Friday, March 11, 2011

All In Color For A Dime!


All in Color for a Dime is arguably my favorite title to any book ever about comics. It speaks of a time when comics were bright, cheap, and evocative. It was a time when comics were definitely part of an underworld of disposable trash, valued only by a few who knew what treasure was hidden in those glimmering four-color goodies. And it wasn't about the cash, it was about the wonderful worlds of imagination unlocked for kids and adults alike in a time when escape was all too necessary.

I saw ads for the book, but never got one until I was an adult myself and chanced across a copy of the paperback in a bookstore somewhere. I snapped it up and gave it a read, enjoying the essays written by fans for other fans about comics that had slipped away into the forgotten world of the past. These days, the Golden Age is vibrant, well documented and easily available, but then it was truly unknown save for a few fans and old pros who remembered the way back.


I bring all this up because I found a hardback copy of All in Color for a Dime edited by Dick Lupoff and Don Thompson, a few weeks ago. It's been like finding it all over again. I prefer packaging of the paperback, but it's nice to have the volume in a more reliable, reader-comfortable format. I don't have to worry about this copy cracking out when I read through it, so I can truly enjoy the essays.

And I can get a better look at the cover gallery. I used to treasure the old price guides not so much for the prices, but for the glimpses they gave of thumbnails of old comic book covers. Occasionally a tome would offer up more, and this is such a case. Again with the internet this stuff is so available as to seem commonplace, but to get a glimpse of these vintage covers back in the day was a real treat, and lingered in the memory in ways the modern deluge of information can never equal.

Anyway, here for your viewing pleasure is the comic book cover gallery from All in Color for a Dime.

Mac Raboy

Charles Sultan

Charles Sultan

Paul Cassidy

Dick Sprang

Everett E. Hibbard

Frank R. Paul

Alex Schomburg

Unknown

Charles Biro

Jack Kirby

George Marcoux

Alex Schomburg

Joe Simon & Jack Kirby

Elsie Segar

Rip Off

5 comments:

  1. Excellent! I also have the paperback. Never had the hardcover. I considered doing the exact same thing you've done here since all of the color pages came loose in my copy from multiple readings!

    Many years after I got this book, I met Don Thompson and, during our brief interaction, was able to tell him what an influence it had been on me.

    Many MORE years later, my first published short story came out in a book that also featured one by Dick Lupoff. That book was edited by Jim Harmon, who wrote my favorite chapter in ALL IN COLOR FOR A DIME!

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  2. I've got this new-to-me copy in my briefcase making it available for instant reading if time permits. It's a treasure trove of wonderful fanboy speak. Love it.

    Rip Off

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  3. I still have the beat up paperback I bought in a candy store in 1970. It was my first introduction to the history of comics and it gave me a lifelong interest in reading and writing about comics history.

    Nick Caputo

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  4. I totally agree, this book was indispensable (along with Les Daniels' COMIX and Jules Feiffer's GREAT COMIC BOOK HEROES in giving a history of early comics for us young fanboys in the early '70s.... Coincidentally, I came across the hardcover copy of this at the Strand in Manhattan just last night, but didn't pick it up as I still have my old paperback copy (with an unbroken spine)... but as a collector nerd, I did consider it!

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  5. I notice that you show 15 color covers. The cover blurb on the Ace Books edition promises 16. Is there one missing here?

    I don't mean to look a gift horse in the mouth (and thanks very much for the gift!) but I am curious. I'd love to see the lost item, or at least know what it was.

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