April 2007 comics highlights

Along with the DC and Marvel solicitations for April, here are some other upcoming items that look good/interesting:

Designed and edited by LESLIE CABARGA
It's amazing how many comics fans who grew up admiring Spiderman, Batman, and Nick Fury still retain warm places in their hearts for Casper the Friendly Ghost. Now Dark Horse is delighted to participate in the revival of Casper, who remains among the most beloved of cartoon and comic book icons. Casper the Friendly Ghost made his first appearance as a star of Paramount's Famous Cartoons in 1947 and entered the comics in 1949. But after five issues, publisher St. John's gave up the title. That's when Harvey Comics stepped in, and where this book begins. Harvey breathed life into Casper, and from the very first issue, the cover designs, stories, and artwork - drawn by the same animators who worked on the cartoons - were a cut above. Harvey Comics Classics Volume 1: Casper contains over 100 of Casper's very best stories, from the beginning of the Harvey series in 1952 through the classic years of the mid-1960s. The art is reproduced from crisp black-and-white printer's proofs and original artwork from the old Harvey archives, along with sixty four pages of color meticulously restored from the original comic books. The book includes a comprehensive introduction illustrated with historic memorabilia. Order for $13.57 from Amazon.

by Alex Raymond
The latest volume in Checker's superb archival-quality series collecting the entirety of Alex Raymond's run on the legendary sci fi comic strip! This volume collects Flash Gordon Sundays strips which originally ran from October 1936 through February 1945. Order for $13.57 from Amazon.

by Charles M. Schulz
In this volume of the bestselling Complete Peanuts series, Charles Schulz introduces one (in fact, three) of the quirkiest characters to the Peanuts universe, the numerically-monikered 95472 siblings. They didn't stay around very long but offered some choice bits of satirical nonsense while they did. As it happens, this volume is particularly rich in never-before-reprinted strips: Over 150 (more than one fifth of the book!) have never seen the light of day since their original appearance over 40 years ago, so this will be a trove of undiscovered treasures even for avid Peanuts collectors. Introduction by Bill Melendez, animator of all the Peanuts TV specials starting all the way back with A Charlie Brown Christmas! Order for $19.98 from Amazon.

by Walt Kelly
Spirited and engaging, Kelly's Our Gang harks back to the days before television, when kids spent most of their time playing outdoors, limited only by each other's imagination and ingenuity. Kelly created dozens of Our Gang stories by the end of its 59-issue run in 1949, the year he quit comic books to switch careers a final time - as syndicated artist/writer on the immortal newspaper strip, Pogo. This is the second in a series of books reprinting Walt Kelly's Our Gang stories. Cover by Jeff Smith (Bone). Order for $10.36 from Amazon.

by Nick Cardy
At long last, here is the definitive book on famed DC artist Nick Cardy's work in newspaper strips! Featuring never-before-published art, interviews, analysis, and commentary, plus Nick's complete run on the 1950 Tarzan strip, published for the first time in its entirety! Also, see Nick's gorgeous renditions of Lady Luck, Casey Ruggles, and more!

This second beautiful hardcover volume of Shock SuspenStories reprints issues #7-12, featuring 24 stories in all by an all-star line-up that includes Bill Gaines, Al Feldstein, Wally Wood, Joe Orlando, Reed Crandall, Al Williamson, Jack Kamen, George Evans, John Severin, Bill Elder, Jack Davis, Johnny Craig, and Marie Severin. Order for $32.97 from Amazon.

Presenting the second volume of IDW Publishing's deluxe hardcover collection of Chester Gould's timeless comic strip, Dick Tracy. Volume Two once again contains nearly 500 comic strips from the series' early years, this time covering material that originally ran from May 1933 through January 1935. This special volume features an introduction from Consulting Editor and longtime Tracy writer Max Allan Collins, as well as part two of the interview between Collins and creator Chester Gould. Each volume will feature book design from award-winning designer/artist Ashley Wood. Order for $20.36 from Amazon.

by Christian Slade
Top Shelf is proud to announce the signing of an all new, all-ages series of graphic novels, entitled Korgi. Christian Slade, a former Disney animator and currently full-time freelance illustrator, has brought to Top Shelf a gorgeously illustrated woodland fantasy about a young girl Ivy, her dog Sprout, and their amazing adventures in Korgi Hollow. Along with this big debut, Korgi will also appear in Top Shelf's May 5th Free Comic Book Day Book (Owly & Korgi) with an original story to help introduce everyone to the series. This amazing combination of adventure and fantasy will appeal to anyone who loves Andy Runton's Owly and Jeff Smith's Bone. Stock up for the launch of something very daring and very new! Order for $8 from Amazon.

by Andy Runton
The fourth graphic novel in the award winning, all-ages series, Owly: Don't Be Afraid tells the story of new visitor to the forest. He may be misunderstood because of how he looks, but things aren't always what they seem, and everyone soon finds out that the power of friendship can fix just about anything. Relying on a mixture of symbols, icons, and expressions to tell his silent stories, Andy Runton's clean, animated, and heartwarming style makes it a perfect read for anyone who's a fan of Jeff Smith's Bone or Mike Kunkel's Herobear and the Kid. Already winning fans around the world, Owly is not to be missed! Order for $8 from Amazon.

edited by James Van Hise
Featuring vintage interviews with Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, Carmine Infantino, and Dr. Fredric Wertham, plus articles on E.C. Comics, Adam Strange, Magnus Robot Fighter, and more, this book collects material originally published in The Rocket's Blast Comicollector in the 1960s and 1970s.

Never before and rarely seen artwork, outlines, and entire stories from Jeff Smith's Bone are collected in this full-color hardcover volume! Bone is an international publishing sensation with hundreds of thousands of loyal readers and no end in sight to its growing popularity. Now, for the first time anywhere, see the homemade comics, sketches, and grand plans that set this masterpiece of literary fantasy in motion. From there, take a tour through piles of promotional art, holiday cards, and pivotal storytelling moments from the revolutionary self-publishing years, where Bone went from "the little comic that could" to an industry leader that changed the face of comics. Finally, revel in the wonder of Bone as a complete 1300-page graphic novel, a work for the ages, filled with comedy and tragedy and adventure for generations to come. *Jeff Smith's Bone, as published by the Cartoon Books imprint has sold over 42,000 copies in the book market alone! Sales of the Scholastic editions are over 120,000! * The Art of Bone is the Holy Grail for any fan of Jeff Smith and his multiple adward-winning creation, an unprecedented peek at the creative process behind one of the most captivating stories in comics by one of the medium's greatest living artists. Order for $26.37 from Amazon.

by Rene Goscinny & Albert Uderzo Asterix
The comic hero from the Roman era and the first international superhero, continues to conquer the world. With hundreds of millions of copies sold in 107 languages and dialects, plus 11,000 websites devoted to the character, these engagingly witty and record-breaking books have become the highest-selling series ever - surpassing even Harry Potter! And the phenomenon is spreading to other media, including the upcoming film - with an all-star cast and theme song by Celine Dion - that inspired this latest hysterical historical tale. Asterix and Obelix embark on one of their most dangerous missions, voyaging to the Vikings' home territory to rescue Justforkix. Making matters even harder for our heroes, the Viking chief's daughter, Abba, has fallen for Justforkix! A 16-page supplement reveals inside info about the making of the film. Order for $10.36 from Amazon.

The many fans of the Caped Crusader will thrill to see Batman and the Boy Wonder do battle once again with both common thugs and outrageous villains in order to save Gotham City from plot after evil plot. In addition to behind-the-scenes information and rare promotional materials, this deluxe editions collects the first four years of the classic Batman and Robin newspaper comics exactly as written and illustrated by the strip's most famous writers and artists. Among the classic stories are: "The Penguin's Crime-Thunderstorms," "Catwoman's Grasshopper Chase," and "Half Man - Half Monster." Order for $10.17 from Amazon.

In 1943, Bob Kane's Batman, one of the most famous creations in comic book history, first entered the pages of newspapers across America. Because of wartime paper restrictions, the strip was sparesely circulated by only a few dailies. Now, this rarely seen work is gathered in a complete, generously-sized collection that every fan will welcome. Here, Batman is a newly minted hero in a world of hoods, heels, and two bit-crooks; the dark, atmospheric style of these black-and-white strips anticipates Hollywood's films noir of the late 40s and 50s. Also making an early appearance: the Joker. This deluxe edition presents the first four years of the classic strips, exactly as written and illustrated by the Caped Crusader's most famous writers and artists. Order for $13.60 from Amazon.

by Various
They may be only one notch below humans on the evolutionary ladder, but gorillas and monkeys have for decades climbed to the top of the comic-book world as heroes and villains, monsters and masterminds, and soldiers and sidekicks. Comics Gone Ape! is the missing link to primates in comics, spotlighting a barrel of simian superstars like Beppo, BrainiApe, the Gibbon, Gleek, Gorilla Man, Grease Monkey, King Kong, Konga, Mojo Jojo, Sky Ape, and Titano. Comics Gone Ape! is loaded with rare and classic artwork, chest-thumping cover galleries, and 11 exclusive interviews with apes artists and writers including Arthur Adams (Monkeyman and O'Brien), Frank Cho, Carmine Infantino (Detective Chimp, Grodd), Joe Kubert (Tor, Tarzan), Tony Millionaire (Sock Monkey), Doug Moench (Planet of the Apes), and Bob Oksner (Angel and the Ape). With its all-new Avengers-as-gorillas cover by Arthur Adams, you won't be able to keep your filthy paws off this book! Edited by Back Issue magazine's Michael Eury. Order from Amazon for $11.53.

This is the ultimate retrospective of one of comics' all-time unique artists. Featuring rare childhood drawings, photos, recently-discovered wartime illustrations, and original art and sketches from throughout his nearly 60-year career, this book offers new insight on the inspirations, challenges, and successes that shaped Gene "The Dean" Colan. This is a comprehensive overview of Colan's glory days at Marvel Comics! Available in Hardcover and Softcover editions. Order the hardcover for $34.16 from Amazon.

This issue of Alter Ego focuses on Bob Oksner, the guy who drew it all! The artist of Supergirl, Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane, Angel and the Ape, Leave It to Binky, Jerry Lewis, and many Silver Age DC covers talks about his life and times to Jim Amash. Plus, art and artifacts by Shelly Mayer, Irwin Hasen, Lee Elias, C.C. Beck, Carmine Infantino, Gil Kane, Julie Schwartz, and many more! Also, there's FCA (Fawcett Collectors of America) with Marc Swayze, C.C. Beck, and others, Michael T. Gilbert and Mr. Monster, and a great Oksner cover featuring many of his most renowned heroes! Edited by Roy Thomas. Pre-order from TwoMorrows Publishing.

Why does a blind violinist have a map tattooed on his back? Investigating the mystery, Doc Savage and his Iron Crew race to the arctic icecap in search of the secret of "The Polar Treasure." Then, while returning to New York aboard his new submarine Helldiver, the Man of Bronze is attacked by the "Pirate of the Pacific" in one of his most violent adventures. This classic pulp reprint showcases the superb pulp cover by Walter Baumhofer that was reused as the cover of the golden age Doc Savage Comics #1, all of Paul Orban's 1933 interior illustrations from the ultra-rare (and expensive!) fourth and fifth issues of Doc Savage Magazine, and historical commentary by pulp historian Will Murray, author of seven Bantam Doc Savage novels!

"The weed of crime bears bitter fruit. Crime does not pay. The Shadow Knows!" The Master Avenger returns in two of Walter Gibson's most memorable mysteries. A new crimefighter called The Cobra decimates the Manhattan underworld in a murderous war on organized crime. Has The Shadow finally met his match, or will he be forced to de-fang a human snake? Then, the Knight of Darkness confronts not one but two sinister doppelgangers in "The Third Shadow." Which Shadow will have the last laugh? In his foreword, Marvel Comics-Great legend Dick Ayers recalls how The Shadow inspired the creation of the Ghost Rider, while popular culture historian Will Murray explains how The Shadow influenced the creation of classic characters including Batman, the Spider, the Black Bat, and the Dark Man. This classic pulp collection also features George Rozen's electrifying pulp covers, and all the original interior art by acclaimed illustrator Tom Lovell.

This issue spotlights "Kirbytech" - Jack's knack for creating high-tech gizmos, gadgets, and concepts, from Iron Man's armor and Machine Man, to the Negative Zone and beyond! Included is a rare Kirby interview, Mark Evanier's regular column, two pencil art galleries, a complete 1950s story, interviews with Godland's Tom Scioli and Dark Horse publisher Mike Richardson, and the 2006 Kirby Tribute Panel (with Neal Adams, George Perez, John Romita, Sr., Mike Royer and Kirby lawyer Paul Levine). Plus, Kirby covers inked by Terry Austin and Tom Scioli, and more! Edited by John Morrow. Pre-order from TwoMorrows Publishing.

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