The PopCult Bookshelf


This week’s PopCult Bookshelf is a bit different. I didn’t have time to read anything new this week since I took a quick vacation last week and returned to some pressing deadlines. I do want to share with you something I found while I was out of town.

IDW Publishing started releasing “Artist’s Editions” a few years ago. These are huge, lovely books that bring the reader classic comic book stories scanned in ultra-high resolution color directly from the original black-and-white art, and are printed the actual size of that art. The result is books that are as close as you can come to actually paging through the original art. You can see all the fine detail and inkwork, along with blue pencil lines, editorial notes, corrections and paste-ups.

I have been avoiding these books because they are justifiably expensive. They usually retail for between one and two-hundred dollars and are worth every penny. I really don’t want to get hooked on collecting these because they cost so much money and take up so much space. I’ve even avoided seeing them in person.

That ended last week when I walked into Pittsburgh Comics (the best comic book store I’ve ever set foot in) and found myself face-to-face with a shelf full of these awesome beauties. I was stunned by how big some of them are. I knew that the more recent books were drawn “one-and-a-half-up” and would be a little larger than a tabloid-size comic book, but I’d forgotten that in the Golden Age of Comics, the art was drawn “two-up,” meaning that it was twice as wide and twice as tall as the printed page–and back then comic books were much bigger than they are now.

The above photo shows you the shelf of Artist’s Editions in Pittsburgh Comics. The photo below shows you those books with a standard-sized “Tales From The Crypt” comic book in front for reference. The Golden Age EC Comics and Will Eisner books are bigger than “coffee table” sized. Slap some legs on ’em and you have actual coffee tables.


And of course, now I want some. The reviews return next week.