Monday, June 25

Library-Bound Comics: All-Star Squadron

Today I finally got my hands on my most recent box of library-bound comics from Herring and Robinson, completing my most recent order with them as described here. The delay was because we were out of town all last week, and the box was delivered to my wife's place of business where it could be signed for, and I had to wait for her to return to work today to retrieve it for me.

As mentioned previously, this is a three-volume set containing the entirety of the 1980s DC series All-Star Squadron, which was Roy Thomas's extensive ode to the 1940s Golden Age heroes of the DC Universe, based on the old Justice Society of America adventures that filled the pages of the original All-Star Comics, plus some, told against the historical background of the early days of World War Two. I've always liked the Justice Society, from the first time I met them as the doppelganger equivalents of “Earth One's” Justice League of America but dwelling on the alternate “Earth Two” back in the 1960s, all the way through this period of the early 1980s when we had new tales set in their original 1940s context, through the lean years after 1985's Crisis on Infinite Earths swept away the DC Multiverse and the elder heroes, now an elder generation on the post-Crisis unified Earth, were consigned to a form of limbo, to their resurgence in the late 1990s/early 2000s as the elder generation of DC's “legacy” heroes. I had, of course, read all these All-Star Squadron comics as they first came out in the 1980s, but my original copies fell victim to “The Great Comic Book Sell-Off of 1990.” With my discovery of library binding, I early on decided I'd like to buy up the back issues and have them bound. I picked up scattered issues here and there at the occasional comic shop or convention, but frankly it wasn't happening quickly enough. I had “All-Star Squadron complete set” (or some such) as one of my saved searches on eBay for a long time, and got frequent emails notifying me of active auctions, but they would quickly bid up past my self-imposed limit of $70. A lot of people remember this series fondly, it seems, and the complete sets could go for as much as a couple of hundred dollars. But finally, for whatever reason, perseverence paid off sometime early last year, and I scored a set of the 67 issues plus three annuals for my bid.

As I mentioned previously, last year was a long interim in my comic binding, but early this year I determined that I was going to get this done. All I had to do was buy up several other issues of Justice League of America that had chapters of a multi-issue crossover between the two titles, as well as the issue of that latter series that contained a short insert “prequel” promotional story. At the last minute, I decided I would pull a 1977 issue of DC Special that told the “untold origin” of the Justice Society and include it, too.

With the help of a thread on one of the comic binding discussion boards, I mapped out my set as three volumes and made up the title page/table of contents and valuation pages, prepped them as described in generally in the aforementioned post, and sent them off. Not really caring so much for my previous cover color-scheme of Dark Green Buckram with Gold Print which I used a few years ago for two volumes of JSA [see here], I went with #598 Dark Blue with Gold Print for these. For whatever reason, these three volumes lagged a little behind the rest of the books in that order which came to me a couple weeks ago, but that just gave me another “little Christmas” today.

Here are some pictures:

Yes, same picture as at top, but larger. Do you see my goof? ... 
The dates at the bottom of the middle volume should be 1983-1985. 
 It's my mistake; they printed what I specified.
Incidentally, the flash washes out the color a bit. 
 It's not grey-blue, it's dark blue, almost black.

You can actually see the sacrifice that's sometimes made with
trimming the edges.  Some of the art or, in this case, text on covers may
be trimmed, as from the banner at bottom, "YOU could be in the
Somebody's curious about what Daddy's doing....

Cheers!, and Thanks for reading!

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