Monday 10 June 2024

A BONANZA OF SUPERMAN AND BATMAN TALES From The '30s To The '70s...

Copyright DC COMICS

From the 30's to the 70's (with the apostrophes after the zeros) never looked right to me.  It's like writing CDs as CD's.  Surely it should be From the '30s to the '70s?  That's how I prefer to render it anyway so that's what I've done.

Oops, sorry, got distracted.  The Superman and Batman companion volumes, first published in the US in 1971 by Crown, were/are great books, though looking at them now, I can see just how poor some of the reproduction was/is.  They appeared in the UK in 1972, published in paperback by Hamlyn, who reissued them in 1979, with no updating in the Supes volume to take account of Superman the Movie from 1978.  The contents of the two books were the same as before, though the spines were slimmer as ever-so slightly thinner paper was used inside. 

However, when Bonanza Books (a division of Crown) issued new hardback editions in the States, the film was mentioned in the text of the cover's interior fold-over, though not anywhere else inside.  Bonanza varied the size of the books, some editions being the same as the Crown printings, others being not-quite-so wide and around an inch or so taller, with the artwork on the Superman cover filling more space and with less margin.  (See photo below.)

I have three Batman and five Superman editions, the Batman volumes consisting of the UK 1972 and '79 paperback printings (Hamlyn), plus a recently acquired late '70s US hardback one (Bonanza).  The Superman volumes consist of the UK 1972 and two of the '79 paperback printings (Hamlyn), plus two late '70s hardback editions (Bonanza), which are different dimensions as mentioned in the previous paragraph.

So why buy so many you're maybe wondering?  You need to ask?  Obviously I'm bonkers (though you knew that anyway), but the 'real' reason is just that I'm a compulsive collector who likes different versions of the same thing.  However, another more practical reason is that back in 1982, I got my '79 paperbacks hardbound, which meant sacrificing the covers (though I retained them as pin-ups), so having the Bonanza editions means that I can scan the dust-jackets and print out new ones for my erstwhile paperback-now-hardback volumes.  I did that for the Superman one a while back, and now I've got the Bonanza Batman, I'll be doing the same with it, too.

So there you go - how to create a post from the most trivial and inconsequential topics, just so that you Crivvies can have something to read.  Of course, whether it's actually worth reading is up to you to decide.  I'm sure you'll let me know either way.  (At least, I hope you will.)        

3 comments:

Colin Jones said...

Yes, it should be '30s and '70s not 30's and 70's. I recently saw a taxi with the name of the firm on the side and what should have been spelt TAXIS was actually spelt TAXI'S.

lord mikolaj said...

It's interesting that they made a paperback of the Superman book. I remember reading these from our local library, when I was 14. They did an updated version as well, Superman from the 30's to the 80's. I liked the variety of the stories, I recall, tho I haven't seen a copy since I was a kid! I bought the Shazam book, that's kin to these, a couple of years back, and liked that. Around that time they had great reprint books, the Buck Rogers, Little Orphan Annie, Dick Tracy that I have (among others, like Smithsonian ones). Do you collect those as well? I recently bought a replacement copy of the Penguin Book of Comics history, the one I had as a kid that introduced me to the idea other countries had their own comics. Dang it, now I want to buy those books. And I should get one of those Mego Stan Lee dolls, that you occasionally feature. See what trouble you cause?

Kid said...

Just goes to show the standard of education in this country nowadays, eh, CJ? I often see signs misspelling words like apologies and inconvenience. Anything with more than two syllables seems to confuse people when it comes to spelling.

******

I know - I'm a rascal, ain't I? When I say paperbacks, I mean softcovers, LM, I don't mean they're like the old Mad paperbacks, reduced in size. I've got the Shazam book also, got it in a jumble sale nearly 40 years ago. There was a Wonder Woman one too, though I don't have that one. (I've also got the '30s to the '80s update.) I don't collect the Buck Rogers, Little Orphan Annie, or Dick Tracy books, but I do have both editions of The Penguin Book Of Comics. In fact I've got several copies of each one. And, ahem, I don't feature Stan Lee dolls - I feature Stan Lee action figures. Me, play with dolls? Never!



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