Featuring an outstanding sampling of Big John Buscema’s classic stories, covers, and interior pages from the mid-1960s to the later ’70s, all in the groundbreaking and multi-Eisner Award-winning Artist’s Edition format! Buscema was a true “artist’s artist,” his stellar anatomy, coupled with dynamic storytelling, made him one of the most revered and respected artists in the Marvel Pantheon. This volume will contain several complete stories (including Avengers and Sub-Mariner), plus incredible examples of art from his runs on Avengers, Fantastic Four, Thor, Sub-Mariner, and more. There will be a gallery section chock full of covers. And, as with all Artist’s Editions, all the art in this book has been scanned from Buscema’s originals, enabling the reader to be able to clearly view each page as never before—clearly seeing pencils, editorial notations, ink gradients, more—all the little details and nuances that makes original art unique. Unless you were looking over John Buscema’s shoulder in his studio, you’ll never have a better opportunity than this to see his artwork as it truly looks! BONUS—This book will feature several foldouts presenting a number of Buscema’s early, larger covers at full size—a true treat for art lovers!
- IDW Publishing, February 09, 2022
- ISBN: 978-1-68405-871-6
- 12″ x 17″, 194 pages, hardcover
- $150 USD
- Order Online: Things From Another World, Forbidden Planet, Amazon, Books etc.
As with all AE format material (Artist’s Editions, Artifact Editions, Gallery Editions, Art Editions, Studio Editions, etc.), this is a collection of classic comic material and I’ll be reviewing the book and not the story. For a complete list of all current and announced editions, with review links, please visit our Index. Also, see What is an Artist’s Edition and our Artist Index.
A wonderful sampling of Buscema’s early work on Avengers, plus glimpses into Thor, Namor and the Fantastic Four. Three complete issues, thirty-five covers, ninety-three interior pages, a pin-up and a model sheet. Plus an introduction by Joe Jusko and a one-page biography.
Two things struck me as I flipped through the pages. First, this book exemplifies just how important an inker’s work is on a comic page. While all the pencils are John Buscema, the finished pages vary wildly based on the inker. The Jim Mooney Sub-Mariner pages shone the most for me, followed by the early Tom Palmer Avengers pages. When looking at the art, they have varying degrees of “Buscema-ness” or how much the inker added of themself. Or perhaps it was how much Buscema contributed in the pencils of that issue. Yet it’s still all personal taste, as the Joe Sinnott inked Fantastic Four pages seem to strengthen Buscema’s style, but I was never a fan of that period.
The second thing was how few complete issues Scott Dunbier was able to locate. For an artist as prolific as Buscema, that seems like a very small number. Where are all the pages to get complete issues?
Scan quality is good: there are several pages where a spot or portion is soft or blurry. Pages also vary greatly in aging from off-white to yellow and tan. Forty people are thanked in the colophon so it’s a fair guess these pages from a range of people, scanners and storage. Blacks show gradients. We’re treated to paste-ups, blue pencil, Zip-A-Tone, correction fluid, and margin notes.
The design follows the tried and true IDW formula that Dahlk developed. This is about as large as IDW likes to go with the page count, so the usual chapter breaks have been kept out so more art could be fit in. Three to four colours worked into the title page, colophon, table of contents, and biography. Oddly none of those colours appear on the covers or spine. Hard lines, squares and rectangles, are emphasized by the colour choices. The table of contents has page numbers, but no page numbers appear in the book. Well done image enlargements throughout, but the endpapers and back cover really pop.
Production is IDW excellent. A sewn binding of uncoated matte paper stock, possibly 140-150 gsm. Most pages lay flat when the center is smoothed, except where the signatures meet. The book comes shrink-wrapped in a cardboard case, with a small colour sticker showing the cover image, UPC, and publisher’s logos. The cardboard case is a little different this time: the cardboard isn’t as compact and sturdy, and the outer edges of the case’s cover are rounded. The tabs on the three sides that open are a bit longer and do a better job keeping it closed.
So much great material included. The foldouts are showstoppers for me, especially the covers to Avengers 48 and Sub-Mariner 1. Yowzers!
The cover of Silver Surfer 1 appears here and in John Buscema’s Silver Surfer Artist’s Edition, and it’s a great cover but I hope something wasn’t left out to make room for it.
These Avengers pages hit that nostalgia in me hard. I was eight when I started reading comics, and my mother and I would go every Saturday to a local flea market where there was a comic booth. I started with G.I. Joe from the local convenience store, but at the flea market, I dove headfirst into Invaders and Marvel Triple Action, then going right to early Avengers issues. Robbins, Heck and Buscema all are the bedrock of my comics nostalgia. For some reason Trimpe’s work on G.I. Joe never stirred anything in me; I was just getting to the comic to be part of the expanded universe of the cartoon.
And it’s gratifying and humbling to be immortalized in the dedication of a book.