’s sharing a booth with Becky Cloonan, Jill Thompson, Cliff Chiang, Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá. He’ll also have patches, postcards, rarities and other stuff for sale.
Creators | Several creators have posted their booth, signing and/or panel schedules: Jamie S. Rich and Joëlle Jones, Rob Guillory and John Layman, Peter and Bobby Timony, Bryan Lee O’Malley, Dustin Nguyen, Francis Manapul, Cameron Stewart, Greg Rucka, Steve Lieber, Marc Bernardin Larry Marder and Paul Dini.