This is highly excellent news! Apparently at this year's San Diego Comic-Con the news broke that First Comics is undergoing a revival of sorts. Lots of titles were mentioned, but the one that flickered my attention was the announcement that E-Man might be back. It's hard to find specifics, since the official First Comics website is not yet fully up and running, but from what I can gather, a reprint volume of the earliest Charlton material was available in limited quantities at Comic-Con and it will have a broader release this fall. I've found listings for it on Barnes & Noble.
No idea if this will lead to new stories, but since both Nick Cuti and Joe Staton are involved, I'd love to hope so. Staton did indicate that since he has most of the original artwork the reprint was shot from those pages, so it should look magnificent.
Here's what Ken Levin says about the new volume in an interview on the revival:
Yes; actually, what got me involved in the relaunch was that Joe and Hilarie Staton and I have been talking for years -- literally years -- about how astonishing it was that there was no top quality full color edition of Joe's and Nick Cuti's "E-Man," the title First Comics bought as one of our first acts when we heard that Charlton was going out of business. Over the years, Joe and Hil would work so hard with a publisher, get close and then the publisher's management would change, or they'd say maybe we should do this without new color or in black and white(!). Finally, when the First Comics publishing relaunch was being discussed, I said I would only do it if that was in the initial book offerings, and only if it was done right. What I got back was, "OK, how's this: Joe and Hilarie and Nick get to make all the production decisions, Alex Wald will do all the new coloring he can fit into his schedule (you couldn't do better, could you?), and the book will be over 200 pages in absolute top quality format." Oh. Well, yes. I guess that might be acceptable. It's on the presses now for a limited Comic-Con run, which the printer promised will be delivered to San Diego at least three hours before the First Comics' panel at 5pm Thursday, July 21, along with a signed and numbered limited edition, as well.
Excellent! (Mr.Burns voice there.)
I've been promising to do a close reading of the early E-Man comics almost as long as I've been running this blog. But one thing and then another get in my line of sight. This summer I was planning to do it, and I got sidetracked with the fun but time-consuming JLA-JSA project. But no more excuses, this time for sure. (To quote Bullwinkle - my hero in all things.)