Sunday, December 18, 2011

Zombies Vs Robots Warbot Treasury Edition

IDW has released another treasury comic, just a few weeks after their awesome Rocketeer Jetpack Treasury Edition--in this case, the Zombies Vs Robots Warbot Treasury Edition! Click the image to learn more about the book!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Rocketeer: Jetpack Treasury Edition

It's always exciting when a new treasury comic is published, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a more appropriate subject than Dave Stevens' classic The Rocketeer! Courtesy of IDW comes this handsome Jetpack Treasury Edition, reprinting the first two issues of the original series at the classic treasury size.

But that's not all! This is just the first of a series of treasury editions IDW is publishing this year, so interviewed IDW's EIC, Chris Ryall, to talk about The Rocketeer and what IDW has in store, treasury-wise: When and how did the idea for The Rocketeer treasury come about? Was it ever anything Dave Stevens indicated he wanted to do at some point?

Chris Ryall: This one came from editor Scott Dunbier. Scott was also the one who made Rocketeer happen at all for us, so everything that we've done with that property so far: the deluxe, recolored re-presentation of the original Dave Stevens material, the oversized Artists Edition book, and the new anthology series, those were all Scott. We'd talked in the past about doing some projects in the Treasury Edition format, but nothing came of those earlier talks. We decided we wanted to get those going to end this year and roll through 2012, and The Rocketeer made perfect sense as the debut book. This was partly due to the fact that the Stevens stories that Laura Martin recolored were only available as $30 or $75 hardcovers, so we wanted fans to be able to see this Eisner-winning work at a lower price point.
Stevens never singled out this format as a way to show his work, but Scott's very close with the family, they've been very supportive of everything we've done and talked about how much Dave would've liked the great packages we've done to showcase his amazing work.

TC: I understand IDW has a number of other treasuries scheduled for release! What are some the titles? How do you decide which ones would "work" in this over-sized format?

CR: We do! In fact, a project of mine, Zombies vs Robots (created with artist Ashley Wood) is next; that one hits stores on December 23, followed by Danger Girl a month later.

We're also planning a G.I. Joe book, TMNT, a 10th Anniversary 30 Days of Night Treasury Edition in mid-2012, and a couple of other special ones, and onward from there.

TC: Have any creators come to you and said "I'd love to do a treasury edition of my book" or do you generally go to them with the idea?

CR: We went to them so far, but I do expect that to change once people see the first few. In fact, we did have an advance copy of the Rocketeer Treasury Edition at the Long Beach con in early October and a few creators there said how much they'd love to see their work that way, too.

It just strikes me more and more that, with digital comics playing a more prominent role in today's world, it's more important than ever to produce this nice, lasting, oversize editions that digital will never be able to replicate. Not till they create a 10" x 13" iPad, that is, and not even then, really…

TC: I remember reading about DC's Wednesday Comics series that part of the reason they went with the folded-newspaper format was so they could be shipped and displayed alongside other regular-sized comics. Of course, The Rocketeer treasury and the others don't fold in half, so was there ever any retailer resistance to these books?

Oh, there are always little bits of initial resistance to anything that doesn't fit alongside regular-sized comics racks. But that usually lasts until they see these nice books, so I expect these to go over well. It as important to me/us to keep the size as close to the originals as possible, both out of love for that format and also to make sure that these new editions fit in the existing bags/boards that are in the market already.

TC: In 1975, DC released a treasury edition of Dick Tracy Sunday strips--the only time they ever published the character--which has always been one of my favorites. IDW has issued so many great collections of classic newspaper strips, are there any of those you'd love to do as a treasury?

CR: We've talked about Bloom County, but yeah, I love the idea of doing Dick Tracy as an homage to that old edition--that's the same reason we want to do G.I. Joe, to pay tribute to that old treasury edition, which was the first G.I. Joe comic I ever read.

TC: Do you read the classic DC and Marvel treasuries growing up? What were some of your favorites?
CR: Roughly…all of them. The first one I ever got was the first Fantastic Four Treasury Edition, and I just loved everything about it. That was my first exposure to the Lee/Kirby issue with the Impossible Man, the Galactus Saga, and I still vividly remember that inside-back-cover schematic of the Baxter Building. Hell, I remember Ben Grimm's eyeballs being opposite one another on the cover, too. So that one and the subsequent FF book, with the Dr. Doom/Sub-Mariner comics from issues 5-6, plus I think FF 94 (the one with the Frightful Four--seeing her cat turn into that giant panther-thing on these larger pages just knocked me out). But I also loved the Spider-Man "Sinister Six" one--I'm going from memory here, a Hulk book, Captain America's Bicentennial Battles, the holiday edition that Marvel put out…it's obvious I was a Marvel kid, since I have a fond memory of reading, say, Two-Face's origin in a Batman treasury but can't recall more about it than that. Whereas with the Marvel stuff, I even remember some dude called, like the Black Hole in the Howard the Duck Treasury Edition. Loved that stuff, just adored it. I read my way through two copies of the Goodwin/Simonson Close Encounters of the Third Kind adaptation, too.

Although, thinking about them all, I guess other than that first FF book, for me, the be-all, end-all of Treasury Editions was that first Superman/Spider-Man book. Such great, great stuff, and they really used the format to throw some big, impressive images at us, didn't they?

My love of the format was what made me so happy when Paul Dini and Alex Ross brought it back with their books (although those stories weren't as much fun as the old goofier Marvel comics. But they sure looked great. And don't get me wrong, Dini wrote some good stories, but they were definitely more serious stories, not really the kind of thing you go back and re-read over and over). So now it's our turn to remind people how great this format is, and hopefully the books we're doing work as well for new readers as the original treasuries did for me.
(From the treasury collection of Chris Ryall)

Looks like there's some really exciting stuff coming from IDW (I mean, more than usual)! can't wait to add all these new books to the site, and thanks to Chris Ryall for the interview!

Monday, November 28, 2011


No, I haven't been fortunate enough to add a copy of the uber-rare Charles Biro over-sized comic series Tops to my treasury comics collection--but I did find this copy of issue #1 for sale on eBay, featuring the best, biggest scan I've ever seen of the cover. So I felt like I had to post it here!

Tops was an experiment by comics impresario Charles Biro at a more upscale comic book aimed at adults--its was over-sized and in full-color. It lasted all of two issues.

I had never even heard of Tops when I launched the site, so when Mark Evanier did a nice write-up of us at the time, he specifically mentioned it as being one of the few series I hadn't cataloged. My first reaction was, "What's 'Tops'?" After that I learned as much as I could, and every so often I'd so an eBay search to see if I could hunt down a copy of either issue. I never have, until this week--unfortunately, #1 is going for more than I can really spend, so this will have to do for now!

In the middle of writing this post, I realized the CBDB has nice-sized scans of both issues, so here's the cover to #2 as well:
Some day...

Monday, November 14, 2011

"The Most Beautiful Comic Magazine Ever Produced"

Thanks to new Treasury Hunter Rich Stiteler come these pics of the original mailer DC used when sending copies of Limited Collectors Edition #C36: The Bible to those who purchased it directly.

Rich says he found this--with the original book inside--an estate sale for five measly bucks! Heck, I would have paid double that just for the mailer, this is such a rare item to find! Thanks Rich!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Welcome to the World of Ace Kilroy!

Today the blog is highlighting a long-gestating project that goes live today: Ace Kilroy!

Ace Kilroy is the creation of artist Dan O'Connor and me; its a brand-new online daily comic strip launching today over on!

Ace Kilroy is a project Dan and I have been working on for over a year. He and I attended the Joe Kubert School together, and from the beginning I was impressed by the quality of his work: Dan had a crisp, simple style, dynamic but not flashy--perfect for comic books, and I resented the hell out of him for it!

Anyway, over the intervening decades(!), Dan and I lost touch, and then we ran into one another again virtually on Facebook and then in something called Real Life at the 2009 New York Comic Con. Dan was telling me some horror stories (stories I was all too familiar with in my own life as an artist) about doing comic book work, and I was simultaneously angry and bewildered that a guy this talented has had to deal with some at times shady comic book publishers. Little did I realize, but Ace Kilroy was born on the ride home from the con.

Within a couple of months, I had formulated a basic concept of the strip, what it would be, what kind of tone I was aiming for, and I knew Dan would be the perfect artist to bring it to life: he and I are both aficionados of 30s and 40s culture (Americana specifically), and since Ace Kilroy starts off in 1937 and would steeped in that world, I knew Dan could really sink his artistic teeth into it.

Luckily, he agreed, and within a few weeks we were already working on the strips, having a blast, but with no clear date set when it would officially launch. Since the strip has a prevalent horror theme, I thought October 31--Halloween--would be perfect.

The short of Ace Kilroy is: In 1937, the United States has learned two disturbing facts. One, that supernatural monsters--i.e., vampires, werewolves--are real. Two, the Third Reich, in preparing to start World War II, are trying to take control of these monsters and turn them to the side of the Nazis, making them unstoppable.

President Franklin Roosevelt commissions soldier of fortune, WW I veteran and all-around adventurer Ace Kilroy to head to Transylvania, where there are rumors of some sort of real-life Dracula, and stop whatever nefarious plot is being hatched!

Ace Kilroy will feature adventure, horror, thrills, comedy, political intrigue, and even romance, in (hopefully) the most fun and engaging way possible!

I normally never use my other blogs to pimp my outside projects, but Ace Kilroy is special: I am enormously proud of what we've created so far, and we're going to give it ol' college try in terms of making it a financially viable, ongoing creative project: its nothing less than a daily comic strip, just like the classic adventure strips of old, except Ace Kilroy will appear on the web, not on the back page of a newspaper sandwiched between Ziggy and Mark Trail.

Ace Kilroy will run a black and white strip six days a week, with an extra-sized Color Supplement on Sundays, again like the classic strips of old. Dan and I want to bring back that sense of pure adventuresome fun with the strip, and transport the reader back to a time when the daily adventures of
Steve Canyon, Secret Agent X-9, or Dick Tracy were can't-miss, waiting-with-bated-breath-for-the-next-installment affairs for comics fans.

But since the daily newspapers of old are, essentially, gone (the comics pages especially), we're doing it in a very modern way: on the web, with all past strips available with the click of a mouse, with Ace appearing across a wide variety of social media platforms, which will occasionally feature bonus or special side material. Dan and I essentially want to hire ourselves as the artist and writer (respectively) of an daily comic strip...which of course means you!

Not to sound like I'm taking my other blogs hostage or anything, but if we can get enough people to support Ace Kilroy financially, then I can spend more time at home, leaving me the time and ability to subsidize my other, non-profit-generating efforts, like this one. And isn't that what we all want?

So if you're interested in taking a look at Ace Kilroy, and maybe even supporting it, you can do so at the following places, starting off with the official site, where you can learn more about the characters, the creators, and see the first strip:

...and finally, if you like what you see enough to financially support Ace Kilroy, you can visit the Ace Kilroy Fundraising Page on Kickstarter, where you can learn more about the strip, find out what kind of donations you can make, and even watch a short video all about Ace Kilroy. We hope to raise enough money to give Ace (and us!) and a good running start!

Finally, one last thing specifically about the graphic you saw at the top of this post: Dan and I have a million fun ideas in regards to what we could do with Ace Kilroy outside the daily online strip: an OTR-type podcast, merchandise, and something near-and-dear to my heart: a treasury edition.

I would love nothing more than to have Ace Kilroy be so successful that we can afford to reprint the first bunch of strips into an oversized treasury edition, just like the one DC did for Dick Tracy. I already told Dan that'd we probably lose money on it, but I don't care: I just want the thing to exist, you know?

So please make that happen by supporting Ace Kilroy!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Little Annie Fanny

Amazing what you can find on eBay! Click the image to learn more about this treasury-sized collection of Little Annie Fanny!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Marvel's Ozma of Oz

I've wanted to find out for a while whatever happened to Ozma of Oz, Marvel's proposed third book in their Wizard of Oz series. Now, thanks to writer Roy Thomas, now I do! Click on the ad to find out!