Friday, March 27, 2009

TV documentary to celebrates Monty Python's 40th anniversary.

From USA Today:

Their offbeat humor poked fun at everything from British royalty to killer rabbits. On the 40th anniversary of the debut of Monty Python's Flying Circus, the series' principal performers will be making an extended appearance on cable network IFC.

The six-part documentary Monty Python: Almost the Truth (The Lawyer's Cut) airs Oct. 4-10 and features John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin, who, along with founding member Graham Chapman created groundbreaking humor with such sketches as "The Ministry of Silly Walks" and "The Upper Class Twit of the Year."

IFC's Python Week also will include airings of the films Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Monty Python's Life of Brian and Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl.

New Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince character posters





Pop links: Hembeck Watchmen! Bernard Baily!

Who draws the Watchmen? Will, Fred Hembeck of course!



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Pappy presents a Bernard Baily-drawn monster tale.

More Where the Wild Things Are movie pics










Comic book cover conventions: Watch out for that...


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Arrow!

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Other arrow!

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Axe!

Film Noir movie poster: The Killers


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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pop links: More Jack Cole! Ginger sings! Jim Aparo!

The Horrors of it All provides one more Jack Cole-illustrated spook story.



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Today in sharity.



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It's Davy Jones and Yvonne Craig on "Ben Casey"!

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Diversions of the Groovy Kind checks out Charlton Comics' The Prankster, illustrated by the great Jim Aparo!

Official Simon and Kirby Library details and pics



Here's the skinny on this much-anticipated (by me, anyway) reprint series.

Titan Books has expanded its publishing agreement with comic book pioneer Joe Simon, co-creator of Captain America, to launch The Official Simon and Kirby Library beginning in 2009. In addition to the previously announced volumes The Best of Simon and Kirby and The Simon and Kirby Superheroes, the library will include volumes collecting the greatest horror, detective, and romance stories ever produced by the legendary Dream Team of comics.

Joe Simon and Jack Kirby first joined forces on the superhero character Blue Bolt in 1940, and later that year created the seminal hero Captain America (soon to be featured in a major motion picture by Marvel Studios). “When Jack and I created Captain America, it sent a shock across the nation even before America had entered World War II,” Simon noted. “But that was only the beginning, and we followed it up with titles like Boy Commandos and Young Romance. They weren’t superhero books, but each one sold millions of copies.”

Beginning in summer 2009 with The Best of Simon and Kirby, Titan Books will release full-color hardcover editions featuring some of the greatest stories ever told in the graphic medium, painstakingly restored by Simon and Kirby historian Harry Mendryk. Simon himself will oversee the process, and will offer original insights and secrets from behind the scenes.



The volume will feature the team’s most famous characters, including Fighting American, Stuntman, and The Fly, as well as genre adventures from such legendary titles as Black Magic, Justice Traps the Guilty, and the industry’s first romance title, Young Romance. Through the generous support of Marvel Comics and DC Comics, The Best of Simon and Kirby will include stories featuring Captain America, The Vision, Sandman, and The Boy Commandos.

“It’s simply astonishing, the materials Joe has kept over the years,” Titan owner and publisher Nick Landau said. “It shows uncanny foresight that he retained so many rights, and preserved those wonderful stories so that today’s readers will be able to enjoy some of the finest comics ever produced.” Details on the contents and format of the books are still being determined, as Landau added, “We want to come up with editions that are as perfect as they can be.”



Simon will attend the February 2009 New York ComicCon to celebrate the launch of The Official Simon and Kirby Library, and will sign exclusive limited edition lithographs. Titan plans to release two books a year, and these will be the only editions authorized by both Joe Simon and the estate of Jack Kirby. In addition to The Official Simon and Kirby Library, Titan will publish the autobiography of Joe Simon in 2010.


What happened on Lost last night?

Visit the Lost Season 5 blog to find out!

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Film Noir movie poster: Hot Spot


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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mojo mag celebrates John and Yoko's 40th wedding anniversary

Britain's awesome Mojo magazine spotlights John Lennon's marriage to Yoko Ono, and the couple's avante garde art/peace movement adventures, in its upcoming issue. You can see an online preview, including stories, pics and more, here.

Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr concert to be streamed on Web

The April 4 benefit concert for David Lynch's Transcendental Meditation foundation will be available via Lynch's own David Lynch Foundation Television.

Performers will include Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr along with Donovan, Sheryl Crow and others. Check out the link above for more details.

Pop links: Wolverton! Kubert! Tom Hanks as Major Matt Mason?!! Jack Cole! Ditko! More!

Via Boing Boing: Check out Basil Wolverton's Culture Corner.



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Read a profile of cartoonist Joe Kubert.



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Motown session drummer Uriel Jones has passed away, the BBC reports.

He was the last surviving drummer in the Motown session band known as the Funk Brothers.

He was a key component of the "psychedelic soul" foray by the Temptations, including Cloud Nine and I Can't Get Next To You.

"Uriel's drum sound was the most open and laid back and he was the funkiest of the three guys we had," said Motown arranger Paul Riser.


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Tom Hanks is set to play Major Matt Mason??!!!!

the actor...has signed on to star in Major Matt Mason, a big-budget Universal actioner based on a vintage US action figure.

How vintage? Well, Major Matt – an astronaut who worked on the moon – was launched in 1966, three years before man even set foot on his home, before the line was kyboshed in the ‘70s.


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Jon's Random Acts of Geekery
leafs through Famous Monsters #147.



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The Horrors of it All shares another Jack Cole-illustrated suspense tale.



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And here's one from Steve Ditko.


New comics March 25, 2009: Flash Archives! Ambush Bug Showcase! Way ugly JLA figures! Muppet Show! Incredibles! Phantom! More!

Here's what looks good/interesting/bad this week. Click the title links to order discounted items from Amazon.

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FLASH ARCHIVES HC VOL 05 More Silver Age Flash in color!

BATMAN THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #3 I want to like this kid-oriented spin-off of the Caped Crusader's latest TV toon, but it's been pretty impressive on the plot front, so far. Great, lively art, though.

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JLA CLASSIFIED CLASSIC ACTION FIGURES

Batman
Flash
Superman
Wonder Woman Possibly the ugliest action figures I've ever seen.

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SHOWCASE PRESENTS AMBUSH BUG TP VOL 01 Does this stuff hold up? I kinda doubt it. Some folks are excited, though. Me, I also found Giffen's art on this title a bit hard to "read" (i.e. figure out what the heck's going on the pictures). I doubt it'll be easier in black-and-white.

MUPPET SHOW #1 The preview art on this looks cool. But comics? About the Muppets? I don't know if I could get into that.

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INCREDIBLES: FAMILY MATTERS #1 On the other hand, an Incredible comic maybe I could get into. I'll give it a skim. Maybe my kids would dig it.

PHANTOM GHOST WHO WALKS #1 The Phantom is cool! Is this series? I have no idea. I hope so. We could use a cool super comic. BTW, somebody needs to reprint all Jim Aparo's Phantom comics. Please?

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STAR TREK COUNTDOWN A prequel to the upcoming movie. I'm not a big Star Trek fan, and less so the further you get away from the original series and cast. I like cheesy acting. And sets. And costumes. And cheesy everything, basically. I may check out the new movie, though, since it's Spock and Kirk and the rest.

Watch Lost tonight!

Visit the Lost Season 5 blog for a preview and spoilers about tonight's episode. Then, come back there Thursday for a full roundup of everything that happened.

Comic book cover conventions: Arm wrestling!


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Film Noir movie poster: Dark Passage


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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Marvel Comics June 2009 solicitations

Marvel has announced its releases for June. Here's what looks good to me.

THOR: TALES OF ASGARD BY STAN LEE & JACK KIRBY #2
Written by STAN LEE
Penciled by JACK KIRBY Cover by OLIVIER COIPEL
The legend has come true! By the will of the gods, I am alive! I am invincible! I am — THOR!!! And so began the very first epic tale of Marvel’s most revered hero, the mighty Thor, whose legend would grow alongside the success of Marvel comics, making him the most exciting super hero of all time! Never has Thor been more sensational than during these early tales, crafted by Marvel’s greatest, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Re-live classic Norse mythology in the mighty Marvel manner as well as Stan and Jack’s stories of the Norse Gods and Thor before he came to Earth as Don Blake. Witness as these masters breathe life into the thunder god and some of Marvel’s most enduring characters: Helmdall, Balder, Loki, Odin and Hela. Read these stories as never before with all-new, modern coloring and six extraordinary interlocking covers by current THOR artist Olivier Coipel. Collecting the “Tales of Asgard” backup stories from JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #105-#112
48 PGS./Remastered Reprints/All Ages ...$3.99

GOLDEN AGE MARVEL COMICS OMNIBUS VOL. 1 HC
Written by JOHN COMPTON, RAY GIILL, STOCKBRIDGE WINSLOW & MORE
Penciled by CARL BURGOS, BILL EVERETT, PAUL GUSTAVSON, BEN THOMPSON, STEVE DAHLMAN, BOB OKSNER, AL ANDERS, IRWIN HASEN, PAUL LAURETTA & MORE
Covers by JELENA KEVIC DJURDJEVIC & FRANK R. PAUL
In August 1939 a new voice hit the newsstands and changed the comic-book world forever: MARVEL COMICS #1, with its blazing Human Torch cover, had arrived! And this 64-page pulp package wasn't your typical assortment of super-powered, straight-laced, do-gooders--this was something completely new. The amazing android creation of Dr. Phineas Horton, the Human Torch was neither man nor hero--he was a blazing force of nature that shocked and unsettled mankind. Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner, the half-human/half-Atlantean, ventures from his undersea kingdom into the world of man--not with a mind set on peace, but towards vengeance! These two characters would form the foundation for the style of conflicted hero that defines Marvel to this day, and you'll see them evolve across twelve full issues from their raw forms into the battling fire and water mega-hits of the Golden Age! They're flanked by an eclectic set born out of the fast-paced energy and imagination of the Golden Age including the heroic Angel; the wild and incomparable robot invention, Electro; the hard-edged detective, the Ferret; Terry Vance, the boy adventurer; the Western Masked Raider; and the ongoing jungle adventures of Ka-Zar, the Great. Featuring an extensive essay on Marvel's pulp magazine pre-history, publisher Martin Goodman and the birth of Marvel Comics by noted historian Will Murray, and topped off with special bonus features including original artwork and items never seen since 1939, this collection forms the cornerstone of Marvel history essential for every comic book fan, collector and historian! Collecting MARVEL COMICS #1 & MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS #2-12
832 PGS/All Ages ...$125.00

MARVEL MASTERWORKS: THE INVINCIBLE IRON MAN VOL. 6 HC
Written by ARCHIE GOODWIN
Penciled by GEORGE TUSKA & JOHNNY CRAIG
Cover by GEORGE TUSKA
The life and times of Tony Stark have never been a quiet affair, but the tales coming at you in our latest and greatest Marvel Masterworks collection are going to drive the Golden Avenger to the brink like never before! As if being tethered to one of his oldest foes, The Unicorn, while his life hangs in the balance wasn't threat enough, Tony Stark finds himself replaced by his own S.H.I.E.L.D. Life Model Decoy. And this doppelganger doesn't just want to take Stark's place--he wants to take his life. So it's Iron Man vs. Iron Man like never before, while a ghost from the past returns in the form of the mysterious and alluring Madame Masque. That's not all, though! There's the return of the Titanium Man and the Crimson Dynamo, the tragic loss of a loved one, the continuing saga of Madame Masque's torment, a story of voodoo horror delineated by EC Comics great, Johnny Craig, and an epic throw down with the Sub-Mariner while Tony Stark looks to get into the movie business--Masterworks one and all! Collecting IRON MAN #14-25
264 PGS/All Ages ...$54.99

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MARVEL MASTERWORKS: THE FANTASTIC FOUR VOL. 2 TPB
Written by STAN LEE
Penciled by JACK KIRBY
Cover by JACK KIRBY & DEAN WHITE
The Fantastic Four return in another collection of classic tales by the team that built the House of Ideas, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby! Creating the World's Greatest Comic Magazine wasn't enough for these two talents, now they had to prove it--and here how! Across ten trend-setting issues, the Thing and the Hulk face-off for the first time; the FF journey to the moon to grapple with the Red Ghost and his Super Apes and first encounter the cosmic presence of The Watcher; the villainous Puppet Master bends the might of Namor, the Sub-Mariner, to his will; the Mad Thinker unleashes his Awesome Android; Rama-Tut (a.k.a. Kang the Conqueror) sends the FF to ancient Egypt; Dr. Doom returns in a two-part epic guest-starring the Astonishing Ant-Man; the Molecule Man menaces the world; and, for the first time, the wild and wacky Impossible Man drops in from the planet Poppup. Oh, and we couldn't forget, it's all topped off with a star-studded, action-packed Annual featuring the Sub-Mariner's all-out aquatic invasion of New York City--with bonus pinups-a-plenty and a back-up feature pitting the FF vs. Spider-Man! Collecting THE FANTASTIC FOUR #11-20 & ANNUAL #1
304 PGS/All Ages ...$24.99

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EXCALIBUR VISIONARIES: ALAN DAVIS VOL. 1 TPB
Written by ALAN DAVIS
Penciled by ALAN DAVIS
Cover by ALAN DAVIS
Excalibur leader Captain Britain is double-teamed by problems when the Technet take over his house and he's abducted to be put on trial by his fellow Captain Britains! Meanwhile, Excalibur's own ranks grow as Widget, Kylun and Cerise join the action -- presuming anyone on the team survives the wrath of the Anti-Phoenix! More than four years of mutant madness culminate in a fearsome fight in #50! Collecting EXCALIBUR #42-50.
232 PGS./Rated A ...$24.99

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ESSENTIAL THOR VOL. 4 TPB
Written by STAN LEE & GERRY CONWAY
Penciled by JACK KIRBY, NEAL ADAMS & JOHN BUSCEMA
Cover by JACK KIRBY
"The Fall of Asgard!" "The End of Eternity!" "A Time of Evil!" If it's not one thing, it's another -- but everyone's favorite thunder god is on top of it all...even when he's inhabiting his evil foster brother's body! Trouble comes from all directions with cosmic clashes against Galactus and the Stranger; demonic doings from Surtur and Mephisto; and Dr. Doom, the Wrecker and Mangog picking up the slack! Plus: giants, trolls, demons, robots and more! Collecting THOR #167-195.
600 PGS./All Ages ...$19.99

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ESSENTIAL DOCTOR STRANGE VOL. 4 TPB
Written by ROGER STERN, DON MCGREGOR, RALPH MACCHIO, CHRIS CLAREMONT, BILL KUNKEL, DAVID MICHELINIE, J.M DEMATTEIS & GARDNER FOX
Penciled by TOM SUTTON, RICARDO VILLAMONTE, ALAN KUPPERBERG, RUBY NEBRES, P. CRAIG RUSSELL, GENE COLAN, DAN GREEN, WALT SIMONSON, AL MILGROM, WENDY PINI, FRANK GIACOIA, JOE RUBINSTEIN, BOB WIACEK, TOM PALMER, KERRY GAMMILL, MICHAEL GOLDEN, MARSHALL ROGERS, TERRY AUSTIN, PAUL SMITH, BRENT ANDERSON, HOWARD CHAYKIN & DON PERLIN
Cover by PAUL SMITH
Dormammu, Ikonn, Tiboro, Ningal, the Dweller in Darkness, names to conjure with...literally! Yet they're only a few of the occult enemies who confront Stephen Strange, Sorcerer Supreme, challenged by Baron Mordo, the Eye Killers, and sorcerers from across the world and throughout the dimensions! Weirdness awaits in the Realm of the Shadowqueen and an unfallen Roman Empire, but with Nightmare and D'Spayre around, the human psyche may be the deadliest battleground of all! Plus the mystery of Murdoch Adams, Monster Hunter! With the Man-Thing, Brother Voodoo, and Namor the Sub-Mariner, plus the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, and the Howling Commandos! Featuring rare horror work by genre legend Howard Chaykin! Collecting DOCTOR STRANGE #30-56; CHAMBER OF CHILLS #4 and MAN-THING #4.
564 PGS./All Ages ...$19.99

Pop links: New Elvis Costello! Rare Hembeck! Crumb meets God! Jack Cole!

Six months or so after whining to Mojo mag that he'd probably never release another album, Elvis Costello is releasing another album.

"Sugarcane," which will be released June 2 on Hear Music, was produced by T Bone Burnett and recorded during a three-day session at Nashville's Sound Emporium Studio. Costello and Burnett collaborated on "King of America" and 1989's "Spike."

Costello's band for the project includes such Bluegrass and traditional country musicians as Jerry Douglas (dobro), Stuart Duncan (fiddle), Mike Compton (mandolin), Jeff Taylo (accordion) and Dennis Crouch (double bass). Emmylou Harris sings on one song, and Burnett adds his Kay electric guitar sound to several songs, the only amplified instrument on the album.

Ten of the album's tracks are new Costello compositions, including two written with Burnett. One song, " I Felt The Chill," was written by Costello and Loretta Lynn, and two songs -- "Hidden Same" and "Boom Chicka Boom" -- originally were written by Costello for Johnny Cash.

The vinyl version of the album will feature two additional songs: an acoustic a arrangement of Lou Reed's "Femme Fatale" and Costello's sequel to an old Appalachian murder ballad, "What Lewis Did Last."


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Before the knee squiggles: Check out some rare fanzine art by Fred Hembeck.



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Cartoonist Robert Crumb has finished his adaptation of the Book of Genesis. I hope it's funnier than those lame cartoons he and his wife have done in The New Yorker over the past several years.

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The Horrors of it All presents another Jack Cole-illustrated thriller.

Deal alert: James Bond Ultimate Collector's Set for $89.95, Blu-Ray six pack for

Today only on Amazon, you can order the James Bond Ultimate Collectors Set for $89.95, a savings of more than $200, or the James Bond Blu-Ray Collection Six-Pack for $64.95, a savings of $115.

Film Noir movie poster: Macao


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Monday, March 23, 2009

DC Comics June 2009 solicitations

DC has announced its publication plans for June 2009. Here's what looks noteworthy to me:


BATMAN AND ROBIN #1
Written by Grant Morrison
Art and cover by Frank Quitely
Variant cover by JG Jones
Sketch variant cover by Frank Quitely
"Batman Reborn" begins here! With the reunited team of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (ALL-STAR SUPERMAN, WE3, New X-Men), this first issue kicks off a 3-part story arc that can't be missed! The new Dynamic Duo hit the streets with a bang in their new flying Batmobile as they face off against an assemblage of villains called the Circus of Strange. They also tackle their first mission investigating a child who’s been abducted by the mysterious Domino Killer. But will everything go smoothly? And who exactly are the new Batman and Robin? The newest era of The Dark Knight begins here!
On sale June 3 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US


BATMAN: STREETS OF GOTHAM #1
Written by Paul Dini and Marc Andreyko
Art by Dustin Nguyen & Derek Fridolfs and Georges Jeanty & Karl Story
Cover by Dustin Nguyen
Variant cover by JG Jones
An all-new Batman series by the DETECTIVE COMICS creative team of Paul Dini and Dustin Nguyen! As a new Batman rises on the streets of Gotham City, the heroes, villains and citizens take notice. How will the police feel about this new Batman, and can he control the crime in Gotham the way the old Batman did?
This new series also features a regular ongoing co-feature starring Manhunter written by Marc Andreyko and illustrated by Georges Jeanty (Buffy Season 8)! Kate Spencer lost a friend during the chaos of BATTLE FOR THE COWL, and now she wants payback. As usual, she’ll use any means necessary to get it!
On sale June 17 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US


GOTHAM CITY SIRENS #1
Written by Paul Dini
Art and cover by Guillem March
Variant cover by JG Jones
This all-new series features the bad girls of Gotham City! Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn are tired of playing by other people's rules regardless of which side of the law they're on. These tough ladies have a new agenda that's all their own, and they'll use any means necessary to pursue it. But can they get along and work as a team? And who will get hurt along the way? DETECTIVE COMICS and STREETS OF GOTHAM writer Paul Dini kicks off this brand-new ongoing series with amazing artwork by Guillem March (JOKER’S ASYLUM: POISON IVY, GOTHAM GAZETTE).
On sale June 24 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US


DC COMICS CLASSICS LIBRARY: THE JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA BY GEORGE PEREZ VOL. 1 HC
Written by Gerry Conway
Art by George Pérez with Frank McLaughlin and John Beatty
Cover by George Pérez
The first half of artist George Pérez’s 1980s run on JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA is collected in this new hardcover featuring issues #184-186, 192-194 plus Pérez’s very rare JLA postcard set! Don’t miss the team’s battles with Darkseid and The Secret Society of Super-Villains, as envisioned by the artist of FINAL CRISIS: LEGION OF THREE WORLDS!
Advance-solicited; on sale August 26 • 176 pg, FC, $39.99 US


THE SANDMAN BY JOE SIMON & JACK KIRBY
Written by Joe Simon & Jack Kirby
Art and cover by Joe Simon & Jack Kirby
At last, the classic 1940s Super Hero series by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby is collected from the pages of WORLD’S FINEST COMICS #6-7, ADVENTURE COMICS #72-97, #100-102 (1942-1946) and SANDMAN #1, the comic that reunited Simon & Kirby in 1974!
In the capable hands of Simon and Kirby, the Sandman left behind his trademark green suit, fedora and gas mask to become a brightly costumed adventurer on the trail of crime in the big city with the help of his sidekick, Sandy the Golden Boy. With a strong element of the fantastic in the form of haunted dreams and foes claiming to be figures of myth, these stories were perfect examples of the fast-paced, slam-bang adventures that made Simon & Kirby the most celebrated comics talents of the 1940s.
Advance-solicited; on sale August 12 • 304 pg, FC, $39.99 US


THE SUPERMAN CHRONICLES VOL. 7 TP

Written by Jerry Siegel
Art by Leo Nowak and John Sikela
Cover by Fred Ray
In this new set of stories from the 1940s, The Man of Tomorrow investigates sabotage at a factory, battles giant mutant beasts created by Lex Luthor, encounters the mysterious Archer and discovers a lost underground civilization bent on conquering the surface world. Featuring tales from ACTION COMICS #41-43, SUPERMAN #12-13 and WORLD’S FINEST COMICS #4!
Advance-solicited; on sale July 22 • 168 pg, FC, $14.99 US


SHOWCASE PRESENTS: BAT LASH TP
Written by Nick Cardy, Sergio Aragones, Dennis O’Neil, Len Wein and Cary Bates
Art by Nick Cardy, Mike Sekowsky, George Moliterni and Dan Spiegle
Cover by Nick Cardy
DC’s legendary Western series is collected at last in one volume featuring SHOWCASE #76, BAT LASH #1-7 and stories from DC SPECIAL SERIES #16 and JONAH HEX #49, 51 and 52.
Advance-solicited; on sale July 8 • 240 pg, B&W, $9.99 US


SHOWCASE PRESENTS: BATMAN VOL. 4 TP

Written by Gardner Fox, Frank Robbins, Robert Kanigher, Mike Friedrich, John Broome and E. Nelson Bridwell
Art by Irv Novick, Frank Springer, Bob Brown, and others
Cover by Irv Novick
Batman tales from the 1960s including battles with The Joker, The Riddler, Catwoman and a league of strange assassins, as first seen in the pages of BATMAN #202-215 and DETECTIVE COMICS #376-390.
Advance-solicited; on sale July 22 • 520 pg, B&W, $16.99 US