Sunday, February 25, 2024

The biggest and smallest books I own

I recently bought a very large book, along with some very small books, and WHAT DO YOU KNOW, they were both comic books. These have the distinction of being the biggest and smallest books I own, so let's take a look at these record-breakers. 

In 2022, Taschen published a number of early Marvel collections, reprinting 1960s issues of titles like the Avengers, X-Men, Silver Surfer and the Fantastic Four. These absolutely enormous collections, measuring 11 by over 15 inches, are an impressive sight, and they're shipped in boxes that include additional art.

The Fantastic Four volume weighs over 10 pounds and is 700 pages long, reprinting the first 19 issues of the series and the first annual.

The publisher scanned high-grade copies of printed issues of the book.

The version I got was limited to 5000 copies. I got it for a good price, lower than its original $200 price tag. It seems that they're getting close to selling out, as my numbered copy was 4,526. There's also an absolutely ridiculous $600 version that includes features like a Thing-themed book ribbon, which, okay, I will probably never be able to afford.

The books itself is lovingly designed, with a number of pieces beyond just the 20 collected issues.

There's an introduction by FF writer Mark Waid, and some almost-to-scale scans of Jack Kirby's original art.

The pages themselves are beautifully scanned and presented. This is, honestly, an expensive presentation piece or coffee table book; there are cheaper ways to read the first 20 issues of this series without having to lug out this monstrous version.

One nice feature is that the book includes all of the material from each issue, from cover-to-cover. This means that the letters pages and ads are part of this book, which is really spectacular. The Thing clobbers at a mighty scale in this book!

I've also made some headway into my collection of Marvel Mini Books from 1966. These tiny books reside on a display shelf I'm currently working on and I think they're looking good so far!

These tiny comics - smaller than a postage stamp but with actual original stories printed inside - were sold in gumball-like machines in '66, and there were six in total. Superman actually makes an appearance in the Spider-Man mini-comic! I'm still on the lookout for the Hulk and Millie the Model comics.

A few years ago, Abrams collected these mini-books and reprinted them in (relative) gigantic format. The stories themselves are pretty bland, as you might expect, and Millie's comic has the message of "don't ever get fat!" but I still find them pretty charming. Hopefully I can pick up the other two soon. And, you know, if the $600 Taschen Fantastic Four reprint goes on liquidation any time soon...just let me know. I have no reason to show the My Pet Monster figure in the picture, but I like it, so there it is.

Oh! And they finally announced the cast for Marvel's 2025 Fantastic Four movie! I am very excited about this! I don't have much else to say except that they are almost certainly going to start filming this soon, and I really hope that some of it will be filmed in New York City, and if that's the case I am going to try really, very hard to be in this movie in some capacity. 

Lastly, here's some great Thing original art I picked up recently. This piece was created by the Inkwell Awards, a nonprofit comics organization. This year, the Inkwells took some pencils by Walt Simonson, printed out a number of blueline copies, and had different inkers ink them. The one I picked up has inks by Guy Dorian, Sr., who has done a lot of work for IDW, notably ROM. This is on 11x17 artboard and will look great...okay, absolutely anywhere, but specifically with one of my folders of Thing art. I almost didn't recognize Ben through his really sophisticated disguise.

1 comment:

Larry Franks said...

Man, you getiing to be an extra in FF would be so cool. It's almost like if I got to be an extra in Dukes. Wait.