Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Secret Identity; New Parkes; Reynold Brown; Tor; Eerie Archives

Secret Identity: The Fetish Art of Superman's Co-Creator Joe Schuster

The author is my good buddy Craig Yoe. He called last night and filled me in on all the cool publicity he's been getting for this fascinating new book--which, of course, Bud's Art Books now has in stock.

Craig's USA Today interview just hit and you can check it out here:

This week you can hear Craig's interview on National Public Radio with TerryGross on Fresh Air. Here's the website:


The LA Times also did a piece. The article states " Artist Shuster and writer Jerry Siegel created Superman in 1938 but didn't benefit when the character exploded in popularity in the 1940s. "

Not true. Siegel and Schuster had a 10 year contract with DC and were being paid like rock stars until 1948, when they sued DC. The had their own studio of artists and were not only drawing the comics, but also had the contract to produce the highly popular daily and Sunday newspaper strip. If they had bankrolled the $$, they might have lived off those good times the rest of their lives. Yes, DC could have done much more for them as the years went by, but they treated them pretty well for the first decade of Superman's existence.

Here's Craig's own website, which is always a lot of fun. He has a blog also.


New Michael Parkes in the works

His first self-published book has just gone out of print. We have only a handful of copies left as I type this. They've announced a new book in the same format, a nice large square volume with over 200 pages of his latest and best works, including sculptures, drawings, etc. We'll be asking him to sign a special bookplate for this once again. It's not yet up on our site, but watch for it early this summer. That's The Art of Michael Parkes II.

Reynold Brown: A Life in Pictures
The publisher of Illustration Magazine has been on a real role of late. In addition to new issues, he's re-released numbers 1 and 2 which have been long out of print. #2 features a look at Norman Saunders, which was the beginning of the fine new book that has just been published by...you guessed it...Illustration Magazine.

We featured the Norman Saunders book on the cover of our last catalog. At just $39.95, it's really a bargain in this age of $50, $60 and $75 art books. The Reynold Brown book is just a bit slimmer but is filled with great movie posters--and other work--that will bring back those b-movie days of the 1950s and 1960s and maybe even 1970s. We like this so much it'll be on the cover of our next catalog, which appears in a month or less.


Some more favorite new items:

Tor: A Prehistoric Odyssey by Joe Kubert

Joe created Tor in 1953, when he got his first opportunity to be writer, artist AND editor on a book of his own. He proceeded to revive his prehistoric hero just a couple of times since then. While I first thought this was a reprint of some of that material, it is NOT.

This is a compilation of a comic book series Joe did in 2008. And it's an entirely new take on Tor. It begins with his exile from his tribe and proceeds to put him into incredible situations with both prehistoric critters and some fantasy monsters, with lots of volcanoes and a hidden valley and a newfound love interest.

It's a very readable book and I was pleased I took the time to read it. And while Joe's no spring chicken anymore, the art is really powerful and detailed--he took no shortcuts here. It's a joy just to look at this panel by panel. A lot of work was put into this and it shows. Amazing how Joe is still willing to push himself to create a new, exciting novel where some other artists might just knock something out.

Eerie Archives Volume One

I've still got my Warren magazines packed away in some box or other at home. But I have to admit there's a real convenience to picking up this new book and reading it, cover to cover. They've even included the letters pages, which are a blast when you see letters from future pros.

But it's the art that shines here, incredible work by many of the EC artists only ten years removed from their glory days...in some cases, they're even better. Angelo Torres is a highlight for me, his work is some of the best here, like Al Williamson with an edge. And of course here IS Al Williamson, Steve Ditko, Wally Wood, Johnny Craig, Alex Toth, Reed Crandall... you get the idea. $50 isn't cheap these days, but what a lot of fun reading you get for the price.


Eerie is part of the Archives series from Dark Horse, which has already reprinted Creepy Volume 1 (#1-5) and Volume 2 (#6-10).


Blazing Combat

And just out from Fantagraphics is the Blazing Combat collection. Apparently Dark Horse opted out of doing this, so Blazing Combat is under $30 (it collects all four issues, while the Archives collect five), a real deal for the material. Frazetta painted all four covers. If you liked EC's Two Fisted Tales and Frontline Combat, you can't miss these anti-war war stories. Again, the line-up of artists is phenomenal:

Russ Heath, Reed Crandall, Al Williamson, Wally Wood, Gene Colan, Alex Toth. And don't forget Archie Goodwin, the phenomenal writer and editor who made all these early issues so damned good. Word is the artists loved the freedom he gave them and the result was some of their finest work ever.

As I write this BC is not quite available...the wrong price was printed on the book, so we're waiting for Fantagraphics to send us the corrected UPC label to put on. It should be ready to ship within a few days.


That's plenty for today. I hope you'll sign up for my new blog. I'll try and make it worth your while, with new of cool new books and things coming in the future, some inside stories, etc.

By the way, I'll be exhibiting at Super-Con in San Jose, California May 16 and 17. If you are in the area, come by and say hello. I'll have a booth of sale priced new books, a load of Golden Age and Silver Age comics and other goodies. Their website with full information is:


Best Wishes,