Spider-Man is one the most popular characters in the history of comics. This Artist’s Edition collects high-resolution scans of the very earliest Amazing Spider-Man daily strips by the two creators most associated with the Web-Slinger, Stan “The Man” Lee and “Jaunty” John Romita!
Approximately 300 (!) original daily strips have been scanned, all from 1977 and 1978. The strip debuted on January 3, 1977, and the entire first two months of the strip are included in this volume. Spider-Man’s origin is recapped and it’s a Who’s Who of all your favorite Spidey characters.
- IDW Publishing, January 09, 2024
- ISBN 979-8-88724-055-8
- 19.5″ x 15″, 176 pages, hardcover
- $150 USD
- Order online: Amazon, Things From Another World, Forbidden Planet, Walt’s Comic Shop, AE Index Store
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. This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.
A collection of Spider-Man stories taking some of his greatest villains: Doctor Doom, Doctor Octopus, Kraven the Hunter, Mysterio, and more! 340 daily strips spanning January 3, 1977 to Jul 11, 1978. Yes, there are gaps here, but it reads well since daily newspaper strips tend to move slowly and do a good job recapping the previous day. Plus, this is a collection of daily strips, so we’re missing the story element that happened every Saturday. No introduction here, but it closes out with a one-page biography of Romita.
The scans are all clean and clear with no issues. Scott Dunbier did all the scanning himself from strips provided by Mike Burkey. The title and credits are glued to every strip. No gradients in the blacks, and no visible pencils. Limited use of zip-a-tone and correction fluid. Overall, very clean work. The strips have aged about the same, to a light tan, but there is the occasional darker strip. Some glued elements have darkened heavily from the contact cement. Limited margin notes related to production or date.
The design plays well with the colours of Spider-Man’s costume, with the hard angles and coloured images of Spider-Man. The cover image montage of strips acting as a border works very well, but the blurry main cover image does not. And the lettering on the cover is oddly spaced. At first, I bemoaned the lack of strip identification that would be unforgivable in a standard newspaper strip collection, but here it works since we have so many days missed amongst the storylines. After the first story art the month and day is incorporated into the credits box, so as you’re reading you can see what date that strip is and determine what’s missing. It’s also interesting to see two sample strips as the back cover, allowing for a small preview to potential buyers, as long as the retailer displays the box outside its box.
The production is excellent, with a sewn binding of a thick matte paper stock, perhaps 150gsm. Because of its horizontal orientation, the book lays flat. You’ll see in the video that the pages sag a bit downwards, also most likely from the orientation. The book comes shrink wrapped in a cardboard case with a colour sticker that shows cover image and ISBN.
The colophon lists a Romitaman.com variant, but so far nothing has shown up on that site. Perhaps it will go live when the book hits its release date.
I love newspaper strips, and can see this success allowing for more. Spider-Man by Romita and Lee is a safe bet, and this volume plays to the widest audience.