Celebrating Comics History
♦ The second Portsmouth Comic Con takes place in 8 days’ time and Tripwire is proud to be a part of it once again. Here is the latest spotlight feature looking at one of its guests, editor Scott Dunbier
Scott Dunbier is Special Projects Editor at IDW Publishing. He edits the Artist’s and Artifact Edition line at IDW, responsible for high-end books that reproduce the cream of comic stories over the decades including the likes of Walt Simonson’s Manhunter, Jack Kirby’s Thor, Frank Miller and David Mazzuchelli’s Daredevil: Born Again and many more. He began his career as an original art dealer in the 1980s and then moved on to work as an editor at Jim Lee’s Wildstorm Productions, where he worked closely with Alan Moore on the ABC line of books.
He discussed the genesis of the Artist’s Edition in an interview he did on Tripwire back in 2016: “
Years ago I was in an original art APA. APA stands for Amateur Press Association and it’s a very small, private publication, they can range from as few as 20 members to as many as 100 or more. Each member contributes a set number of pages each issue on a variety of topics related to the main theme—for this APA the theme is usually by artist—and sends a central collator 60 copies. The collator then sorts through and makes 60 issues from all the contributions and then mails them out to everyone. It’s a true labor of love kind of thing. So in 1995 an APA dedicated to Neal Adams was announced. I’m a life-long fan of his work and I conducted a fairly long interview with Adams for the issue. Additionally, I made copies of a number of pieces in my art collection by Neal for inclusion. But the photocopies looked lousy, especially the ones of his lovely pencil work. So I decided to do something a bit silly—I made 600 color copies (10 pages x 60) and included them in my contribution. Remember, this was in 1995, color copies were expensive, it cost hundreds of dollars. But the end result was so much better than it would have been… it was worth it to me. I sort of feel like that was my first Artist’s Edition.
A couple of years later a book came out called Batman Collected, by Chip Kidd. In it there was a page, coincidentally, of Neal Adams art from one of his classic Batman stories. It had been photographed in color and you could see the white out, the blue pencil editorial notes, and random stains—it was great—and it made me remember my earlier APA effort. After that it was only a matter of time before I found a way to do a book like this.”
Dunbier spoke about how he’s been able to cover the artists whose work he’s admired in an interview with Tripwire earlier this year:”With a few exceptions, I’ve been able to do books on many of my artistic heroes. From Kirby and Wood, to Kubert and Simonson. I’m not sure how many Artist’s Editions I’ve put together, I think it’s in the area of 70 at this point, which is pretty insane. As for adapting, I think the Artisan format, which is basically a smaller and cheaper version of full size AE books, while maintaining the quality, is a way to open the format to a wider audience.”
This is Dunbier’s first visit to Portsmouth Comic Con and is also his first visit to a UK convention in many years. As a current curator of comics history, he is unsurpassed.
He is a wonderful addition to the show, especially as 2019 is the 20th anniversary of IDW Publishing.
Tickets are available now for Portsmouth Comic Con but they are selling fast. Please visit the website for details on the show and to pick up tickets
And here’s the other guest spotlights so far