Saturday, 31 July 2021
THE BIG RED SUPERMAN BOOK HAS FINALLY GOT IT COVERED...
Imagine, if you will, my surprise and delight when I walked onto the upper floor of John Menzies back in 1979 and was met by the sight of the reissued softcover Superman From The '30s To The '70s and its Batman companion volume. I bought them immediately, rectifying my oversight in not having purchased the Batman tome in 1972 when I bought the Superman one from W. & R. Holmes, one of my favourite shops of the period. (I no longer had my original Superman book, hence the reason for buying a replacement.)
The new editions were slightly less thick than the originals, though only due to thinner paper being used, not because of any content being omitted. Curiously, Supe's volume hadn't been updated to include mention of the 1978 movie in the back pages, being purely a reprint of its earlier incarnation. I worked in my local central library at the time and a colleague, Bob Billens, also bought them, he too being a comics fan.
After a couple of years, the cover's clear 'lamination' had started to split along the indented fold which facilitated opening the book, so even though I'd left the library's employ back in '79, I got one of the senior librarians (not Bill - he'd only been 'junior' temporary staff and he and his wife were now living in England) to send my books away to be bound in hardback covers. (Yes, I paid, just in case you were wondering.) Red for the Superman volume, blue for the Batman one. The original cardboard covers were dispensed with in the process. (They ended up on my bedroom wall, so not completely wasted.)
Anyway, some years back, I obtained original 1972 impressions of both books, plus a second copy of the 1979 impression, but it always slightly bothered me that my '79 former softcover editions had no dustjackets. The Batman one still doesn't, but the Superman tome now sports the nifty dustjacket you see below, courtesy of a scan and printout of the cover from a later reissued US copy of the book which I acquired back in February of this year. I had to compensate for the fact that the red hardbacked volume is a slightly different size, but a bit of trial-and-effort was all that was necessary to obtain a satisfactory result.
Because the new dustjacket is printed on standard printer paper, I reinforced the fold-over edges with a special archive repair tape for extra strength, but I'm considering starting again from scratch and re-creating the actual UK cover as a dustjacket, because the back is different from the US edition, which is the one you can see below. If/when I do, you can be sure I'll let you see the result. Then I'll have to think about creating a dustjacket for the Batman volume just so that it doesn't feel left out. I'll show that one too in the fulness of time. This one's only taken me around 40 years, so hopefully it won't take so long again.
Well, what do you think of my handiwork? Don't be shy now.
Posted by Kid at Saturday, July 31, 2021