Monday, April 23, 2007

Best of DC Blue Ribbon Digest #1 - Oct. 1979

sgWelcome to Digest Comics!

This blog was created when the page I had devoted to the format, When Formats Clash!, had to be deleted from my other odd-comics-format site, treasurycomics.com, due to space limitations.

But I love the digest comic too, and for awhile I had wanted to do more than just show some covers, as I had previously. So I figured, along with maintaining
treasurycomics.com, the aquaman shrine, all in black & white for 75 cents, plus my pro illustration site namtab.com, and my darlin' Tracy's art and photography site ragstags.com, what's one more?

So I intend at first to talk about my complete (yesss!) collection of DC digest comics (since they were my favorites growing up), profiling them in order, per series. And if people come here, and read and enjoy what I'm doing, then maybe I'll keep going and explore other companies' digest comics, too.

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DC kicked off a big push of digest-sized (6 1/2 x 5") comics with this, the first issue of The Best of DC #1, Sept./Oct. 1979. And of course, who else were they going to start off with than The Man of Steel? Nice painted cover by Ross Andru, Dick Giordano, and Joe Orlando.

Stories include:
"Attack by the Army of Tomorrow!" by Elliott S! Maggin, Curt Swan, and Murphy Anderson
"The Midnight Murder Show" by Cary Bates, Swan, and Kurt Schaffenberger
"Superman Under the Red Sun" by Edmond Hamilton and Al Plastino
"The Adventures of Mental Man" by Bill Finger, Wayne Boring, and Stan Kaye
"Lex Luthor, Hero!" by Jerry Siegel, Curt Swan, and George Klein.

This book also features some fun mini-features, like a section on Superman's Rogues Gallery, "Superman's Costume and Clark Kent's Clothes", a text piece called "Clark Kent's Other Jobs", and a really weird two-page section called "Play the Graffitti Game with Superman", which features different DC artists trying their hand at changing Superman/Clark Kent's look! In just these two small pages, we get little sketches by Joe Kubert, Neal Adams, Joe Orlando, Dick Dillin, Dick Giordano, Irv Novick, Sergio Aragones, Michael Kaluta, and Howard Chaykin. Wow!
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Ok! That's our first digest! If you found this site and enjoy it, let me know! I'll be adding a new digest as regularly as I can--as a great man once said, be here--it'll be fun!

4 comments:

Doug slack said...

MORE ARCHIE!

megomuseum said...

I just read some of these to my son last week, we were both straining pretty hard.

__Neal said...

I bought this one when it came out and still own it to this day. I was more of a Batman fan than Superman, but I was impressed with the painted cover, and the first Superman movie was still fresh in my memory. Superman always had the best artists, and these old stories are works of art. It was nice when artists knew how to make people look like real people, a car look like a real car, etc. Great precision and attention to detail.

gammabob209 said...

Well, well, well...look at this....
I was a big fan of these little books when they were first published. I wound up getting the first 2 years worth of them but was really excited when Adventure comics was rescued from cancellation and converted to a digest. I still have them along with a few I kept for nostalgia's sake (although I got rid of a lot of them as I didn't have a lot of room on my bookshelves for them AND my "real" books. lol
This first digest was pretty awesome; beautiful cover, as stated. The stories range from OK (Mental Man) to shocking (Lex Luthor, Hero!) to really good (Superman Under The Red Sun) to excellent. That would be the "The Midnight Murder Show"; loved the combination of Swan and Schaffenburger artwork plus it was good to have a storyline where Supes occasionally played Batman and had to solve a mystery. Years later, I managed to get the original comic and it was wonderful to see this classic at full size.
The first tale was interesting to read because I had read its sequel FIRST; a slightly goofy tale where the mutant kids give Perry White a box of special cigars that bestow super powers on him when he smokes them! One wonders how many kids became smokers at a tender age hoping for the same thing! Still, the original tale is very good. My favorite moment is the scene near the end where the Calixto's base is destroyed and the next panel shows the hole where it once stood....and at the very edge of the panel you see the only survivor crawling out. No fanfare, no flying shot but just as effective. Classic!