If you’re like some of the ComicsAlliance staff, you have a great affection for deluxe edition books that offer historical overviews of various pop culture topics, reprint the great works of the comics medium, and/or collect classic storylines (and supplement them with all kinds of bonus material)… And with the gift-giving season now in full swing, you're likely looking for the perfect gifts for your follow geeks (or possibly, wanting to give your relations some suggestions for things you'd like this year, in lieu of another ill-fitting sweater). So as a public service, we've compiled this list of some of the best expensive, large, and mind-blowingly ornate titles that you can find at your local comic shop or from online booksellers.
When it comes to a book like The Bigger Bang, there's a lot that you can say that'll make it sound interesting. You could take the route that the official press release from IDW takes and talk about how it's focused on a journey of atonement for an impossibly powerful superhero who finds himself alone in the universe, trying to solve the mystery of his own creation. Or, you can do what the actual opening pages of the book do, and show him punching out volcanoes.
So last weekend, I almost started crying while I was reading a G.I. Joe comic at the Waffle House.
Everyone I've told that to since it happened has reacted with the same complete and utter lack of surprise. I can see why, too, since it's quite possibly the single most cartoonishly on-brand thing that I've ever done, but I certainly wasn't expecting to get choked up over hash browns over the death of an extremely minor character. But when I was reading through G.I. Joe #204 over breakfast and Dr. Adele Burkhart was killed, ending a 32-year career of being rescued by the soldiers of America's most toyetic Special MIssions Force, it broke my heart in a way that hasn't happened through comics in a long, long time.
At this point, I'm starting to think that IDW Publishing's line of Artist's Edition hardcovers are a sinister plot to separate me from my money as efficiently as possible, but that might just be because of how beautifully they're produced. In case you're unfamiliar with the format, the basic idea is that they reprint the art of some of the best and most historically important comics of all time using high resolution scans of the original penciled and inked pages to reproduce what it's like to read the original art, which is often much larger than the published comics, and they are gorgeous.
In the past, they've done Artist's Editions for comics like Walter Simonson's Thor and Frank Miller's Daredevil, but the one that got my instant purchase was the massive 11" x 17" reproduction of New Gods. Now, the publisher announced that they're following it up with another piece of the Fourth World saga: Jack Kirby's Mister Miracle, reprinting seven complete issues of Kirby's masterpiece of action and escape artistry.
The Humble Bundle continues to be one of the best values in comic books, and as you might expect, this week they've turned their attention to the morespoooooky side of things. And by that, I mainly mean comics where Pinocchio uses his endless wooden nose to stab vampires.
In addition to several books without pictures -- which I find strange and frightening -- the current Horror Book bundle added a bunch of horror comics today, including The Mocking Dead by Fred Van Lente and Max Dunbar, a volume of Valiant's Shadowman by Peter Milligan and Roberto de la Torre, the first omnibus of Dark Horse's Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics, the first two issues of Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla's Afterlife With Archie, and more.
As we mentioned back when the first issue came out, IDW's Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland is a comic you really need to check out. In case you've been sleeping on it (ha HA!), Eric Shanower, Gabriel Rodriguez and Nelson Daniel are reviving Winsor McKay's beloved newspaper strip in the form of one of the most beautiful comics on the stands, full of lavish backgrounds and innovative layouts that are every bit as visually engaging as the original.
In all of comics, is there a villain more suited for Halloween than Judge Death? I mean, not only is he a spoooooky skeleton who has committed spoooooky genocide (which, on reflection, might be a level of horror that requires more than five Os), but he's essentially wearing a Halloween'd up version of the hero's costume. It's great.
Unfortunately, the citizens of Mega-City One aren't quite enjoying his presence as much as I am, largely because he's been rampaging through the city with the rest of the Dark Judges, racking up a massive body count. The one thing he hasn't done is kill Judge Dredd himself, and in this week's Judge Dredd #24, the American-made IDW Publishing series by Duane Swierczynski and Nelson Daniel, it turns out that there's a reason for that.
IDW seems dead set on taking as much of my money as it possibly can. Not only has the publisher produced high-end 'Artist's Editions' of some of my favorite comics, including Jack Kirby's Fourth World, Frank Miller's Daredevil and Walt Simonson's Thor, but as part of this year's New York Comic-Con, it's announced upcoming Artifact and Artist's Editions respectively for Carl Barks' and Don Rosa's Uncle Scrooge stories.
The announcement comes as part of a resurgence of interest in the creators' work on the World's Richest Duck, which also includes new hardcover collections of Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge from Fantagraphics. The IDW collections, however, will print the original art at its original size.
With New York Comic-Con coming up this weekend, many publishers are saving up their big announcements for the Javits Center. IDW Publishing, however, has decided to get the jump on everyone by releasing their first big announcement a few days early, and it's one that we're definitely looking forward to. Following on the success of Super Secret Crisis War, the Cartoon Network crossover event, IDW has announced Powerpuff Girls Super Smash-Up, a new ongoing series that will team Townsville's favorite heroines up with Cartoon Network shows like Dexter's Laboratory, Courage the Cowardly Dog, Johnny Bravo and more -- and the series will be written and drawn by Derek Charm.
To find out more about the series, scheduled to kick off this January, we spoke to Charm about more about the premise of the series, which characters we can look forward to, and whether the Talking Dog will finally get his starring role.
It never rains but it pours. Hot on the heels of the news that IDW will be publishing the whole of Hugo Pratt's Corto Maltese in English for the first time, publishers Casterman have announced that Blacksad writer Juan Diaz Canales and Spanish artist Ruben Pellejero have been tapped to author a new, original Corto Maltese story. Due for release in October 2015, the book will be simultaneously released in French, Dutch, Italian, and Spanish, although there is no news yet of a potential English edition from IDW or anyone else.