The Work Of A Comics Legend Celebrated
Tripwire’s contributing writer Scott Braden takes a look at IDW’s Walter Simonson Manhunter And Other Stories Artist’s Edition…
Walter Simonson Manhunter And Other Stories Artist’s Edition
Writers: Walter Simonson, Archie Goodwin, Elliott Maggin, Martin Pasko, David Michelinie, Gerry Conway and Steve Gerber
Artist: Walter Simonson
Publisher: IDW Publishing/ DC
Archie Goodwin and Walter Simonson’s Manhunter, which took a classic Joe Simon and Jack Kirby creation and turned it on its ear, was published as a back-up feature in DC Comics’ long-running Detective Comics from July 1973 to August 1974. Manhunter won countless accolades and six awards from the Academy of Comic Book Arts in the ‘70s – including Best Writer (Goodwin) and Best New Talent (Simonson). In addition, Goodwin and Simonson’s strip only lasted seven episodes (eight including the silent episode plotted by Goodwin before his death and published in 1999’s Manhunter: The Special Edition). But, the acclaimed series now takes on new life at original art size with IDW’s Walter Simonson’s Manhunter and Other Stories.
The whole book is shot in full colour from the original black-and-white art, except for the second episode, “The Manhunter File” from Detective Comics #438, which is reproduced from high-quality stats of Simonson’s original pages. Looking at these stunning reproductions of the virgin pages Simonson produced over four decades ago gives some insight into how he was able to achieve his epic, stylised storytelling – and the detail is extraordinary. It also reveals how two stellar creators collaborated: The pair worked “Marvel” style so that Goodwin came up with a plot, for which Simonson drew the final pages, then Goodwin scripted the story from the finished art. The artist’s edition also showcases covers, early design sketches, pin-ups and Goodwin’s script for the award-winning strip’s first episode, “The Himalayan Incident.”
The other stories told in this volume include a variety of strips drawn by Simonson from his early years at comicdom’s “Original Universe.” Previously compiled in the 1989 trade paperback collection, The Art of Walter Simonson, these strips include the following: a fan-favorite Batman tale written by Elliot S. Maggin; three Captain Fear yarns written by David Michelinie; a Dr. Fate story by Martin Pasko; and, two Metal Men stories written by Steve Gerber (Howard the Duck creator) and Gerry Conway (one-time DC editor), respectively. To complete the collection, this must-have artist’s edition also highlights two covers from the classic series, Metal Men.
Both new readers and longtime fans of this important work will learn that Walter Simonson’s Manhunter and Other Stories embodies the most elusive hunt in the four-colour medium – comic book immortality. This artist’s edition challenges collectors to discover that fact for themselves, as well as the vast riches found within its varied pages.
Walter Simonson’s Manhunter And Other Stories Artist’s Edition is available to order from IDW
Thanks to aeindex for some of the page scans here. Check out AE Index for reviews and previews of IDW’s Artist’s Editions and Artifact Editions.