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Tue, December 1st, 2009 at 2:28pm PST

Comic Books
Augie De Blieck Jr., Columnist

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ODDS AND ENDS

  • Pipeline had a Friday holiday weekend update to cover my thoughts on "Image United" #1, which I enjoyed for, I believe, all the right reasons. Or maybe I'm just an old-skewl Image fanboy? You make the call.

  • Comics are everywhere these days. While reading through my photography sites newsfeed, I came across an interview with a set designer. One of his samples is from an exhibit he helped out with, where they created a faux comic book page with sets, a costume, and photography. It's Rogue Fumetti, but in a high end art kind of way.

  • Last week, I linked to Christopher Butcher's smart commentary on "all ages" or "kid friendly" comics, and the various distinctions and labels that sort of comic often contains. This week, I need to link to his commentary on the cover for "Haunt" #4, though I need to warn you that it isn't at all kid-friendly.

    I point it out, though, to refute it. Sometimes, as a wise man once said, a cigar is just a cigar. Either that, or Butcher never read a Spider-Man comic, because the innuendo of that webbing would be too much for one man to bear. Now, if you want to discuss the merits of the Widow from "The Savage Dragon," then it's fair game. She's more anatomically correct in this department.

  • The quote of the week comes from Tom Spurgeon in the on-going blogosphere debate over "kids comics:"

    I agree with Buddy Saunders: there will never be kids comics exactly like there were when his generation of retailers were kids that are going to work as well as current initiatives aimed at kids from major book publishers. At the same time, I can also safely say that the entire nation will never again be held captive by the radio shenanigans of Fibber McGee and Molly.

    It made me laugh out loud, at least.

  • Looking at the birthday wishes going out on The Comics Reporter blog over the weekend, it appears that comic creators are all in their fifties now. Yikes!

  • "Chickenhare," the wonderful graphic novel series that Dark Horse published two volumes of, has now moved to a free on-line model. Enjoy the now colorful hijinks at Chickenhare.com. It'll be updated a page at a time every Tuesday and Friday.
REPRINTING McSPIDEY

I've wanted to see the rest of the Todd McFarlane-drawn issues of the adjectiveless "Spider-Man" series reprinted in hardcover form for a while now. I can see where Marvel might have some logistical issues with this, but I have a solution. Standard Marvel reprints have six issues in them. The stories from "Spider-Man" after the initial "Torment" five-parter last 2 issues, 5 issues, 2 issues, and then one issue (which crosses over with one issue of "X-Force.") It isn't easy to figure out how to group all of that, given that "Torment" is already in one volume.

The stories don't need to be read in order to be understood. Each stands on its own well. You could reprint the five issues of "Perceptions" in one hardcover, and the rest of the issues (#6, #7, #13, #14, #16) in a third. You'd get three hardcover books with five issues apiece that way. The question of reprinting Rob Liefeld's high mark on "X-Force," issue #4, is one open to debate. Some would demand the issue be included to tell the whole story, while others would be mad at paying "extra" for an issue of something that McFarlane didn't draw. It's a tricky situation.

There's more McFarlane Spider-Man material that's never been collected, by the way. He did a lot of covers for the "Marvel Tales" reprints that were pretty cool character-based drawings that haven't been seen anywhere since. You could include a selection of those in the back of these "Spider-Man" hardcovers to round up the page count. And what about that Spider-Man button set he did original art for? Or the magazine covers at the time, including a "Comics Scene" cover with Spider-Man and Batman on it? (Not likely, I know.)

Then you could go back and reprint his "Spitfire and the Troubleshooters" issue along with the "G.I. Joe" issue from earlier in his career with the "Quasar" cover and the "Marvel Comics Presents" cover and whatever other odds and ends I'm missing at the moment.

In researching this column, I found a wonderful collection of this work, which might step over the line of "Fair Use," depending on your sense of the law's whimsy. So check it out now just in case it gets taken down. Lots of cool covers in there, including one or two I'd never seen before. If you ever wanted to see McFarlane drawing the X-Men, here's your chance.

PIPELINE PODCAST FOR 25 NOVEMBER 2009

Yes, I recorded a podcast last week. It was such a big week that I could only narrow it down to ten books to talk about by limiting it to hardcover and trade paperback collections. It's time for another Very Expensive Top Ten list:

  • 10. "Official Handbook Of The Marvel Universe A To Z" Vol 11 HC (Premiere Edition), $24.99

I love that this exists. I'm not sure why. I had a brief fling with the OHOTMU when it was being published as pages with three-hole punches in them, suitable for sticking in a three-ring binder. That was a smart idea. Now, you can learn about all your favorite Marvel heroes in hardcover format.

They're up to volume 11 already. Someone has to be buying these. I know I shouldn't be, but I'm surprised by that.

  • 9. "Boys" Vol 5 "Herogasm" TP, $19.99

"Herogasm" was published as a separate mini-series, but integrates nicely with the regular series, which explains why it's included in the main trade paperback line, and not printed as its own one-off thing.

  • 8. "Justice League International" Vol 3 TP, $19.99

Is there ever a time not to recommend the classic Giffen/DeMatteis-era "Justice League" series? No, not ever.

  • 7. "Deadpool Classic" Vol 3 TP, $29.99

This gets you into the meat of the Joe Kelly/Ed McGuinness era of the title, including the Eisner-winning "Amazing Spider-Man" mash-up.

  • 6. "Star Comics All-Star Collection" Vol 1 TP-GN, $19.99

If I thought it odd that Marvel would publish OHOTMU as a hardcover, image how I feel that this book is being published, with such high profile character in it as Planet Terry, Wally The Wizard, Royal Roy, and Top Dog.

I'm holding out for the licensed version of this book, with "Alf" and "Police Academy" included, though. I'm not holding my breath.

  • 5. "Incognito" TP, $18.99

I was hoping for a hardcover on this one, but I'll take a trade. Are they waiting for a second mini-series to put together a hardcover book? Did sales on the mini not justify a hardcover? Did Brubaker and Philips just not want a hardcover? I don't know. But if you were trade-waiting on this one like me, here we have it.

  • 4. "Captain America: The Death Of Captain America Omnibus" HC, $75.00

That's an awful lot of Very Good Comics for $75.

  • 3. "Powers" Vol 3 Definitive Collection HC (resolicited) $29.99

"Powers" #1 also hit shelves last week, and I reviewed it for CBR Reviews . This hardcover is good timing.

  • 2. "Winter Men" TP, $19.99

This is the critically-acclaimed mini-series from Brett Lewis and John Paul Leon that nobody read. It also had a huge delay before its final issue saw the light of day, and that likely happened just so this trade could be solicited.

  • 1. "Chew" Vol 1 "Tasters Choice" TP, $9.99

It's the feel good hit of the year from John Layman at Image. Issue #6 also shipped last week.

Next week: It's a secret. There's a chance of a really cool advance review if I can eke out the time.

My photoblog, AugieShoots.com, has Thanksgiving pics and now Christmas ornament pictures loaded up for your approval.

Follow me on Twitter at AugieShoots.

The Various and Sundry blog is still alive. By a hair. Updated occasionally, but always thoughtfully.

Don't forget to check out my Google Reader Shared Items. It's the best of my daily feed reading, sometimes with commentary!

You can e-mail me your comments on this column, or post them for all the world to see and respond to over on the Pipeline Message Board.

More than 800 columns -- more than twelve years' worth -- are archived here at CBR and you can get to them from the Pipeline Archive page. They're sorted chronologically.

TAGS:  pipeline, chickenhare, todd mcfarlane, spider-man

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