Sunday, May 26, 2013

The E-Man Cometh!


Yesterday was one of the more interesting and memorable days in my comic book collecting life. I'll get into more of that in later posts, but part of what made yesterday such a sweet day was the arrival in the daily post (bless the United Postal Service and Saturday delivery) of a spanking brand new edition of E-Man The Early Years from First Comics.

When this volume was first announced two years ago, I immediately ordered a copy. I never got it. For whatever reason it never arrived and my attempts to contact First Comics failed to connect. After a time, I wrote it all up to a whomping big case of "Caveat Emptor" and went on with my life. But I still yearned for a copy of this seemingly quite handsome volume which collected up the Charlton E-Man stories by Nicola Cuti and Joe Staton. I'd read raves about this volume, seen it in pictures online and craved one of my very own. A few months ago I posted on a few Charlton related websites my desire and asked for advice on how to best get hold of a copy, assuming  all along I'd have to pay again. I was willing and downright eager if it meant getting a copy of this book.

Then last weekend out of the blue I receive an e-mail from Jeremy Cote, the "Director of Professional Relations for First Comics" indicating he'd read one of my posts mentioning my dilemma and he offered up not only an apology but offered to personally send the volume to me. I gleefully took him up on his offer and yesterday it arrived, along with a nifty First Comics t-shirt. So after two years my payment is redeemed and First Comics has a fan for life.


The volume offers up the lush artwork by Joe Staton in a condition heretofore unseen. I've read the first two stories for the umpteenth time and they are glorious with all new color. In fact the color work in this collection is especially keen.

Below is a gallery of what is contained in the volume, at least the covers, and you'll notice that issue three is shown after issue four. That's intentional and reflects the care with which the reprint is assembled. Issue three of E-Man was done before a paper shortage caused cessation of publication and before they could relaunch the infamous Energy Crisis of the middle 70's prompted Cuti and Staton to substitute a newer story about that, leaving the original third issue to become fourth. By that time Staton's art had changed pretty dramatically. In this volume the original order of production is maintained.

Also there are glimpses of two alternate covers, one for the debut issue and another for issue three which I've never seen. And I'm someone who has been gathering up E-Man material for decades. So there are pleasant surprises here for all fans. I cannot recommend this volume enough. Get one. It's difficult though as right now First is only selling this volume at conventions.

E-Man is a refreshing hero who almost always has a smile on his face. Now I do too.  Thanks Nick. Thanks Joe. And by all means thanks Jeremy.



(Issue #4 precedes #3 in the reprint.)











Also included in this volume are the covers Joe Staton prepared for First Comics when they reprinted the Charlton stories in the 80's. These reprints also contained at least one unpublished story which is also included in the volume.






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11 comments:

  1. I remember buying E-Man #1 from a darkened newsagents in Glasgow one evening back in the '70s, but I don't recall ever seeing another issue. Until, that is, First Comics did a new series, then reissued the original stories in that 1980s reprint run you refer to. I managed to acquire a replacement for my original Charlton #1 a good few years ago, so all is right with the world. I'd love a copy of that book, but I doubt there's much chance with me living in Scotland.

    Let's see if that hypnotism correspondence course was worth the money, eh? "Rip, send me your E-Man book at once!"

    Nah, guess not.

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    1. From my cold dead hand most likely! (Attempting my best Charlton Heston imitation.)

      I'm not givin' that book up anytime soon. I did get the sense that First is on the verge of expanding its operations a bit, so perhaps soon we will be able get things like this directly from and not have to go to conventions. At least that was the sense I got from Jeremy's e-mail.

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  2. So how do the rest of us get this wonderful volume? I've wanted one ever since I first (no pun intended) heard about it!

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    1. Jeremy mentioned that the "distribution infrastructure" was not yet operational. But it sounded as if that might be fixed soon. Hopefully.

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  3. Didn't know there were any E-Man collections at all. Didn't know First existed at all anymore. Would love some nice reprints. Still have gaps in my E-Man collection!

    What a great character. I often claim E-Man was the best super hero to debut in the '70s.

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    1. I'd have to agree. I discovered the hero with his sixth issue and was hooked immediately. I gathered up a complete run many years ago and followed the First Comics run in full. Later at Comico and Alpha it was more difficult to find but I've been diligent. The Digital Webing issues have been beautiful, and I was lucky enough to get a letter printed in the most recent one, a dream come true.

      E-Man is awesome. Way better than that other Bronze Age debut...what's his name...oh yeah...Wolverine!

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    2. Never really understood the appeal of Wolverine.

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  4. Great story about getting the book, Rip -- glad it worked out for you after all of that time!!

    Doug

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    1. It was indeed a very pleasant bolt from the blue. This collection is very sweet and deserves a broader market, hopefully they'll be getting it one soon.

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  5. I finally had an opportunity to purchase a copy of this collection this past weekend from Joe Staton at the New York Comic Con. I am a huge fan of his work, and several years ago I was lucky enough to find back issue copies of E-Man #7-9 for only a couple of dollars each. I've wanted to read the rest of the original Charlton run since then. I ended up reading the entire TPB in about a day and a half. Just couldn't put it down.

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  6. Just found this on kindle. Not a perfect solution but at least its out there.

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