Monday, June 30, 2014

Manhunting Again!

I stumbled across this tome in the latest set of solicitations. I fear they might be about to get more money out of my wallet. Sheesh! Here are the details.

"This will be an amazing book! (I can say this because I’ve actually held some of the pages of this wonderful series in my own hands.) Manhunter by Archie Goodwin and Walter Simonson must be the most acclaimed back-up feature in comics history, winning numerous awards upon its original publication in the 1970s as an eight-page bi-monthly back-up in DC’s Detective Comics. What’s even more incredible is that the series revolves around a long-forgotten third-tier series from Adventure Comics which only became popular when Joe Simon and Jack Kirby revamped the series in 1942, adding superhero elements to a standard detective character. 

When revived by Goodwin and Simonson, it was not their original intent for their star to be the same Golden Age character. They used the Paul Kirk name as a homage to the previous, but as the story progressed, the creators adopted elements of the original to quickly establish a backstory for the character, given their limited amount of pages. The entire story was only seven episodes long — six of them only eight pages each. The final chapter was “full-length” and guest-starred Batman for the explosive resolution of the story (and the finale of “this” Manhunter). 

This new Manhunter Artist Edition presents the entire saga, with nearly every page shot from the original artwork, courtesy of Simonson’s personal archives. As a special treat, this collection will also include much of Simonson’s other work for DC during this period, including amazing Dr. Fate, Metal Men (written by Steve Gerber), and Captain Fear adventures, as well as a stunning Batman story. I predict this Artist Edition will sell quickly, so don’t wait to order! DC Comics let Manhunter slide in and out of print for decades, so at times, it’s been difficult to find. It currently resides in the Tales of the Batman: Archie Goodwin hardcover, which features the entire work, plus an epilogue, plotted by Goodwin years after the series finale, but not actually produced and published until after his death in 1998. This additional silent story, originally published in Manhunter: The Special Edition in 1999, will reportedly be included in this Artist’s Edition. 176-pages

Sounds like an absolutely beautiful volume. Where will I store it? I don't know. Can I really afford it? Probably not. Will I get it? Almost certainly.

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  1. I think this'll be a great one, as Simonson packed so much onto every page. Seeing it in large size will be a treat. Might miss the color though.

    1. Simonson's work from this period was so fine and detailed, that seeing it in larger scale will really open it up. Not every artist is well served by this technique but Simonson might well be.

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