- Lost Treasuries
had essentially stopped doing treasury comics with All-New
Collectors' Edition #62 (Superman: The Movie).
While they brought out a couple more in the ensuing
years, for the most part in the wake of 1978's "DC Implosion,"
the contents of future issues of All-New
Collectors' Edition were shelved and the
series was discontinued.
left over some material DC had commissioned for the
treasuries, so they had to find homes for it elsewhere.
of these stories was "The Life Story of Superman",
written by Martin Pasko and drawn by Curt Swan, which
eventually appeared in Action Comics #500. Supes
arrives for the opening of the Superman pavilion at
the Metropolis World's Fair, which leads Supes and his
friends down a tour (literally and figuratively) of
his life. There's a sinister presence lurking around--no
points as to who it might be.
Q&A from an AnswerMan column is from an issue of
Black Lightning, further proving that the story
that appeared in Action #500 was originally intended
as a treasury comic:
lost treasury comic was "...When a World Dies Screaming"
which was originally planned to be appear in All-New
Collectors' Edition. This blurb, in fact,
appeared in Amazing World of DC Comics #14 (the
of course that never happened. It finally appeared as
a 3-part story in Justice League of America #'s
210-212. On the opening splash, it was presented as
a "Story from the JLA Casebook", specifically
setting it in the past of the current JLA stories. The
reason for this I assume was that, during the time the
story was produced and printed, the JLA took in new
members like Hawkgirl, Zatanna, and Firestorm, none
of whom appear here.
remember, even as a kid, wondering why they were running
an older story (even if the material was all-new) in
the middle of the run like that. Since not every JLA
story featured every member, they could've dropped the
"casebook" disclaimer and simply not even
mentioned why not all the members were present.
on second thought, the scope of this story was huge
(even more evidence it was meant as a treasury comic)
enough that maybe it would've been odd that not all
the JLAers bothered to show up. It spans the globe,
takes time to develop some supporting, non-superhero
characters, and features literally a cast of thousands.
Too bad DC scuttled this as a treasury; it would've
been a truly impressive comic in the large format. Heck,
even some of alien characters in this book are called
guess the most infamous "lost" DC treasury
comic was the ambitious King Arthur book. Intended
as four-part series by Gerry Conway and Nestor Redondo,
the book was heavily promoted in the seventh issue of
DC's self-published fanzine, Amazing World of DC
Comics, as well as in ads that ran in their Sept.1975
a few issues later of AWODCC, though, the book was still
listed as "being near completion." Uh-oh!
the first issue had been essentially completed, DC had
made the decision to stop running original material
in the treasuries (damn that DC Implosion again!). Soon
after Conway left DC to got to Marvel, and the project
was all but officially dead.
original pages of Redondo's were eventually sold, and
most of them now are who knows where. A few are in the
hands of some private collectors and appeared in an
article about this book in Twomorrows' magazine Back
seems insane to me to have commissioned all this beautiful
artwork, pay for it, and then just let it lay in a drawer
somewhere. Surely DC could have slotted it in somewhere,
even as a back-up feature somewhere! What a real shame
this never saw the light of day.
As you can see from the successive blurbs from issues
of The Amazing World of DC Comics, King Arthur
DC kept promising the book, changing the format from
a standard-size 25 cent comic to a treasury-size one.
there ended up being "unforseen problems."
"lost" treasury featued DC's biggest treasury
comic star--Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Apparently
DC had one more Rudolph Christmas treasury on the schedule
when they decided to axe the whole format.
unlike the King Arthur material, DC repurposed it and
used it a year later in Best
of DC Digest #4. One of the tip-offs
is the digest contains 8 pages of puzzles and games,
standard-fare for the Rudolph treasury comics but otherwise
never a part of DC's digest series.
when Rudolph was so popular as a treasury comic, he
would only make this one appearance in the digests is
another peculiarity. Truly, DC sales' offices were a
House of Mystery.
real missed opportunity was Portraits of Villainy,
which was a proposed oversize book that would feature
Alex Ross' full-page portraits of DC's most famous bad
guys alongside descriptions of them, written "by"
the bad guys themselves (aka Paul Dini)!
this idea was hatched around 1999 or 2000, right in
the middle of Ross
and Dini's run of treasury books, but DC thought
the idea wasn't marketable enough (that sound you hear
is me, sobbing) since it would be a bigger, and presumably
more expensive, publication.
you can see, Ross did a series of outstanding pencil
roughs for a good number of the villains (these are
courtesy Ross' website).
It's damn shame this project never happened--taking
one look at these "roughs" will tell you Ross'
roughs are better than most people's finished art. This
was how Wizard, who first reported the story,
Players: Alex Ross and Paul Dini
Project: Portraits of Villainy
Story: Alex Ross really wanted to do something
their highly successful tabloid projects, Superman:
Peace on Earth and Batman: War on Crime,
Ross and Dini wanted to do a coffee table book with
30 portraits of DC Comics' top villains painted by Ross
with Dini supplying the opposite page's text written
in first-person "voice" of that villain. In
Gorilla Grodd's case, the text would have consisted
of a simple grunt. Others villains would retell their
origins or specific encounters with DC heroes. In the
Joker's case, the Clown Prince of Crime would have explained
his origin in the form of a joke.
It Never Happened: In the end, it came down
to money. According to Ross and Dini, while DC's editorial
department loved the idea of the project, the powers-that-be
didn't see the project being profitable enough to warrant
its expense. After months of trying to get the project
approved, it was eventually scuttled, with Ross moving
on to focus on Marvel work like Earth X, Universe
X and Paradise X.
It Ever Happen: "I hope so," says
Ross. "I'd still love to do this for DC and I have
a similar plan for a Marvel project. If we could work
everything out and I was free of other commitments,
I'd definitely do it."
sharp-eyed Treasury Hunter Alex Johnson
comes this piece of original art by Sheldon Mayer that
he did for Rudolph's Easter Parade, which was
scheduled be to an All-New Collectors' Edition
but was never published.
thanks to Alex, we can now see four pages of Mayer's
art that was planned for the unpublished Rudolph's Easter
here to see them!
(who seems to have the corner market on this Rudolph
stuff) also sent this piece of Mayer original artwork
to what is written on the margin as "Front cover
Rudolph Xmas '78."
assume that means it was intended for the one final
Rudolph Christmas treasury that ended up being run as
a digest(see cover above). Thanks again Alex!
New! This tantalizing sketch (far left) comes
from the 50th issue of TwoMorrows' Jack Kirby Collector,
in an aricle about great unused Kirby art.
to JKC editor John Morrow: "Mystery still
aurrounds this piece, which was rumored to have been
done for a proposed 1970s book reprinting of the Fourth
real specifics to back this up, so we're left wondering
if maybe Jack planned this as the cover to the conclusion
he never got to produce for his opus."
a potential Jack Kirby Fourth World treasury book? What
a wonder to behold that would have been...
recent discovery I made while working on the DigestComics
blog was this issue of DC Special Series #18,
Sgt.Rock's Prize Battle Tales, cover dated November
it is the usual assortment of war comics reprints, but
on pages 76-77 is something unusual: a table-top diorama,
just like the ones the treasuries used to have!
having a table-top diorama made from flimsy newsprint
and only 6" high isn't all the impressive, I'm
betting this collection was originally scheduled as
a treasury then slotted in at the last minute as a digest,
like the Rudolph one above. DC was going a lot of rejiggering
of it book's contents around this time, so I think its
safe to assume at some point there was going to be a
Sgt.Rock treasury comic. *sigh*
I recently came across this
table-top diorama(and ad) in a 1972 issue of Weird
War Tales, a full year before DC ever did any treasury-sized
my initial assumption(above) seems to be incorrect,
that the Sgt.Rock digest comic, along with accompanying
diorama, was an abandoned treasury comic. More likely
the diorama was meant to be run in one of DC's regular-sized
war comics like the one I just posted and ended up surfacing