Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Best of DC Blue Ribbon Digest #61 - June 1985

sgIt's that time of year again, time for another Year's Best collection! This time the members of the DCU decided to hold the awards ceremony in outer space, as you can see by this Pat Broderick cover.

This year, as in previous years, collects some absolutely fantastic stories:
the modern classic "The Anatomy Lesson" by Alan Moore, Steve Bissette, and John Totleben (Swamp Thing #21)
"If Superman Didn't Exist..." by Marv Wolfman and Gil Kane (Action Comics #554)
"Killers Also Smile" by Bob Kanigher and Adrian Gonzalez (Sgt.Rock #391)
"Guess What's Coming To Dinner?" by Paul Levitz, Keith Giffen, George Tuska, and Larry Mahlstedt (Legion of Super-Heroes #308)
"Final Duties", a Tale of the Green Lantern Corps by Len Wein and Kane (Green Lantern #177)
"Viva Nebiros!" by Dan Mishkin, Gary Cohn, Paris Cullins, and Gary Martin (Blue Devil #5)
"Who Is Donna Troy?" by Wolfman, George Perez, and Romeo Tanghal (New Teen Titans #38)
"Babe's Story" by Gerry Conway, Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, and Ricardo Villagran (Atari Force #8)

...the only thing taking away from these stories--some of them bona-fide classics--is that DC was in the middle of its (thankfully)brief love affair with the Flexographic printing process. You remember Flexograpghic printing, right? Garish colors, giant weird blobs of color where they don't belong, mis-registered printing. Flexographic was bad enough on regular-sized comics, but on a digest-sized book it's even worse. Luckily, DC would soon see that it was hopeless, and went back to their regular way of coloring their books.

One other nice thing in this book is from editor Nicola Cuti--he writes an editorial on the inside back cover, called Digest Forum, where he actually asks to start a dialogue between the book and its readers. He asks what do the readers want to see, and to send letters, which was really cool, since for so long most comic reprint titles seemed to be produced by magic; the readers never getting a sense who was putting these things together.

This request would soon result in something a digest book never had before--a letter's page.

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