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Sunday, February 26, 2006

My Collection - THE BEST OF DC [1979 Series]

The Best of DC [1979 series]
35 issues [1980 - 1986]
4 - 6, 9 - 16, 18, 21, 23 - 30, 32 - 34, 37, 41, 43, 47 - 49, 55, 58, 60, 65, 68

Ah, the main DC digest title, lasting for 71 issues total. I was a big fan of the format in the early 1980s, although distribution on them was always a bit spotty on the newsstands, so I missed quite a few, and later on the supply of them dried up completely, so half of the ones I have I picked up later. Unfortunately somewhere in the last decade the price on the few you can find has gone up, and the print quality wasn't really meant to last 25 years, and a lot of the stuff has been reprinted in better formats, so it's hardly worth picking up the rest. Objectively these are pretty cruddy reprints, with the bad paper, bad printing and the pages often being chopped up to work in the smaller size (frequently they'd stat on slightly larger lettering, covering some of the art), but they make up for it in variety, with a great sampling of some of the best of DC's past, the first place I ever saw most of the 1950s and 1960s DC classics.

Most important from this title was that it's the first place I saw Sheldon Mayer's classic work, with the issues containing new and/or reprint Sugar & Spike stories, plus the various Funny Stuff issues with a few Mayer stories in each. That stuff is gold, and I'm glad they managed to do as many of them as they did. I recently got the last few of those I was missing, the only digests I was still actively searching for.

Also of note, the first places I saw favourites like Infantino's FLASH, Kubert's HAWKMAN, Kane's GREEN LANTERN, all sorts of stuff like that. I just loved the fact that you never knew what would come next in these, with an issue sampling the pre-hero adventure features in THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD followed by a sampling of Lex Luthor stories through the ages.

I previously posted about one especially odd issue, featuring the Super Jrs.

Noteworthy issues, well obviously any with Sheldon Mayer work, in particular #41 which is all Sugar&Spike work done for foreign markets after the original book was cancelled. #9 has the great Len Wein "Bat-Murderer" 5-part story from the mid-1970s, Jim Aparo art on the first few chapters, which I don't think has been reprinted elsewhere. #34 has the first four Metal Men stories from SHOWCASE, which are nicely strange.

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