A pioneer of American genre comics, Wallace Wood (1927-1981) was a virtuoso and visionary author. He left a deep mark on science fiction, fantasy, humour and erotic comics throughout a rich and unclassifiable career, to which the Festival is dedicating a rare retrospective.
Reproducing more than 150 pieces from the pioneer of American genre comics, this catalogue traces the career and the multifaceted work of a virtuoso author who never ceased to evolve and reinvent himself.
- 9e Art+ éditions, March 2020
- ISBN 978-2-491547-04-2
- 9.75″ x 13.75″, 160 pages, hardcover
- 35,00 €
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.
An exhibition catalogue of the 2020 Wallace Wood show at the 47th Festival International De La Bande Dessinnée D’Angoulême. A 9.75″ x 13.75″ hardcover of 160 pages, the standard for 9e Art+ Angoulême catalogues. Every image is annotated with year, story name, book title and issue number, publisher, publication date, creators, media used, and dimensions. For multiple pages of the same story, this prefaces the first page.
The book opens with a short biography of Wood and then provides commentary on the included artwork. This ranges from a paragraph to a page, moving through Wood’s career and highlighting publishers and projects.
With Frédéric Manzano and Florentino Flórez working on this for Angoulême after doing the Casal Solleric exhibit in 2010 and producing Woodwork: Wallace Wood 1927-1981, a comparison is required. First off, there are only four complete stories in this volume: My World from Weird Science #22, there will come soft rains from Weird Fantasy 17, The Battle of Britain from Blazing Combat #3 (but at 1/4 size), and My Word from Big Apple Comix. Several stories appear here but with select pages, including Trial by Arms, New Orleans!, Flesh Garden!, Prince Violent!, To Kill A God, and Malice In Wonderland.
There are pages included here that were not in Woodwork, including an additional Daredevil page, extra Tower pages, more MAD pages, and Warren pages. Either this volume makes an excellent companion to Woodwork, or it’s a great introduction to Wood’s original art.
All of the scans present wonderfully, clear and without issue. All the hallmarks of original art are here: correction fluid, Zip-A-Tone, margin notes, pates-ups, dried glue, blue pencil and red marker, etc.
The design flows quite well, changing the page layout to suit the size of the displayed art. In essence, it’s a bunch of black and tan rectangles with text around them: the trick is to make them flow. I’m especially enamoured with the cover design: the full image with title in that coloured box just pops. The limited enlargements at the front and back seemed to have been picked for their heavy use of inks and display exceptionally well at that size.
Every page is numbered, and the book is divided into chapters, but there is no table of contents. Page number and chapter run along the bottom of every page.
There is a luxurious feel to this volume. A hardcover with sewn binding of white semi-gloss paper. At first, it looks like matte paper, but then the colour images pop, and there’s a slick feel to the paper.
The colophon is the last page, and the copyright notice is the only English text here. I suppose since the copyright holders are all English-speaking companies they wanted to cover their bases.
Here is a video tour of the exhibit Les Mondes De Wallace Wood from Angouléme.