BOOK DESIGN

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COMIC BOOK EXPLOSION: AN ORAL HISTORY OF DC COMICS CIRCA 1978
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Things looked bleak for comic books throughout the 1970s because of plummeting sell-through rates. With each passing year, the newsstand became less and less interested in selling comic books. The industry seemed locked in a death spiral, but the Powers That Be at DC Comics had an idea to reverse their fortunes. In 1978, they implemented a bold initiative: Provide readers with more story pages by increasing the price-point of a regular comic book to make it comparable to other magazines sold on newsstands. Billed as “The DC Explosion,” this expansion saw the introduction of numerous creative new titles. But mere weeks after its launch, DC’s parent company pulled the plug, demanding a drastic decrease in the number of comic books they published, and leaving stacks of completed comic book stories unpublished. The series of massive cutbacks and cancellations quickly became known as “The DC Implosion.” TwoMorrows Publishing marks the 40th Anniversary of one of the most notorious events in comics with an exhaustive oral history from the creators and executives involved (Jenette Kahn, Paul Levitz, Len Wein, Mike Gold, and Al Milgrom, among many others), as well as detailed analysis and commentary by other top professionals, who were “just fans” in 1978 (Mark Waid, Michael T. Gilbert, Tom Brevoort, and more)—examining how it changed the landscape of comics forever! By Keith Dallas and John Wells.

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Secrets in the Shadows:
Gene Colan
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From Daredevil to Dracula, from Batman to Brother Voodoo, from Howard the Duck to Stewart the Rat, Secrets in the Shadows: The Art & Life of Gene Colan is the ultimate retrospective on one of comics’ all-time unique artists. Featuring rare childhood drawings, photos, recently-discovered wartime illustrations, and original art and sketches from throughout his nearly 60-year career, this book offers new insight on the inspirations, challenges and successes that shaped Gene ‘the Dean’ Colan. Among the highlights are: A comprehensive overview of Gene’s glory days at Marvel Comics! Marv Wolfman, Don McGregor and other favorite writers share plot/script samples and anecdotes of their Colan collaborations! Tom Palmer, Steve Leialoha and other noted artists show how they approached the daunting task of inking Colan’s famously nuanced penciled pages! Plus: a new portfolio of never-before-seen collaborations between Gene and such masters as John Byrne, Michael Kaluta and George Perez, and all-new artwork created specifically for this book by Gene Colan, who is still inspired by the “Secrets in the Shadows.”

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Marvel Comics In The 1980s:
An Issue-By-Issue Field Guide to a Pop-Culture Phenomenon
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TwoMorrows Publishing presents Marvel Comics in the 1980s, the third volume in Pierre Comtois’ heralded series covering the pop culture phenomenon on an issue-by-issue basis! This new book covers Marvel’s final historical phase, when the movement begun by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Steve Ditko moved into a darker era that has yet to run its course. The 1980s saw Stan Lee's retreat to the West Coast, Jim Shooter's rise and fall as editor-in-chief, the twin triumphs of Frank Miller and John Byrne, the challenge of independent publishers, and the weakening hold of the Comics Code Authority that led to the company's creative downfall—and ultimately the marginalization of the industry itself. Comics such as the Chris Claremont/John Byrne X-Men, Frank Miller's Daredevil, the New Universe, Roger Stern's Avengers and Spider-Man, the new wave of dark heroes such as Wolverine and the Punisher, and more are all covered, in the analytic detail—and often irreverent manner—readers have come to expect. However, the 1980s represented years of upheaval in the comics industry—with Marvel at the center of the storm—so expect a bumpy ride in the 1980s decade that marked the beginning of the end of Marvel Comics as you knew them!

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The Blue Beetle Companion
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The Blue Beetle debuted in 1939, rivaling such icons as Superman and Batman for longevity in comics, but not in popularity until his recent death and resurrection as a result of DC Comics’ hit Infinite Crisis series. Now, Comic Book Artist magazine’s Christopher Irving explores the history and uncovers the secrets lurking under the cover of the character’s comics in The Blue Beetle Companion! Follow his 60+ years of evolution—from the world of Fox Comics to an in-depth history of Charlton Comics—all the way to the hall of today’s DC Comics. Find out what really happened to infamous Golden Age publisher Victor Fox, and get an in-depth look at the Blue Beetle radio show and Jack “King” Kirby’s Blue Beetle comic strip. Also, presented for the first time since 1939: the first appearance of The Blue Beetle from Mystery Men Comics #1! Featuring interviews with Will Eisner, Joe Simon, Joe Gill, Roy Thomas, Geoff Johns, Cully Hamner, Keith Giffen, Len Wein, and others, plus never-before-seen Blue Beetle designs by Alex Ross and Alan Weiss, as well as artwork by Will Eisner, Charles Nicholas, Steve Ditko, Kevin Maguire, and more! It also features an introduction by Tom DeHaven, the acclaimed author of the novel It’s Superman! and Derby Dugan’s Depression Funnies. Featuring a new cover by current Blue Beetle artist Cully Hamner, this is the ultimate look at one of comicdom’s longest-living heroes!

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The KRYPTON Companion
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THE KRYPTON COMPANION unlocks the secrets of Superman’s Silver and Bronze Ages, the days when kryptonite came in multiple colors and super-pets scampered across the skies! Writer/editor Michael Eury explores the legacy of classic Superman editors MORT WEISINGER and JULIUS SCHWARTZ through all-new interviews with NEAL ADAMS, MURPHY ANDERSON, CARY BATES, RICH BUCKLER, NICK CARDY, JOSÉ LUIS GARCÍA-LÓPEZ, KEITH GIFFEN, ELLIOT S! MAGGIN, JIM MOONEY, DENNIS O’NEIL, BOB OKSNER, MARTIN PASKO, BOB ROZAKIS, JIM SHOOTER, LEN WEIN, MARV WOLFMAN, and other fan favorites! Plus: Super-artist CURT SWAN’s 1987 essay “Drawing Superman,” JERRY SIEGEL’s “lost” imaginary story “The Death of Clark Kent,” MARK WAID’s tribute to Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes, Superman’s appearances in the media and in Marvel Comics, and rare and previously unpublished artwork by Swan, Adams, WAYNE BORING, ALAN DAVIS, ADAM HUGHES, PAUL SMITH, BRUCE TIMM, and other Super-stars. Bonus: A roundtable discussion with modern-day creators (including JOHN BYRNE, JEPH LOEB, and ALEX ROSS) examining Superman’s influential past! Plus a (last-page) Introduction by Bizarro No. 1 (by Seinfeld writer David Mandel), and a super cover by DAVE GIBBONS!

All images and materials copyright the photographer noted, otherwise the respective publisher.

Richard J Fowlks

503-729-8064

rich@rjf-imagedesign.com

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