Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Comic-Con Update; new Prince Valiant series; Comics for kids

Comic-Con '09: Sold Out in San Diego
"While the City Council debates a $1 billion expansion of the Convention Center, you can't buy a ticket to this year's Comic-Con International."

Heidi MacDonald offers an excellent overview of the state of San Diego's Comic-Con 2009 in her latest Publisher's Weekly blog. Maxed at 125,000 people, there is no sign of a recession at the show this year.

We'll be there, in our multi-booth set up in the 1600 aisle, and also as Bud Plant & Hutchison Books in Booth 5015, with out of print books, pulps comics and more.

New Hal Foster Prince Valiant series begins

I'm very impressed with Fantagraphic's restart of this wonderful series. The reproduction quality is much improved over their old softcover series; it's the best I've seen. Plus Volume One collects 1937-38, almost two years of Sunday Pages, nearly twice that in each of the softcovers. These are hardcover, with a handsome black cloth spine and a nicely designed closeup of one of the Sunday pages on the cover. Inside there are more extras, a little-seen interview with Hal Foster, rare photos and illustrations, and a biographical essay by Brian Kane, who wrote the out-of-print book on Foster.

What about your Prince Val softcovers? This is the perfect series to introduce kids to great comics adventure. As each hardcover appears, pass on your softcovers to a son or daughter, niece or nephew, grandson or granddaughter--even a neighbor kid. Ages 8-14 are those "sense of wonder" years, when kids discover comics that they will cherish for the rest of their lives.

Many fans have told me they've read Prince Valiant to or with their kids. Other perfect comics for young readers are Little Lulu, Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge and even the classic 1960s comics from Marvel and DC, collected in the Masterworks and Archives series.

I hear rumors that Dell's Fairy Tale Parade series by Walt Kelly might finally be collected. This is another perfect intro comic for young readers and one of the finest all-ages comics from the Golden Age. In the meantime, Craig Yoe (Arf, Secret Identity, Boody) is working on a all-kids book of reprints from the Golden Age. That will be a lot of fun.

Best wishes,