THE WINTER MEN is the project John Paul Leon was most proud of. Its artwork has never been sold or left his Miami studio, except to be scanned for this book. Now, as a tribute to the renowned artist, JP’s closest friends have united to publish an Artist’s Edition of this modern comics masterpiece, with all proceeds proudly going to JP’s wife and daughter.
Please pledge your support and join JP’s studio-mates and Project Organizers Tommy Lee Edwards & Bernard Chang, Book Editor & Project Initiator Scott Dunbier, and artists Bill Sienkiewicz, Lee Weeks, Duncan Fegredo, Sean Phillips, Kim Jung Gi, Peach Momoko, Walter Simonson and Joe Quesada (who are all contributing brand new pin-ups) in celebration of an astonishing and inspiring body of work. John Paul Leon’s THE WINTER MEN Artist’s Edition features 200 pages of full-size 12 x 17 scans of all of the original comic art pages, along with never-before-seen concepts, layouts, sketches, unused art and pin-ups.
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.
The complete six issues of The Winter Men, followed by a gallery containing preliminaries, pencils, roughs, and tribute works by a host of artists. With an introduction by Tommy Lee Edwards, and closing with an afterword by Walter Simonson. No biography this time. Issues 1,2 and 6 are lettered: issues 3-5 are not.
The scans are clear and complete with no visual issues. Blacks show gradients. Lots of correction fluid is used in creative ways. No notes in the margins. The word balloons are pasted on and show a variety of cuts and transparency. Original art fills the page vertically with small margins on the left and right with no gutter loss. The paper shows very little aging, with most pages off-white.
With the team of Dunbier and Dahlk behind this work, it feels completely like an Artist’s Edition. The red and black from the cover carry throughout. A table of contents with page numbers but no numbers on the pages. Art enlarged or cut and used for the endpapers, title page, chapter dividers, tables of contents, and colophon. It all presents very well, as a cohesive unit. I wish the lettering had been added digitally to issues 3-5, like Frank Cho’s Savage Wolverine Artist’s Edition, for a complete package and so it could be read.
Most of the tribute art is portrait orientation, but two are landscape. For some reason, Tommy Lee Edwards’ piece is included sideways while Joe Quesada’s takes two pages.
Production is excellent: a sewn binding of thick matte paper. The book comes shrink-wrapped in a cardboard case with a colour sticker showing the cover. No ISBN number for this volume, as they must be purchased in the United States.
By the second page I was hooked again on Leon’s art and the marvel of his techniques with blacks, correction fluid, and negative space. No Leon work should ever be coloured. A truly stunning collection.
A little over 1000 of these were published and there are currently no plans for a second printing. A few have surfaced on eBay.