The Life and Times of Martha Washington in the Twenty-First Century Signed & Numbered Ultra-limited Slipcase Edition

This article is a rewrite of the previous one about this wonderful edition, in order to do it more justice by adding more detailed editorial information, and using better picture quality (indeed it was one of my very first article on this blog).

Script by Frank Miller, art by Dave Gibbons. All illustrations are © Frank Miller, Dave Gibbons, and Dark Horse Comics.

This edition was published by Dark Horse in September 2009 (ISBN 978-1-59582-309-0, 12.5 x 8.5 inches or 31 x 21 cm for the inner book, cover price 250$, 600 pages). It is undoubtedly one of the jewel of my collection, not because it is very scarce, but for the quality of the editorial work that deserves all the praise we could think of.

Carved faux leather is used for the blue slipcase and cover and spines of the inner red book. Notice the deep blue bookmark ribbon and the sturdy binding. One of the picture below is for size comparison with original issue #3 or Give Me Liberty.

The book, edited by Diana Schutz and beautifully designed by David Nestelle, is printed on high quality thick glossy paper (printed in China). Second and third of cover display different associated illustrations (from second and thirs of paper of the original series).
I proudly own the signed edition, limited to only 100 copies in the world. The tip-in pencil art by Dave Gibbons displayed below that is signed by both creators and numbered is the only difference with the non signed version.

second of cover

third of cover

Here is the table of contents. Main material originates from Give Me Liberty #1-4, Happy Birthday Martha Washington, Dark Horse Action Figure Comics #2, Martha Washington Goes To War #1-5, Martha Washington Stranded In Space, Martha Washington Saves The World #1-3, and Martha Washington Dies.
Not indicated in the table of contents but featured in this edition are the B&W versions of Collateral Damage (alternative version untitled Martha Washington's War Diary, published in the 1991 Dark Horse Presents Fifth Anniversary Special), of State of The Art as it appeared in San Diego Comic-Con Comics #2 (I am not sure about that last reference in the book, it is most probably from Dark Horse Action Figure Comics #2), and of Attack of The Flesh Eating Monsters from Dark Horse Presents #100 (#4 of 5).

Main material is introduced by Frank Miller (introduction dated 2008), and each story is preceded by a contextual in depth commentary by Dave Gibbons (that makes it more the definitive edition that it is already).
All original covers and back covers are included, as well as the TPB covers.

left Frank Miller's intro, right tpb cover

left contextual introduction by Dave Gibbons, right front cover for issue #1

left back cover for issue #1

this one shot contains four short stories listed in the table of contents

right the alternative B&W version of Collateral Damage

right, the B&W version of State of The Art (featured with the action figure?)

I can't source this Frank Miller's afterword dated 1995, in response of a letter published in Happy Birthday one shot

virgin covers of the five part series are regrouped in this section

the four homage illustrations of this section were first published in Martha Washington Goes To War issue #5
 Pin -up art by Mike Mignola, Arthur Adams, Paul Chadwick, and Walt Simonson.

left back cover of the one shot previously used as cover for Dark Horse Presents #100 (#4 of 5)

here comes Big Guy!

right the B&W version as it appeared in Dark Horse Presents #100 (#4 of 5)

Now let's take a look at the additional extras section (almost 40 pages). It is called Martha Washington Scrapbook and it is commented by Dave Gibbons. One's can find sketches, pencils, thumbnails, alternative versions, promotional art, exclusive fanzine art, and much more. I don't know what is exclusive to this edition or not. For example, it features the Frank Miller's My Universe art section previously published in the one shot Martha Washington Stranded in Space.

left re-drawn example compared to early pencils

Martha Washington by Frank Miller

teaser ads projects

This edition is probably as exhaustive as it comes, but I manage to find extra not included here. Indeed, in Martha Washington Dies, there is a small extra section containing Frank Miller's original typed 1987 outline for Give Me Liberty (five pages), alongside Dave Gibbon's first attempt at a poster image, and an early unused cover rough for issue #1 of Give Me Liberty.

Martha Washington Dies extra section

The slipcase collected edition finishes with a four pages creator bios, including colorists Angus McKie and Robin Smith. The acknowledgement written by Dave Gibbons says a lot about the total implication of the artist to make this massive book see print as it is. Respect M. Gibbons!

To end this article I will present the comics associated with the Martha Washington limited edition Action Figure:

The 12 pages comics issued in 1998 was inserted inside the box, behind the action figure itself.

back cover
It contains the 4 pages story Logistics and the 8 pages story Collateral Damage. The latter was included in the one-shot Happy Birthday Martha Washington, but Logistics was exclusive to this set.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Write your comment here