Saturday, December 14, 2013

X-mas Special! My three 2013 books for $99 (incl. shipping)

Looking for the Holy Trinity of Christmas gifts? How about a special on all three of my 2013 books for only $99...which includes shipping within Canada and the U.S.!

Yes, that's The Secret History of Marvel Comics, Impossible Tales: The Steve Ditko Archives vol. 4, and Heroic Tales: The Bill Everett Archives vol. 2. That's a $145 value for less than a c-note. Each book has a cover price of $40 each, but you can have them all for about 60% of the cover price (when you factor in the shipping costs).

Just email me at to order via Paypal and you will receive a copy of each signed by me (plus my co-author, Dr. Michael J. Vassallo for The SHoMC), very well packed to survive the journey.

And there's more! Add the following older books of mine for 50% off each (only $5 more for shipping for each two added):
  • Strange & Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko
  • Unknown Worlds: The Steve Ditko Archives vol. 2
  • Mysterious Traveler: The Steve Ditko Archives vol. 3
  • Amazing Mysteries: The Bill Everett Archives vol. 2
Here's all you need to know about my three 2013 books...

The Secret History of Marvel Comics
Marvel Comics is home to such legendary super-heroes as Spider-Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man, all of whom have spun box office gold in the 21st century. But Marvel Comics has a secret history hidden in the shadows of these well-known franchises.
The Secret History of Marvel Comics digs back to the 1930s when Marvel Comics wasn’t just a comic-book producing company. Marvel Comics owner Martin Goodman had tentacles into a publishing world that might have made that era’s conservative American parents lynch him on his front porch. Marvel was but a small part of Goodman’s publishing empire, which had begun years before he published his first comic book. Goodman mostly published lurid and sensationalistic story books (known as “pulps”) and magazines, featuring sexually-charged detective and romance short fiction, and celebrity gossip scandal sheets. And artists like Jack Kirby, who was producing Captain America for eight-year-olds, were simultaneously dipping their toes in both ponds.

The Secret History of Marvel Comics tells this parallel story of 1930s/40s Marvel Comics sharing offices with those Goodman publications not quite fit for children. The book also features a comprehensive display of the artwork produced for Goodman’s other enterprises by Marvel Comics artists such as Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, Alex Schomburg, Bill Everett, Al Jaffee, and Dan DeCarlo, plus the very best pulp artists in the field, including Norman Saunders, John Walter Scott, Hans Wesso, L.F. Bjorklund, and Marvel Comics #1 cover artist Frank R. Paul. Goodman’s magazines also featured cover stories on celebrities such as Jackie Gleason, Elizabeth Taylor, Liberace, and Sophia Loren, as well as contributions from famous literary and social figures such as Isaac Asimov, Theodore Sturgeon, and L. Ron Hubbard.

Read a 20+ page excerpt HERE.

Impossible Tales: The Steve Ditko Archives vol. 4
Five years before Steve Ditko began work on his now legendary co-creations for Marvel Comics, the Amazing Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, he was pro- ducing some of his best work in near anonymity for Charlton Comics. Like its predecessors, Impossible Tales: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 4 features over 200 meticulously restored full-color pages of Ditko in his early prime — stories that have never seen a proper reprinting until now, thrilling stories of suspense, mystery, haunted houses, and unsuspecting victims all delineated in Ditko’s wildly idiosyncratic, masterful style.

This fourth volume ranks as the best in the Steve Ditko Archives series to date thanks in large part to the inspiration Ditko took from comics derived from the classic host-narrated radio shows, which gave an extra oomph to his creepy yarns. Moreover, comics such as This Magazine Is Haunted and Tales of the Mysterious Traveler bore witness to a veritable explosion in Ditko’s ingenuity in terms of manipulating the traditional comic-book page layout. This new level of excellence also manifested itself in his work on other books, such as Mysteries of Unexplored Worlds, Out of This World, Strange Suspense Stories, and Unusual Tales, all of which are amply represented in this volume.

Read a 20+ page excerpt HERE.

Heroic Tales: The Bill Everett Archives vol. 2
The 1939 creation of the Sub-Mariner for the first issue of Marvel Comics assures Bill Everett a place in history. Co-creating Daredevil, the Man Without Fear, for Marvel Comics in 1964 gave Everett a link to one of the most popular superheroes of the past 50 years. And producing over 400 additional pages of superhero-related work in the very early days of the Golden Age of Comics (1938-42) makes Bill Everett a legend.

Heroic Comics: The Bill Everett Archives Vol. 2 collects over 200 pages of never-before-reprinted work from such titles as Amazing Mystery Funnies (1938), Amazing-Man Comics (1939), Target Comics (1940), Heroic Comics (1940), and Blue Bolt Comics (1940). These titles feature an endless array of vintage Everett characters such Amazing-Man, Hydroman, Skyrocket Steele, The Chameleon and many more, all produced by Everett’s shop Funnies, Inc. for such clients as Centaur, Novelty Press, and Eastern Color. This book also features, reprinted for the first time, the rarest of Everett material, his romance work from the early 1950s for Eastern Color on titles such as New Heroic Comics (1950/51) and Personal Love (1953). All of the stories within display Everett’s brilliant cartooning and energetic storytelling growing by leaps and bounds.

Edited by best-selling author and comic-book historian Blake Bell (Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko), The Bill Everett Archives is a stunning companion to Bell’s 2010 critically acclaimed Everett biography and art book, Fire and Water: Bill Everett, The Sub-Mariner and the Birth of Marvel Comics. This volume follows the format of Bell’s Steve Ditko Archives series; never-before-reprinted, beautifully restored, full-color stories from one of comic books’ greatest visionaries and most accomplished artists. This book also includes an introduction about the man, his art, the history of the era, and his relationship with Marvel Comics.

Read a 20+ page excerpt HERE.

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