Tuesday 11 January 2011

A Corben Classic in Rarely Seen Color

When Richard Corben's fabulous artwork for Doug Moench's "Change Into Something Comfortable" appeared in James Warren's Creepy waaayyyyy back in 1973, it was printed in black and white. For some reason the color insert was in absentia, might have been budgetary reasons but whatever ... it was black and white as was the subsequent reprint in Eerie.

Check out the excellent Black N' White And Red All Over to see the black and white version.

And now enjoy the color version courtesy of the color printing by Catalan Communications some ten years later.


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  2. This was in the first issue of Creepy I ever purchased. Very nice to see it in color. Where was the color version published?

  3. This version appeared in a collection of Corben stories titled "Werewolf" Rich. It was published in 1984 by Catalan Publications, who had just published the Liberatore Ranxerox books. In fact the foreword to "Werewolf" was written by Liberatore.

  4. Hey, while I patently await the arrival of the upcoming "Absolute" Wulf the Britton, I thought this could be a good place to talk about this other book:

    Titan is reprinting "Heros the Spartan":


    And it seems the format can be a little problematic:


    "One problem with reprinting Heros is its format: it appeared stretched across the centrespread of the tabloid sized Eagle comic, treating the whole area as a single page. The landscape pages of Frank Miller’s 300 - a story and format inspired by Heros - are not much more than a quarter of that size.

    If my quick calculations are right, all of Heros the Spartan would fit on to only about 100 big, wide pages. Even at 360mm by 580mm, that needn’t be a wrist breaker."

    Now, will Titan dare to do justice to the work with a big landscape format? Especially considering there are pages not in that format:


    Although I think they're not by Bellamy but by other artist. Will Titan reprint only the Bellamy stuff?

    I hope Titan deliver the goods but I would almost preferred a superexpensive, impeccably restored, Absolute-ish edition like this "Wulf the Briton" brick, because the material seems to deserve it.

    In fact, looking at the figures...

    WULF's size is 11" x 14" (270mm x 360mm)

    HEROS' original size is 14" x 22.8" (360mm by 580mm)

    Both come from old British tabloid sized comics, but the latter is composed of double landscape pages, so it's just twice as big as the former, which is composed of single regular pages.

    Now, there's no way Titan's book will be remotely near that size. It'll be probably something similar to their usual Dan Dare of Charley's War reprints, and probably not in a landscape format so we better start praying for a first rate sewn binding to avoid any dreadful gutter loss. I seem to remember there was a similar case recently (Absolute Promethea? anyone has it?).

    What boggles my little mind is that, given the chance, I have a feeling you crazy Book Palace guys would have the balls to do it as the Good Lord intended:

    A landscape 14" x 22.8" slipcased deluxe hardcover retailing for $500.00.

    Imagine the Wulf book, with the same height, but twice as wide.

    And god help me, I would have been crazy enough to buy it.

  5. You're echoing my thoughts exactly about the Titan edition of Heros XIII. I can see to a certain extent why they do their books the way they do, especially having had the experience of working on the Wulf Book.

    When we initially looked at producing Wulf, we did consider making the book a smaller (and therefore more economically viable) format.

    In the end we reasoned that we wouldn't be doing the project justice. We asked ourselves what would we want from such a book and that's why we ended up pushing the boat out so that we could produce a book that people would enjoy with no qualifications.

    The only way to do Heros justice is as you say to produce it the same size as the original spreads from Eagle in landscape format. The pages would have to be scanned and restored carefully to avoid the over-saturation and loss of fine detail and light tones that has bedeviled the Titan Dare books. The book would have to be printed on slightly heavier paper than even the Wulf book to cope with the increased stress that such a format would place on each page.

    Bearing in mind print costs per unit, which to these specs are already going to be in excess of anything that Titan would want to underwrite, the book would have to confine itself to the Bellamy Heros with the addition of some prime examples of Bellamy's original Heros artwork.

    And it would have to be bound in leather, I'm thinking ivory and placed in a leather presentation case.

    And yes it would probably clock in at the price you quoted.

  6. Personally, I thank you for pushing the boat out, and I hope the gamble pays off and more books get done in similar ways.

    Regarding Heros or Dan Dare, do you think it would be feasible for Titan to do like DC with Superman vs. Muhammad Ali? A dual simultaneous release of a facsimile edition for sibarites and a smaller, more affordable hardcover (with a probable softcover down the line).

    I'm imagining, if you excuse me for daydreaming out loud, a Titan/Book Palace team-up, so the former could release a mass-market edition of Wulf (smaller and less luxurious but with the same picture quality) while the latter produces the perfect Heros facsimile along the abovementioned lines.

    Too far-fetched of an idea, right?

  7. Funnily enough Titan were reportedly offered the opportunity of just such a team up on a potential project by a major copyright holder but gracefully declined.

    I think the problem here is that where you have two publishers keen to reissue classic comic strips with very different visions of how to present that material it is difficult to envisage a coming together of minds. In the above instance I don't think either publisher would have been very happy with the arrangement and it's probably a relief that it went no further.