Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Wood Bookshelf...

There seems to have been a Wally Wood renaissance recently... here are the latest arrivals creaking my overworked bookshelves...

THE EC STORIES OF WALLY WOOD/Artist's Edition: Okay, this is incredibly cool but truly obsessive. IDW is putting out a series of massive volumes offering full-scale black and white reproductions taken from the actual original art by various top notch comics artists.  This edition, featuring the truly glorious work of Wallace Wood, is 144 pages, 25 x 19 x 1" and weighs in a 9 lbs!  What you get are incredibly detailed images of the original art from several classic EC stories by WW, right down to the publisher's stamps, hand-written notes, coffee stains... you can even make out the brush strokes inside large areas of black.  The detail is amazing and Wood definitely deserves the deluxe treatment.  IDW's also done similar volumes for Dave Stevens' Rocketeer and most recently Gil Kane's early Spider-Man.  The first edition is long gone and is going for $500-ish on Amazon, but search and you may find the second edition for slightly less.  So no, these are not cheap, but so it goes...

WOODWORK: Okay, you're getting physical therapy after reading the Wood "Artist's Edition" but still want more?  Check out "Woodwork", also from IDW, which is an American version of a museum catalog released in Spain in 2010.  The text is in English and Spanish and there are hundreds of illustrations in B/W and color from the entire run of Wood's career.  I am still working my way through this, and if the word definitive means anything, it means something like this.  And it's quite a bargain (on Amazon, anyhow), 352 pages for $32.00.

CAME THE DAWN (The EC Comics Library): You've seen the faux original art and read up on Wood's bio, now how about some more stories?  Fantagraphics has gobbled up the EC library and is releasing a series of hardcover collections of scattered works, including this one featuring tales illuminated by Mr. Wood. These EC stories have been reprinted many times, but there is always a new audience who didn't spring for earlier editions and deserve a chance to enjoy the goodness.  Personally I prefer EC's war books to their horror and sci-fi titles, but they're all at least interesting. These collections are relatively inexpensive ($18.00 on Amazon) with excellent (black and white) reproduction, so buy it and tell all your friends that you've got Wood!


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