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All Thumbs

Today we bring you the latest from R. Fiore, who not only discusses the new edition of Ed the Happy Clown, but also has a lengthy disquisition on variant comic book covers for The Shadow, and actually quite a bit more. This one’ll keep you busy for a while. Here’s a bit about The Shadow:

The prime beneficiaries of the alternate cover come on opposite sides of the consumption spectrum. At one extreme is the collector-loon, who likes nothing more than to have something more to collect. For this buyer Dynamite supplies not only 4 or 5 evenly distributed variant cover designs, but God’s own number of hyper-rare “retailer incentive” variants for collectors to war over. On the other end of the spectrum is the buyer of the collected edition, which will contain all the variants as an appendix. For the buyer who wants to read the comics as they come out but will be damned if he’s going to be gulled into buying more than one copy of the same comic book, it becomes a matter of dubious consumer choice. You are called upon to choose how your comic book is going to be decorated in the same way you choose what color car you’re going to drive. Or more charitably, you are promoted to a practical art critic through the act of choosing.

Elsewhere:

-He brought us some attention this week… here’s a fine appreciation of Maurice Sendak from the New York Review of Books.

-Prompted by a recent Tezuka fundraising campaign, Christopher Butcher posted a series of thoughts about Kickstarter. Last week Tim mentioned the ongoing Kickstarter discussions. I’m glad there’s some public debate about it.

-Mike Gartland’s Failure to Communicate, a series of close readings of the Jack Kirby and Stan Lee comic book stories focused on the tension between Kirby’s intentions and Lee’s published versions, is now online at the Jack Kirby Museum.

-Cartoonist Brandon Graham checks in with one of his extremely fun updates on all things in his world.

-And finally, via Jeet Heer and Michael Tisserand comes news of sad cutbacks at the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Here’s a petition should you wish to get involved.


5 Responses to All Thumbs

  1. NNJ says:

    Re: Mike Gartland’s book… has anyone ever looked into the Ditko-Lee relationship in this manner? I’ve read that Ditko was turning in stories he’d plotted and penciled with no input from Stan Lee. So, I wonder how much of his dialogue notes made it into print… and that makes me wonder who came up with the “With great power…” line.

    -NNJ

  2. Robert Stanley Martin says:

    The original art for the first Spider-Man story now belongs to the Smithsonian. A scan of the final page is here. There are no notes on the front of the art board, although that’s not to say there aren’t any on the back, or that Ditko didn’t provide them separately. If there are notes on the back, an enterprising comics scholar could find out without too much trouble.

  3. Jeet Heer says:

    I might be wrong here, but I think the original art for Spider-Man being discussed here is housed in the Library of Congress.

  4. Robert Stanley Martin says:

    The fellow who scanned the original pages stated he did so through the Smithsonian, though the Googled news reports about the original donation state that it was made to the Library of Congress. To a large degree, it’s a distinction without a difference. Both are institutions of the U. S. government and administered by Congress. The pages are now the property of the U. S. government, and access to them is handled by its archival agencies. If a scholar contacted either organization, I’m sure he or she would be put on the right track to access in short order.

  5. Yes, they’re in the Library of Congress. That’s where I saw them a couple of years ago.

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