IDW has really set the standard for the comic industry when it comes to hardcover books and collector editions. One of the books I have been an avid collector of is the Artist Editions. What is an Artist Edition? It’s a book of the original artwork is scanned at high-resolution and in color to preserve all of the detail including blue line, stains, white out etc. Then bound in a book to match the size of the original artwork. Scott Dunbier editor on the line and IDW Chief Operating Officer Greg Goldstein were on hand at SDCC to talk about recient releases and announce new editions.
First up was the Best of EC Volume 2 that will contain more stories and covers like volume 1. He said that it would include Master Race by Bernard Krigstein and Food For Thought by Al Williamson among others. Dunbier said if he can continue to find more EC artwork there could be a third volume.
Dunbier showed off the Graham Ingels EC book cover that was announced at Wondercon earlier in the spring.
He then announced the Basil Wolverton Artist Edition would in fact be two separate books the first volume would have short stories and some of his end of the world art. The second volume will be printed horizontally because it will be his newspaper artwork and some that have never been published before.
The first big surprise of the panel was the Classic Marvel Covers Artist Edition that will not only have the cover to Giant Sized X-Men #1 but also Daredevil #181 and will have covers by Jim Steranko, John Bryne and Jim Starlin to name a few. The covers will be from the 1960’s through the 1980’s Marvel period.
Dunbier announced there was a second volume of John Romita Spider-Man Artist Edition
We were then leased with a slide with the following signatures.
They were Sam Keith, Mike Mignolia and Walt Simonson who were their in person to talk about there new Artist Editions. Sam Keith’s The MAXX will be the first six issues of the original Image series. Keith say that you will notice that many panels of the book are redrawn.
Mike Mignolia’s Hellboy will be the first five issues of Hellboy in Hell and also include the first two Hellboy stories from Dark Horse Presents, the John Byrne Next Men Hellboy story, and The Corpse. This will be the first Artist Edition that will not have any lettering on the artwork because the newer Hellboy books are lettered digitally. Mignola said his wife had done high-resolution scans of his artwork so they would always have copies of them although they had misplaced some one time and thought that they were lost and he was freaking out.
Walt Simonson’s Star Slammers will cover the original Marvel graphic novel originally released in 1983. Simonson praised Dunbier for doing these books and was happy to be one of the first ones to get what he was doing.
While mentioning the upcoming Joe Kubert TOR Artist Edition he said that there will be another volume of the Tarzan run that he did for DC. There could also be more Kubert editions down the road. He told a story of talking to Kubert’s assistant right before he passed away about the signature plates for the Tarzan Artist Edition. He was asking him about how Joe was and the assistant said that he was working on the sketches for the signature plates and Dunbeir told him to stop working on them and get better. And Kubert’s assistant said “you try to tell him to stop drawing”. That was just the way Kubert was.
One of the question I asked was that while I love the Artist Editions, there are too many coming out at a time and with the high price point it was tough on they buyers. Goldstein jumped in and asked the crowd if they were putting out too many. The reaction seemed to be no but every person in the room is an Artist Edition convert so I don’t think that Goldstein was getting a fair read of the matter. I did talk to Dunbier later and mentioned my concerns to him and he said that he understood my point. The last three months alone has solicitations for Artist Editions. I myself will have to be more selective in the future with editions. I just hope that they do not flood the market and the series suffers.
Someone asked Dunbier about a Jim Steranko Artist Edition and he said “Hmm, he’s pretty good. No comment.” and you could see that there might have been a little wink in his eye on that one.
As far as more DC Comics Artist Editions because they were able to get the MAD Comics Artist Edition such as X-Men Vs The New Teen TItans. Simonson chimed in and said that he does not have all of the artwork for that book because he did not ink it. But both Dunbier and Goldstein said that they are still talking to DC about doing more. Dunbier said again that the Manhunter is a dream project and would be at the top of his list and Simonson would love to have it be one.
Overall the Artist Editions seem to have no end in sight and with Dunbier at the helm I’m sure that there are many more surprises to come.