Monthly Archives: June 2011

The big bronze Bat

So you say you like Batman—not the sometimes homicidal maniac of today, but the heroic dark creature of the night of the 1970s and early ’80s, before Frank Miller inadvertently changed the course of the character with one (albeit great) “imaginary” tale set 20 years in the future? Is that what’s bothering you, fella?

Well, you’re in luck. BACK ISSUE #50 is a special 50th Anniversary issue spotlighting “Batman in the Bronze Age”, with the entire issue in FULL-COLOR! Editor Michael Eury has got DENNY O’NEIL, NEAL ADAMS, and PAUL LEVITZ discussing Batman in the 1970s and beyond in a “Pro2Pro” roundtable. There’s praise for (and lots of artwork by) JIM APARO, plus Batman’s Unsung Creators (DAVID V. REED, BOB BROWN, ERNIE CHAN, and JOHN CALNAN),the Joker’s Daughter, the Batman Family, Nocturna, Untold Legend of the Batman, and the one that started all the mess, Miller’s Dark Knight. The issue just went to the printer, and should be out at the end of July.

Did I mention it’s ALL FULL-COLOR? And only $1 more than usual; what a bargain!

The Diamond Order Code is MAY111320. And you can download a FREE PDF PREVIEW of the issue RIGHT HERE, right now!

Gene Colan, a true original

By now, you’ve probably heard of the passing of Gene Colan. It’s personally heartbreaking for me, as I’m sure it is for many of you. Of all the artists working at Marvel in the 1960s, his was, to my mind, the most distinctive, recognizeable style there. After seeing his pencils for the first time, with their detailed shading, I had to wonder, how in the world does an inker take something so rendered, and turn it into simple black-&-white ink lines?

Some were great at it (like Tom Palmer). Others struggled with it, as I would have if I’d had to ink it. But just like when you’d put a powerful inking style over Kirby (as when Wallace Wood inked Jack), you couldn’t subdue Colan’s style underneath. He told great stories, and when he came to DC and started drawing Batman (with Klaus Janson inking him), I couldn’t have been happier.

Gene had continued doing amazing commissioned drawings for fans up until recently, and those beautiful pieces showed that, like a select few (Will Eisner comes to mind), he just kept getting better as he got older (even more amazing considering his past eyesight problems).

Tom Field wrote a wonderful book on Gene which we published several years ago, called Secrets In The Shadows. It’s been sold out a couple of years now, but we’ll be re-releasing it shortly as a Digital Edition. It tells Gene’s story beautifully, and I’m thrilled we were able to produce it while Gene was here to see it. Tom did an amazing job on it, and I know Gene was proud of it too.

My pal George Khoury just wrote a wonderful tribute to Gene, and you can (nay, should) go read it here.

Englehart, part one, in Alter Ego #103

As part of a crossover with Back Issue #51, ALTER EGO #103 (just nominated for “Best Comics-Related Journalism” in the 2011 Eisner Awards) takes an in-depth look at the career of STEVE ENGLEHART. The issue ships in late July, and debuts at Comic-Con International: San Diego at the TwoMorrows Publishing booth #1301, where editor and former Marvel Comics editor-in-chief and writer ROY THOMAS will be on hand to meet fans and sign copies each day.

ENGLEHART is widely acclaimed for his scripting work at Marvel, DC, Warren, and other companies, and this issue (the first part of a two-part interview, continuing in Back Issue #51 in August) covers it all: The Defenders—Captain America—Master of Kung Fu—The Beast—Mantis—with rare art and artifacts by SAL BUSCEMA, JIM STARLIN, TOM SUTTON, DON HECK, BOB BROWN, and others. Plus, we present JIM AMASH’s interview with early artist GEORGE MANDEL (Captain Midnight, The Woman in Red, Blue Bolt, Black Marvel, etc.)—FCA (Fawcett Collectors of America) with MARC SWAYZE and C.C. BECK—and MICHAEL T. GILBERT uncovering the secret of Will Eisner’s letterer in Mr. Monster’s Comic Crypt.

You can download a FREE PDF preview of the issue at this link.

Legendary Kirby is on the way!

Whheeeeewwww! I just finished the latest issue of my own mag, Jack Kirby Collector #57, dealing with Kirby’s use of myths and legends in his work. It’s at the printer now, and barring any snags on press, it should debut next month at Comic-Con, and go in the mail right after we return from the West Coast.

This issue actually has quite a bit about Comic-Con in it, including a transcript of Kirby’s panel discussion from the very first full con in 1970. Lots of interesting questions for the “King” there, since he’d just left Marvel to go to DC, and his Fourth World books were about to launch. In hindsight, there’s some pretty telling answers to fans’ questions by Jack.

Of course, I wouldn’t be a publisher if I didn’t state that you can order it (print or digital form) here.

Delays on this month’s titles

Just wanted to let everyone know that our printer had some snags this month, and these new issues are running late:

Alter Ego #102
Back Issue #49
BrickJournal #15

All are printed; we’re just waiting on them to arrive here at TwoMorrows so we can get them mailed to subcribers. I’m sorry for the inconvenience; they should be in the mail shortly.

Now where did I put my polyester bell bottoms?

BACK ISSUE #49 is digging up a “1970s Time Capsule” as it flashes back to the early Bronze Age, spotlighting all the key moments of that era: Relevance in comics, Planet of the Apes, DC Salutes the Bicentennial, Kung-Fu Fighter, FOOM and Amazing World of DC Comics, groundbreaking new formats, Fireside Books’ reprints, Fast Willie Jackson, Marvel Comics calendars, Captain Sticky, and a countdown of the Bronze Age’s Biggest Events. It features art by and commentary from NEAL ADAMS, FRANK BRUNNER, JOHN BUSCEMA, DICK GIORDANO, BOB LARKIN, PAUL LEVITZ, ELLIOT S! MAGGIN, DOUG MOENCH, DENNY O’NEIL, MIKE PLOOG, and other top creators of the Bronze Age of Comics. The issue’s cover features ’70s superstar Deathlok the Demolisher by RICH BUCKLER and JOHN BEATTY. Back Issue is edited by MICHAEL EURY.

The Diamond Order Code is: APR111277

Getcha FREE PDF PREVIEW of the issue rite ‘cheer at this link.

And once you’re blown away by that sample, you can order the PRINT or DIGITAL EDITION simply by clicking on this underlined text.

BACK ISSUE #49 will be on sale in comic book stores on Wednesday, June 22.

Get your power ring charged up with ALTER EGO #102

Just in time for this summer’s blockbuster film, ALTER EGO magazine (just nominated for “Best Comics-Related Journalism” in the 2011 Eisner Awards) examines the origins of the Golden and Silver Age Green Lanterns. Issue #102, shipping in June, spotlights the character’s 1940s creators MART NODELL and BILL FINGER, and his 1959 creators JOHN BROOME, GIL KANE, and JULIUS SCHWARTZ. The issue provides unknown details behind both Lanterns’ history, and includes rare GL artwork by CARMINE INFANTINO, PAUL REINMAN, IRWIN HASEN, NEAL ADAMS, and others. The issue also includes part 2 of an interview with JACK MENDELSOHN, as he discusses being a scripter for Quality, DC, Dell, and Jay Ward’s animation studio. Rounding out the 84 pages is a “Fawcett Collectors of America” section, featuring recollections of working at Fawcett Comics by MARC SWAYZE and C.C. BECK, plus MICHAEL T. GILBERT with another installment of Mr. Monster’s Comic Crypt. The issue’s new cover features previously unseen Green Lantern art by GIL KANE & TERRY AUSTIN, and MART NODELL.

The Diamond Order Code is: APR111276

Check out a FREE PDF preview of the issue at this link.

You can order a PRINT or DIGITAL EDITION here.

ALTER EGO #102 will be on sale in comic book stores on Wednesday, June 15.

Back in the saddle again…

It’s been a crazy few weeks following our LEGO festival here in May, but we’re back in high gear, and prepping our new titles for Comic-Con release and beyond.

This weekend, we’ll be at Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC, so be sure to stop by our booth and say “hey” to Eric Nolen-Weathington, and pester him with the names of all the creators you want to see in future Modern Masters books!