One of the many blogs I read is News From ME. The ME being Mark Evanier. If you like musicals, comics, comedy, magic, show biz, Mark has one of those memories from all those areas and shares stories all the time. He’s a writer of books, comics, TV shows, it’d ben difficult to collect all his credits in one location. One of his credits was being an assistant to Jack Kirby…yes, THAT Jack Kirby.
When he said this book was being published, I pre-ordered is right away. When Mark speaks about a project I listen. When he mentions one he’s involved with, I pay attention.
I’ve been a comic fan for as long as I can remember. Mark wrote many of those comics I read as a kid. Mostly funny animal comics. I still remember an issue of the Hair Bear Bunch where everything on the menu of the restaurant they were at had cole slaw, so the one who disliked cole slaw decided to get a gumball and instead, got cole slow from the machine. It’s weird to think about things like that.
At any rate, when Mark mentioned that he had an essay in the books, even though I’d read so much about Mark’s time with Jack Kirby, I wanted to get this book.
Yes, I’ve read Fantastic Four many times over the year. I had the version that came with a record and that helped me learn to read. I read reprints, digital editions, and broken up versions. I’ve seen this comic many times. But never like this.
The creators got a hold of an original Fantastic Four #1 in near mint condition and did high quality scans of the pages. They blew up each panel giving it a page of its own. The entire comic is in the back in its original size on the pages. Also included are essays, one being by Mark. It’s amazing to see the up-close detail in the panels and see the coloring and letting. Beyond that, the amazing art Kirby created when almost nothing like this existed. As Mark says in his essay, this book changed comics forever.