Thursday, January 24, 2008

Reprint This! 25. Coda

Reprint This! is a periodic feature where I talk about some out-of-print comic book gems that are not available in collected form for readers to enjoy. This is hoping to let rights owners know that, yes, readers are out here, and we'd like to buy the things we can't get at this time!

I decided to do this series of articles based on an earlier, three-part feature, but chose to keep it limited to 24 titles for the sake of personal convenience and to make sure I had an end in sight as I did my daily writing. But there are plenty of other great comics that deserve to see the light of day as well. Here are five others which would be great to see again... which I'd certainly buy if only my local comic shop could order them from somebody!

HERBIE by Richard E. Hughes and Ogden Whitney

I don't know nearly enough about this series, which is incredibly odd and readable, save that you do not wish to mess with the ultra-powerful Mr. Popnecker, else he'll bop somebody with that there lollipop. Herbie first appeared in American Comic Group's Forbidden Worlds in 1958, and made periodic appearances before getting his own title in 1964. ACG went out of business in 1967. Back issues are incredibly scarce and start at around $20 for good condition copies. There's no telling who might have the rights to Herbie, suggesting that any compilation would probably be a long time in coming. However, an episode was reprinted in 2005's Art Out of Time and there were a couple of mid '90s black and white reprints with new art from celebrity fans like Bob Burden and John Byrne, so I reckon somebody must know. (edited to add: LJ's spook_town informs us that the rights to ACG's library may currently belong to Roger Broughton. So, D&Q, Fanta, y'all go invite him around for drinks, okay?)

JAMES BOND by Takao Saito

Yeah, that's the same scan everybody's got. That's why we need a reprint. In 1964, Gildrose licensed four James Bond novels to Shokakugan, and Takao Saito, who'd later create Golgo 13, adapted them in monthly installments for Boy's Life. The stories were: Live and Let Die (9 parts, 1964-65), Thunderball (7 parts, 1965-66), On Her Majesty's Secret Service (9 parts, 1966) and The Man With the Golden Gun (8 parts, 1966-67). Single-volume editions were later issued and are highly prized by collectors.


All of it. Not a "best of." By DeCarlo. With his name on it. And while I'm at it, I'd like a pony.

THIRD WORLD WAR by Pat Mills, Carlos Ezquerra, Sean Phillips, John Hicklenton, Steve Pugh and others

Okay, so there are probably more representative images from 3WW that I could have used, but none of them would raise the eyebrows of my gamer geek girlfriend. It ran in the pages of Crisis from 1988-90. I maintain some small hope that Rebellion will announce a two-volume collection before we get too old and gray. This is certainly the most likely of these five, and I only moved it to the coda because Ezquerra got a couple of spotlight articles already.


Thinking that the first two-thirds of V for Vendetta is supposed to look like anything other than the above is like thinking that Humphrey Bogart is supposed to be wearing an ochre yellow jacket in Casablanca. And I'm missing five issues of Warrior, where it first appeared, so my set's not complete. Unfortunately, DC has the rights to V, and DC and Alan Moore don't get along anymore, so we'll probably see a complete Dan DeCarlo Josie before we ever see this restored to its proper, beautiful black and white.

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That's that for Reprint This! as a regular feature, but I'll still use the tag from time to time when something occurs to me and I want to see an old favorite on bookshelves again, or when some publisher does the right thing and announces something good is coming up. As was mentioned some weeks ago, Vertical's bringing Osamu Tezuka's Black Jack to us in a new English edition and Thunderbirds was already out in a UK-only collection nobody'd heard of, so that's two down and 27 total to go. If one of your favorites is somewhere on this list, link to it, talk about it and let publishers know. Every bit of buzz helps!

(Originally posted January 24, 2008, 09:03 at hipsterdad's livejournal.)

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