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  • Writer's pictureTrusty Henchman

Upcoming Comics Spotlight: Art Books

This batch features some Jim Lee and art card nostalgia, more of Ashley Wood's return, some classic Gil Kane Spider-Man artwork, a bunch of pre-war pulp, and a spotlight on Japanese illustrator Yoko Tanji.



(W) Bob Budiansky (A/CA) Jim Lee

In 1992, Marvel Entertainment commissioned Jim Lee, the superstar penciller behind X-Men (1991) no. 1, the bestselling single-issue comic book of all time, to create all of the art for a new set of 105 trading cards-a set that would go on to become one of the most celebrated in Marvel history and the gold standard for non-sports trading-card artwork and design. Fans of the chart-topping comics could turn to the cards for further insight into their favorite characters, as Marvel writers and editors included bios, stats, and trivia for each hero and villain.

The Uncanny X-Men Trading Cards: The Complete Series collects, for the first time, the front and back of each collectible card in the set along with select scans of Lee's original and digitally remastered art. It also includes an introduction by and original interviews conducted by writer and set editor Bob Budiansky, with the Marvel staff who helped assemble, design, and create these iconic trading cards.


Why this caught my eye:

I'm pretty into the history of old Marvel card sets, so I appreciate the Bob Budiansky focus and all of the other interviews. I'm also a big sucker for getting this type of card artwork blown up with high quality scans, so definitely down for this package.


7174 PRESENTS 01

(A) Ashley Wood, Ashley Wood

Following the artistic showcase that was 7174 ANNUAL 01, ASHLEY WOOD is back with this comic-sized 48-pager that showcases his ongoing and continuously evolving love affair with art styles that captivate, titillate, and, to keep coming back for more!


Why this caught my eye:

I'm also down for this Ashley Wood revival that Image is spearheading, keep that momentum going please.



(A/CA) Gil Kane

This must-have volume features some of the most historically important stories ever produced with Marvel's famed wall-crawler, all meticulously scanned from the original artwork! Gil Kane's The Amazing Spider-Man Artisan Edition presents each page in what appears to be black and white, but has actually been scanned in color. Readers view the art in its most natural form-blue pencils, ink gradients, and editorial notations all clearly visible-so they can (ahem) marvel at all the little nuances that make original art unique.

This volume contains the infamous three-part drug story that was not approved by the Comics Code Authority (Amazing Spider-Man #96-98). The second three-part story features the legendary six-armed Spider-Man saga (Amazing Spider-Man #100-102). Additionally, one of the most famous-and most shocking-Spidey tales is included: the death of Gwen Stacey! (Amazing Spider-Man #121). You can't get a better line-up of Spider-Man stories than this!


Why this caught my eye:

The evil temptation that is the Artistan line from IDW keeps on hitting, with this round including some 'Morbin' time' goodness.



(W) Neil McGinness, Dan DiDio

Pulp Power gives fans a rare glimpse into the pre-war pulp novel decade of the 1930s, a period of bold action and adventure storytelling that ultimately led to the creation of the comic book and the superheroes we know and love today. In more than 500 novels written between 1930 and 1940, The Shadow, Doc Savage, and the Street & Smith universe of characters captivated a generation of Americans with their heroic exploits and inspired a new generation of writers to create a pantheon of comic book superheroes in their mold. In Pulp Power, hundreds of these eye-catching covers are reproduced as a collection for the first time.

Comics legend Dan DiDio provides context for the cover illustrations alongside a narrative discussion of the influence of the Street & Smith superhero universe on legendary creators such as Orson Welles, Truman Capote, Michael Chabon, George Lucas, Agnes Moorehead, James Patterson, Walter Mosley, Dwayne Johnson, Frank Miller, James Bama, Jim Steranko, Jim Lee, Gail Simone, and many more.


Why this caught my eye:

I'm less interested in the Dan DiDio aspect, but then again I'm sort of curious how his narrative is going to string together that clashing mixture of famous names at the end of the solicitation. Regardless, the pretty pulp artwork will be the highlight.



(A) Yoko Tanji

Yoko Tanji is a Japanese illustrator with a career spanning nearly 20 years. She began using digital tools such as pen tabs in the early days when they were becoming more common and has also explored artistic expression in her art through various methods and styles, from analog illustrations such as watercolors, oil paintings, and prints, to comic illustrations. With this variety of drawing styles, Tanji has been active in a wide range of fields, including book illustration, illustrations for children's books, and image boards for animated films. This long-awaited book contains selected works from her commercial works as well as illustrations from her popular original series, "I hate Mondays."


Why this caught my eye:

I had never heard of Tanji before, so that really nice cover motivated me to hunt down some of her work and I really like her clean and elegant linework and compositions.


That's it for this batch, we'll check out some all-ages/YA next time!

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