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!
Despite such an enormous variety of books available these days, and genuine efforts to present the material in reasonably-priced, archival volumes, there are still countless fabulous series from the US, Britain and Japan which are overdue for new editions. I've selected several titles which should be on bookshelves, but at this time are not.
There have been several collections of Gahan Wilson's work over the years, including a pair from Playboy Books in the 1970s. I'm thinking there should be a lot more Wilson on the shelves. A new collection of his National Lampoon strip, Nuts, would be great, but I'd also like to see a complete collection of his Playboy panels.
Long-winded text isn't really necessary here. I've scanned six of the better Wilson panels which I kept from some Playboys that I disassembled for collages and interviews some years back. These aren't necessarily his best, but they'll give you some idea what his work is like.
The problem, in this case, would be the size of any complete collection. Wilson was a regular Playboy contributor from the mid-70s at least until 2002, when I lost interest in the magazine. At a panel a page, that's a minimum of 330 pages and I'm probably guessing low. I think it's certainly doable, and I'd love to see it, but can Playboy be persuaded that there's a market for a nice hardback of that size? I certainly hope so!
(Originally posted July 14, 2008, 08:48 at hipsterdad's livejournal.)
(Update 9/08: Fantagraphics plans a complete Wilson Playboy collection.)