I’ve already said that THE SIGNATURE ART OF BRIAN STELFREEZE by Boom Studios was my favorite art book of 2017. Just a stunning, masterpiece of a tome in terms of content and book design.
Today I received an early contender for best Artbook of 2018, from LION FORGE and THE MAGNETIC COLLECTION I received Damian Duffy and John Jennings BLACK COMIX RETURNS.
I didn’t know much about this book going into it, except it was edited by the prolific John Jennings, and after seeing this creator interviewed on Youtube,I was on a mission to pick up his work. BLACK COMIX RETURNS is a ten year old followup to the sold out first volume (which iI delayed picking up, and is now out of print, and the copies that are availabl;e are selling for 3 figures).
I was eager to get this volume, and finally received today, it is stunning. I didn’t know what to expect, what I got was a curated overview of the creators who are putting out some great and very individual works. Similar to David Roach’s MASTERS OF SPANISH COMIC BOOK ART, but where that is a look back, BLACK COMIX RETURNS is a look at creators who are currently redefining the medium, one passion project at a time.
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Also this book, like that aforementioned Brian Stelfreeze artbook, is simply massive and gorgeous. A lot of collectors today concentrate on variants and rarity, I like to call it manufactured rarity, and I tend to not have a use for it. I remember the bubble of the 90s, and much of that had to do with variants and speculation of value, the illusion of scarcity and value, and when the music stopped people had paid lots of money for books that no one wanted, and were now worthless.
BLACK COMIX RETURNS should firstly be bought because it is a fantastic and informative and stellar addition to anyone’s library (showcasing fantastic artists such as Paris Alleyne, Gregory Anderson Elysee, Dawud Anyabwile, Eric Battle, to name a few) , however it should also be bought because it is a map to true, underground, and often scare and underseen comics and their diverse and talented creators.
And as the first BLACK COMIX shows it should thirdly be bought because quality hardcover artbooks, particularly regarding populations of color, tend to go out of print, and become in themselves… rsrities.
For all these reasons BLACK COMIX RETURNS is my book of the day!