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Closeout Price! By Jack Katz. Six sets left at last count. Often (but mistakenly) considered the first graphic novel, this pre-dates Will Eisner’s Contract With God (1978) and is one of the milestones of Independent Comics history. A comics novel by a veteran comics artist TEN YEARS and 24 issues in the telling! An intricate  complex sword & sorcery and science fiction epic that takes place over millenia. Man’s migration into space, the ensuing galactic battles, and the great mystery of mankind’s origin before the fall of civilization. Highly detailed, intense, and packed storyline. 12 out of the original 24-issue set: #1 (2nd printing), 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 22, and two more assorted issues. Bonus: a true first edition of issue #1 with a fully painted cover. Bud Plant, 1975-86. Out of Print.

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Six sets left at last count. Often (but mistakenly) considered the first graphic novel, this pre-dates Will Eisner’s Contract With God (1978) and is one of the milestones of Independent Comics history. A comics novel by a veteran comics artist TEN YEARS and 24 issues in the telling! An intricate complex sword & sorcery and science fiction epic that takes place over millenia. Man’s migration into space, the ensuing galactic battles, and the great mystery of mankind’s origin before the fall of civilization. Highly detailed, intense, and packed storyline. 12 out of the original 24-issue set: #1 (2nd printing), 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 22, and two more assorted issues. Bonus: a true first edition of issue #1 with a fully painted cover.

After the first issue was printed, Jack Katz didn’t like how underground artist Larry Todd had created a painting of the cover for that issue (although I still like it). So when the issue was reprinted (twice), we returned to Jack’s pen & ink original and had it watercolored by another artist, Steve Oliff. That makes the first printing of #1 unique, and that’s why I put aside the last case of these many years ago. And that is the “variant” cover issue I’m including in this set as the bonus.

See our website for individual issues: Advanced Search/Title/First Kingdom.

Jack Katz got his start in comics beginning in the late 1940s at Fawcett and Standard Comics–he did several great horror and sci-fi stories for the pre-code Standard comics like Out of the Shadow.

Jack worked extensively for Stan Lee on the Atlas titles in the 1950s, and for Marvel, Skywald and other publishers in the 1960s. In 1972, he decided to write his master epic in the underground comics format (b&w with color covers). The hallowed underground comics movement was in full swing. This sold alongside titles like Star Reach, Cerebus and Elfquest, works that kicked off the era of creator-owned comics.

The First Kingdom was first published by Comics & Comix, a chain of stores of which I, Bud Plant, was one of the founders. With issue #7 I took over as publisher.

These issues, though not a complete set, are a blast from the past. They are the original publications, put away in my warehouse for all these years. The series was newly collected in softcover volumes by Titan Books, 2013-14, plus two all-new volumes. Previously, issues #1-12 were collected in two volumes by Century Comics in 2005-2006 (they never completed the series). And before that, Simon & Schuster published a (now rare) oversized softcover compiling the first six issues in 1978. What we are offering here are the original issues as they first appeared (#1 is a second printing with a different coloring of the cover; the first edition was painted by underground artist Larry Todd).

Each book is introduced by top talents such as Jim Steranko, Stan Lynde, and Burne Hogarth, with a synopsis of the story up until that issue. Steve Oliff and Jim Steranko were among the artists who colored the covers over Jack’s inked black and white version.

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