Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Comic-Con 40 Years Book; Final Spirit Archives; Harvey Kurtzman

San Diego Comic-Con: 40 Years

We just got an advance copy of this unique new book. At the convention next week (July 22-26), the organizers will have an exclusive on these, but after the show they will be available from us. It's a lot of fun! Loads of special art for the past 40 years of program books, lots of rare photos of celebs, inside stories of the shows, the awards, the guests.

I'm even mentioned a couple times, since I have been somewhat of a fixture, exhibiting at every show since the first in 1970.

If you're coming this year, we'll be there as usual in 1500 and Anne will have out of print books, comics & more in 5015.

Also within a week or two of the show, we'll have a nice new batch of signed sketchbooks uploaded onto the website. This has gotten to be an annual event for those who can't make the show but want to share in the fun of these unique sketchbooks, often available only at shows or online from us.

Speaking of Will Eisner and The Spirit--at left is a special cover he did for the 1975 San Diego Program Book--the last Spirit Archives from DC Comics just came in. It collects all The Spirit stories and artwork done AFTER the initial end of The Spirit in 1952. It includes a rare newspaper Spirit story from 1966 that has never before been collected.

It's the perfect end to one of the most ambitious Archives collections, and one of my very favorites. Now you can own every eight page Spirit story, as published every week as a Sunday newspaper supplement from June 1940 to 1952.

Who would have imagined, back when I started collecting in the 1960s, that this 26-volume set would be done, let alone all the other amazing reprints of classic comics material. Just yesterday I was reading the latest Little Lulu collection from Dark Horse, this one in full color. Man, we are in our own Golden Age where we can have so much material on our bookshelves, as well as so much information a keystroke away on the internet. Yet the internet can only collect so much and do it in it's own fashion--so I don't see printed books going away anytime in my lifetime.

The Art of Harvey Kurtzman
The legendary Denis Kitchen (Kitchen Sink Press, long may they be remembered) has been busy behind the scenes and here we have his latest project. It's THE book on Kurtzman. Denis is now the agent for Kurtzman's estate, on top of his long relationship with Harvey over the years. Denis published Harvey's one-and-only "underground" comic, Kurtzman Komics, and lots of other fine projects as Kitchen Sink Press. So he knows the players, the inside stories and he has the art to choose the best...

And the result is a fine new art book from the prestigious publisher Abrams (Secret Identity, J.C. Leyendecker, R. Crumb's Heroes of Blues and Jazz, et al). As you may know, Kurtzman's follow-up to Mad, which he created, was Humbug. This is also currently in print, along with Little Annie Fanny (Dark Horse) and The Mad Archives.
It's a good time to be a Kurtzman fan.

Denis Kitchen is also behind the recently released Underground Classics: The Transformation of Comics into Comix.
Denis' daughter Alexa, now ten years old, is a very young cartoonist and, amazingly, has a second book coming out this Fall. Her first was Drawing Comics is Easy (Except When It's Hard) in 2006. [My partner Anne and I still have a few copies with a signed bookplate we printed for it. You can email Anne at bp&hbooks@mac.com.]
Alexa's second book will be Grownups are Dumb! ((No Offense)), published by the Disney publisher, Hyperion.

Next time around, news from the San Diego Comic-Con. Watch for it in two weeks.

Best Wishes, Bud