Foreign Treasuries - EBAL, Part 1

Wow! This is fun! Treasury Hunter Rogerio Baldino sent this great article all on the history of EBAL, the company that published DC Comics for the Brazilian market, including, of course, some of their beloved treasury editions. So, take it away, Rogerio!

THE TREASURY FORMAT IN BRAZIL: EBAL Considered by many collectors as the best comics publishing company ever in Brazil, E.B.A.L. (EDITORA BRASIL-AMÉRICA or something like BRAZIL-AMERICA PUBLISHING CO.) got the rights to publish the DC Comics magazines in 1947. The first DC comic book by EBAL was Superman #1 (November1947).

Following the rise of the Silver Age of comics, EBAL published several DC titles during the 60's: Superman, Batman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, The Atom, Justice League of America and many others. The inside art of those series was published in black and white.

In the early 70's EBAL improved the quality of its comics, launching a new format: main DC characters like Superman and Batman would have at least two series: one with the inside pages in black & white (and paper similar to the originals from USA) and the other in full color.

The best thing about the color series was the paper and the printing: it had a quality you can find today in many TPBs like the Marvel's Finest series (Kree-Skrull War) and the softcover versions of the Marvel Masterworks series from the early 90's.

Batman's regular title like Detective Comics could be printed in the B&W series while another were printed in color with this special paper and print. Most of Neal Adams' and Jim Aparo's runs were introduced to brazillian readers in that format.

THE EBAL TREASURYS By the time DC launched its first treasury edition in the 70's, EBAL already had a extensive line of DC titles, publishing almost every DC character in his/her own magazine.

Less than a year after the first DC's treasury editions came out to public in USA, EBAL released the Brazillian editions.The first ones were identic to the original Americans: from cover-to-cover, including the same kind of paper. They were: Limited Collectors' Edition C21 (Shazam!), Famous First Edition C26 (Action Comics #1), and Famous First Edition C28 (Detective Comics #27).

Things started to change with the release of the first EBAL treasury edition with a higher quality paper and print. It was Limited Collectors' Edition C22 (Tarzan). And then followed Limited Collectors' Edition C39, C41, C54, C56, C58, C62, and Superman Vs. Spider-Man.

Beside the paper and the print, the Brazillian editions were a little bit bigger than the originals and they were NOT square bound.They usually were published in Brazil a year after the release of the original in USA. It is clear that EBAL gave priority to editions with original stories instead of the ones with reprinted material.

MAGAZINE FORMAT At the end of the 70's, after the release of the Superman the Movie treasury edition (or Superman o filme) EBAL, wich was suffering an economic crisis, that started almost 10 years back, could not offer the same quality treatment of before.

DC Special Series #27 (Batman Vs. The Hulk) was released in the magazine format, instead of the bigger format of the earlier editions. The quality of the paper, at least, was the same. Earlier editions of the 70's were launched in that same format: Limited Collectors' Edition C22 and C29 (both Tarzan).

Unlike the rest, those Tarzan editions were square bound. Since they were launched among the treasuries, it's hard to explain why they did not have the same size treatment since they shared the same quality in paper and print like their bigger brothers.

DC Special Series #27 was the end of the road for EBAL and its "Treasury Edition" series. In 1983, EBAL fell in a final crisis that almost closed its doors. They lost their rights to publish DC comics titles to another company called EDITORA ABRIL.

Next: BEYOND EBAL

Update! 5/16/06: Rudolph was called Renino because of the Brazilian word for reindeer: Rena. The EBAL edition of Limited Collectors' Edition #C-24 (see below) was published in December '74/January '75. Unlike the other EBAL treasuries, this one is square bound. It has 76 pages--cover to cover--and all the same extras of the original DC edition: games, puzzles, the 3D-diorama and the pin-up calendar. The quality of the paper and print is the same of the other EBAL treasury editions. A hidden gem.

Fun Fact!: Rudolph never shared the same popularity among Brazilian readers that he did in the USA. That's why the sales of this particular book were not so good, and today it is so rare.

Update! 9/16/06: Almanaque Nostalgia Superman This treasury is already listed above, but the cover picture wasn't available at the time. When it was published in 1975, Ebal named it Almanaque Nostalgia: A Primiera Aparicao Do Super-Homem (something like Nostalgia Book: The First Appearance of Superman). Except for the external front cover, the rest of the book--including the interior cover reproduction of Action Comics #1--is very similar to the original DC edition.

Update! 12/3/06: As Origens Secretas Supervioles Here comes the cover of the Ebal version of Limited Collectors Edition C39, As Origens Secretas Dos Superviloes. Like the other Ebal treasuries, it is very similar to the original DC book in all the details like the giant two-page pin-up with our beloved super-villains and the same 3-D cut-out diaroma on the back cover.

One of the few treasuries with reprinted material released by Ebal. The merit goes, most of all, to the fantastic cover. Thanks, Mr.Giordano!

Next: EBAL, Part 2

 
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