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2/27/2017

America's Best Comics Artist's Edition

Scripts by Alan Moore and Steve Moore, art by Arthur Adams, Gene Ha, Chris Sprouse, J.H. Williams III, Zander Canon, Kevin Nowlan, Hilary Barta, Paul Rivoche, Jerry Ordway, Alan Weiss, and Rick Weitch. All illustrations are ©DC Comics. For a complete list of all books reviewed in this blog, please visit the index page.






Although dated November 2016 in the credit page, this book was published by IDW in Febrary 2017 (ISBN: 978-1-63140-760-4 cover A Tom Strong, and 978-1-63140-757-4 cover B Promethea, Artist's Edition #47, 12.5 x 17.3 inches or  31,5 x 44 cm, $125 for 224 pages), and was printed on thick mat paper. This edition was available with two different covers. I have chosen the Promethea cover, and here is the Tom Strong cover (notice that both covers are featured in the book):


One of the picture below is for size comparison with the Promethea Absolute Edition Vol 1 and Promethea #1. There are also pictures of the varnish effect on the cover, and of the sewn binding (the book has been printed in China).


detail of the sticker on the IDW cardboard box






Second and third of cover feature different illustrations. This edition, referenced as Artist Edition #47, has been designed by Randall Dahlk and edited by Scott Dunbier.

second of cover

third of cover



corrections: Tomorrow Stories #'s 1-2, 4, 10, 12 Tom's Strong Terrific Tales #'s 2-4, 6 and 7



The book doesn't feature any introduction or afterword. Below are displayed the two pages table of contents related to the main section of the book. All material include in this book are scanned from original material except two pages from the Tom Strong story (pages 22 & 23 of issue #36, and it is stated by IDW in the bottom of these pages ). Some stories are not lettered (see further).




This book is an Artist's Edition brand, thus as indicated above, it features complete stories from Alan Moore America's Best Comics comics line, with their respective cover when available (as well as the cover of the very first issue of each series):
  • Tom Strong #36 (not lettered)
  • Promethea #10
  • Top 10 #7 (not lettered)
  • Tomorrow's Stories #1, 2 and #4 (Jack B. Quick), #8 (Splash Branigan), #9 (Greyshirt), #10 (Jack B. Quick) and #12 (Jack B. Quick)
  • Tom Strong Terrific Tales #2 (Jonny Future), #3 (Jonny Future), #4 (Tom Strong not lettered), Jonny Future), #6 (Tom StrongJonny Future, Young Tom Strong), #7 (Jonny Future),
  • Tomorrow's Stories Special #1 (Splash Branigan)

First we have the Tom Strong section, with the last issue of the series. There are few examples below where this Artist's Edition is compared to the original colored comics to better understand how the art was conceived by Chris Sprouse (as stated in the table of contents, most of this material was printed from pencils that were digitally inked and painted).








Then we move to the Promethea section. All the interior pages of the series has been conceived to be a succession of double spread, and seeing here the art of J. H. Williamw III in all its splendor makes me regret that the DC Immateria edition (with "à l'italienne" printing format) is in limbo for the time being.






The third section is dedicated to Top 10, with art by Gene Ha and Zander Canon. At this point I truly believe that Alan Moore had created for a too brief moment his own Golden Age of comics.






Next, we have five shorts stories featuring Jack B. Quick with art by Kevin Nowlan:






Another highlight of this book, is the section dedicated to Steve Moore and Arthur Adams Jonny Future. Adam's art is took to an all new level in this format. Notice that some of the covers and interior pages had to be reduced in size to fit into this edition (again it is stated by IDW in the table of contents).






From the pages of Tomorrow Stories we also get nice samples of Hilary Barta's B&W art for Splash Branigan.






Here is an excerpt from the Paul Rivoche Tom Strong short story, Leap of Faith:



Another complete Tom Strong short story here drawn by Jerry Ordway:



Young Tom Strong was a regular in the Tom Strong Terrific Tales series (art by Alan Weiss):



And we finish the main part of the book with a splendid short of Greyshirt, drawn by Rick Weitch:




Here is the table of contents of the extra section featuring some more covers, as well as back covers, an interior art page and a promo poster.


pencils & inks by Tom McWeenev

art by Kevin Nowlan

Chris Sprouse (Tom Strong Vol 1 back cover)

J.H. Williams III (right hand side TPB cover)

Top 10 Vol 1 back cover by Gene Ha

In addition to this article, and for more detailed insights about the reproduction quality, don't hesitate to read this Comic Book Daily review by Scott VanderPloeg.

2 comments:

  1. Encore une très belle acquisition !
    (je ne suis pas collectionneur, mais j'ai longtemps hésité pour cette édition [et celle sur le Nick Fury de Steranko] mais finalement j'ai passé mon tour).

    "ABC" est un sacré sans-faute dans la carrière de Moore, qui s'était drôlement bien entouré.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. c'est clair que retrospectivement qu'est-ce que c'était bon cette gamme de comics. Damned you DC!!

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