- Full Description
Fed up with the formulaic restrictions, censors, and no creator’s rights in mainstream comics, Wallace Wood created and published his own magazine beginning in 1965. It was the first ever "pro" fanzine. It became a cauldron of bubbling creativity for Wood and his friends to produce their own personal work, without regard to commercial constraints. And with friends like Frank Frazetta, Al Williamson, Gray Morrow, and Reed Crandall, it was bound to be a great ride. (And that was just the first issue!). In later issues, Steve Ditko, Alex Toth, Art Spiegelman, Vaughn Bodé, Jim Steranko, Jeff Jones, Howard Chaykin, Bernie Wrightson — and dozens more — joined in.
When Fantagraphics published the collected witzend in 2014 in a deluxe two-volume box set, it sold out immediately. Now comes the Best of witzend, a 280-page distillation of that publishing milestone, putting all the top names from the 13-issue run of witzend into a single handsome volume, curated by Wood’s longtime assistant and successor as witzend editor and publisher, Bill Pearson. It's packed with great work as well as informative articles including "witzend's Beginning to End: A Memoir" by Pearson, "An Oral History" by Patrick Rosenkranz, bios of every contributor and much more.
Cobalt 60 by Vaughn Bodé, Gray Morrow's Orion, ERB Portfolios by Reed Crandall, Edgar Allan Poe's "City in the Sea" with pen illustrations by Frank Frazetta, The Rejects and Animan by Wood, Mr. A by Ditko...it just goes on and on.
If you missed the boxed set, now's an opportunity to capture the magic of a milestone in the era of comics. The top pros doing whatever they wanted, be it horror or sci fi, cartoons or adult fantasy, nude erotic pin-ups or "Any Idea in Any Form.” A story by Frazetta. Yup! Steranko surreallity. Check. Crandall doing one-off illustrations of ERB characters, including the topless Dejah Thoris. It's here! The under-rated Gray Morrow in very fine appearances of a creation of his own, a sexy sci-fi heroine. Here, too.
And the fans-turned-pros began jumping on the wagon after the first few issues, with superb early work by Bodé, Jeff Jones, Chaykin and Wrightson. It amazes me that the original issues of Witzend aren't commanding higher prices than they do, but they were all treasured and saved and today, aren't incredibly rare if you have $40 to $100 to drop for issues right back to #1. Or get the best right here...
- Additional Information
Item Code BESWH Publisher Fantagraphics Publish Date 2018 ISBN 9781683961154 Binding Hard Cover Dimensions 9x12 # Pages 240pg Color b&w
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