Countdown To The Eisners – Best Archival Collection/Project – Comic Books

By Cameron Hatheway

When diving through the quarter bins at conventions, you’ll always come across quite a few interesting titles from bygone eras. When you dig a little deeper, you’re digging through the past like a comic book archeologist discovering the ruins of a once mighty comic book industry. Before the dark times; before the Empire Comics Code Authority. Comics were abundant, some series selling hundreds of thousands of issues which quickly spawned copy-cat titles left and right. Not all that many consecutive issues survived, let alone in good condition, so sometimes it takes several years if not decades to restore a run, collect it, and remind the readers of today that back in the day, comics were all about fun and not big events. A simpler time, as it were. Today I’ll be focusing on the Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books category. If you need a reminder of what’s been nominated, you can find the entire list right here, and see what I chose last time right here.

Keep in mind I cannot vote for who wins (nor can you, probably), as per the rules. However, that’s not keeping me from being vocal regardless!

Who is not eligible to vote?

  • Comics press or reviewers (unless they are nominees)
  • Non-creative publisher staff members (PR, marketing, assistants, etc.)
  • Fans

Before I get back to burning a stuffed dummy of Dr. Fredric Wertham in effigy so I can be eligible for next year, let the games begin!

Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books

Crime Does Not Pay Archives, edited by Philip Simon and Kitchen, Lind & Associates (Dark Horse)

Collecting four issues of the pre-Comics Code Authority Crime Does Not Pay, these archives highlight some of the best in crime comics of the 1940s. A mixture of true tales adapted for comics and mostly original works, the shocking and sometimes brutal stories always ended with the same lesson; crime does not pay!!

David Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil Born Again: Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)

Review copy unavailable.

Wally Wood’s EC Stories: Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)

Review copy unavailable.

uncle_scrooge_coverWalt Disney’s Uncle Scrooge: Only a Poor Old Man, by Carl Barks, edited by Gary Groth (Fantagraphics)

Uncle Scrooge, one of the richest ducks of all time, certainly loves his money. As a matter of fact he will go to great lengths to not only protect it, but spend as little as possible too. With this archival collection we get some of the funniest, cheapest stories of Scrooge all gloriously reprinted and re-mastered from Fantagraphics.

Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby’s Romance Comics, edited by Michel Gagné (Fantagraphics)

During a time of crime, westerns, and ghouls, one genre that sometimes gets lost in the history are romance comics. Sure enough, two of the biggest names in comics co-created the genre and made it wildly popular throughout all the demographics. It’s fascinating to see the early beginnings of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby’s work, and after the first issue you’ll find yourself falling madly in love with everything about this collection.

Who I think should win:

uncle_scrooge_page76Walt Disney’s Uncle Scrooge: Only a Poor Old Man, by Carl Barks, edited by Gary Groth (Fantagraphics)

I felt like I was transported back in time when reading this collection. The quality is outstanding, and time as severed both the characters and the jokes rather well. From the main stories to the little one-pagers, I had the biggest smile across my face the entire time. I forgot how much fun comics like Uncle Scrooge were back in the day, for every scheme on how to save money or protect it was damn-good entertainment.

Those pesky Beagle Boys are constantly harassing Scrooge, as well as Donald Duck and Huey, Dewey, and Louie with their constant thirty cents an hour demands. Can’t old Scrooge catch a break?!

Who I think could win:
Crime Does Not Pay Archives, edited by Philip Simon and Kitchen, Lind & Associates (Dark Horse)

What we have here is a piece of history. This publication was one of the reasons a Comics Code Authority was instated in the first place, as it supposedly corrupted the youth with its gory and violent imagery and the repetitive lesson that ‘crime does not pay.’ I’m not going to lie, after reading this collection I kind of wanted to go on a rampage throughout town with guns blazing before I finally remembered something;


Who I think should have been nominated:
Tarzan Archives: The Russ Manning Years Volume 1, edited by Brendan Wright (Dark Horse)

When you’re searching for some classic Tarzan comics, the only name you should be looking for on the cover is ‘Russ Manning.’

Who do you think should win / been nominated?

Cameron Hatheway is the host of Cammy’s Comic Corner and Arts & Entertainment Editor of the Sonoma State STAR. You can hire him for thirty cents an hour on Twitter @CamComicCorner.

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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