Christmas and Archie - 1975

As far as I know, the only treasury-sized comic Archie ever produced. That's a shame, because this is a real beauty--I mean, look at that cover!

This is obviously a reprint of older Archie material, but who cares? This is a great example of what Archie did so well--they may not have strayed from there niche at all, but they did what they did so well. Heck, they're still the only comics you can still find in supermarkets.

Considering how well Archie has done, and continues to do, with the digests, I'm surprised they never did any more with this format. Oh, well, at least we have this!

68 pages.

Rollover the image to see this book's back cover!

The Jungle Book - Western Publishing - 1967

Dated 1967, this is a well-done adaptation of Disney's Jungle Book. Nice art, nice cover! Comes with a color-yourself inside back cover and game on the outside back cover.

68 pages.

Rollover the image to see this book's back cover!

Jungle Book

The Jungle Book - Western Publishing - 1970s?

Here's a real oddity--another edition of The Jungle Book in treasury form, but with the same exact contents as the earlier edition, seen above!

I found it on eBay, thinking/hoping it was a different book, but it was cheap enough to take the risk that it wasn't. And sure enough, the book's interior (inside covers and story) are the same; only the cover and back cover are unique.

We can see by the higher price ($1, as opposed to the original's 59 cents) that this is a later edition, but there's no copyright info beyond that of the movie, which is 1967. If I had to guess, I'd say this was released to coincide with a Disney re-release of the movie, something they did with their animated films with regularity.

68 pages.

Rollover the image to see this book's back cover!

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King Kong - Western Publishing - 1968

Adaptation of the film by artist Alberto Giolitti, with a cover by George Wilson. Why this was released in 1968 (the first Kong remake was still eight years away) is anyone's guess.

Still, if any film adaptation is best suited for the treasury comics format, it's King Kong!

Says Whitman on the cover, indicia says published by Western. I've heard rumors that it was re-issued around the time of the 1976 remake, but I have yet to find one and determine whether there are any published differences to this one.

68 pages.


Bonus! Disappointment--Thy Name is Kong! While on an Ebay search for rare treasuries, I found this Mexican edition of the King Kong treasury comic, as seen at bottom. It had a Buy It Now price, so, assuming it was also treasury-sized, I had it purchased and paid for in about 45 seconds (oh, I love high-speed internet).

Inbetween purchase and arrival, I found other foreign-language editions of the book. But they looked different to me, perhaps not actual treasury-sized. I emailed the sellers of these books and asked, and found out the disappointing news--they were, in fact, standard comic book size. I began to worry about my purchase.

With good reason. The book arrived the other day, in much too small a package. It was indeed regular comic-book size. *sigh* Oh, well, the delusion was fun while it lasted...

This info comes courtesy of Treasury Hunter Craig W.: "The King Kong comic, originally published in 1968, was not treasury-sized, it was a standard Gold Key comic. When the movie remake came out in 1976, it was re-issued in the treasury size. But other than that, it was not updated in anyway, so therefore one could think it was originally published in 1968 at that size."

Oh.

Racing Pettys - 1980

What an odd little item.

Written by Harvey Duck (?) and drawn "by" Bob Kane, this is a comic book biography of the Petty racing family. Sold at racetracks, with an ad for STP on the back cover! (The lubricant, not the rock band)

Has an interior back cover biography of Kane entitled "Bob Kane - A Living Legend." (Why do I think that was self-penned?) Also has four pages of b/w art to color.

As goofy as this thing is, you have to admit it's a neat idea--a comic that you could buy for your kids to read on a family day out of watching hundred-mile-an-hour auto wrecks.

68 pages.

Tales From the Crypt - 1991

Where did this come from? Weird one-off treasury-sized reprint of some classic EC stories.

I didn't know this existed until Treasury Hunter Craig Wichman told me about it. I still could never find it, then one day in my mail, there it was, courtesy of Craig! What a pal.

Anyway, this is a nice collection of classic EC (redundant) stories, with art by the best in the business--Jack Davis, Johnny Craig, Al Williamson, Jack Kamen, and Ghastly Graham Ingels. Stories include "Survival...or Death!", "The Thing in the 'Glades!", "Kamen's Kalamity!", "Buried Treasure", "The Execution", "Murder the Lover/Murder the Husband", Snooze to Me", and "Paralyzed."

On the inside cover, it mentions this is the first of a planned series, but apparently sales were disappointing so this was the only one. What a crying shame!

68 pages.

Wham-O Giant Comics- 1967

I had completely forgotten about this book until I posted this site. Then I got several emails from readers asking, "Where was that super-giant Wham-O comic?" While this comic--which measrues a whopping 14x21"--isn't really a classic "treasury" comic, it's sheer uniqueness merits its inclusion here. And you though storing the treasuries was tough!

This comic was obviously intended to appeal to nearly every kind of comic book fan--there are superhero strips, humor strips, war, horror, adventure--everything!

The strips in here are: (deep breath) Radian, Tor, The Young Eagles, Experiment in Shock, Mark of the Sun, Unexplored, Kaleidoscope of Fear (!), Galaxo, The Unhumans, Stellar Apes, The Secret Message, The Edge of Time, Goody Bumpkin, Captain Valoren, The Wooden Sword, The Diary of Ty Locke, Super Sibling and His Magic Chokes (!!), Klunker the Misfit Monster, Clyde!, Bridget, The Adventures of Melvin the Magician, Wild EarthChild, A Helping Handsome, Flabby and Gabby, plus games and puzzles! Sockamagee!

There's also a form for a 6-issue subscription to Wham-O. Can you imagine how pissed off your mail carrier would be having to deliver this monster every three months?

As far as I know, this is the only issue ever published, so this book is truly one-of-a-kind.

It features a couple of nice strips by Wally Wood. Although I have to say, the superhero lead-off strip, Radian, looks an awful lot like a re-drawn T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents strip, although here it's printed big enough to be seen from space.

It's maybe not a total self-swipe, but since Woody's motto was "Never draw what you can copy, never copy what you can trace, never trace what you can cut out and paste down", you never know. You be the judge.

Rollover the image to see this book's back cover!

Destroy!! - 1986

A big old slab of comics fun by one my all-time favorite creators, Scott "Zot!" McCloud!

Destroy is exactly what it promises--32 pages of meaningless superheroic mayhem. And what better format for it than the treasury comic? This cover guy looks like he could reach out and strangle you!

Even amidst the mindless mayhem, the inherit wit of McCloud the writer sneaks in--this is a very funny comic even though it doesn't strain to be so.

Back when I was attending the Kubert School, we had an assignment to interview a professional whom we admired--I chose McCloud, since I was (am) a big admirer of his work, particularly the Zot! comic, which I think is one of the best comic seriesof all time.

Anyway, I sent him a page of questions (this was before e-mail, in the Paleozoic Era), and he provided full, detailed answers to them all. Except the last one, when I asked "Ever going to do another Destroy!! book?" (Even though the cover already provided me the answer)

His answer was "God, no! The whole point was to do that once and get it out of my system!"

...that was the day I learned there are, in fact, stupid questions.

Rollover the image to see this book's back cover!

Click the image to see an ad for this book plus other treasury ads!

Hawks of the Seas - 1986

One of the great things about Ebay is you can find nearly anything if you look hard and long enough. When I came across this little treasure, the auction title almost designed for people who might want this book not to find it--I suddenly remembered seeing an ad for this book on the back of many a Kitchen Sink comic in the mid 80s.

This is a glorious collection of the comic strip Hawks of the Seas, and early work by the master Will Eisner. Eisner created it for Wow! magazine in 1936, but after only two issues Wow! folded, and Eisner then added some pages and sold it to a publisher who specialized in selling comics to foreign markets.

The book features an intro by Al Williamson, who tells of discovering the strip in a magazine named Paquin when he lived in Bogota, Columbia. It was printed in the treasury/tabloid size, and it put a smile on my face to read how overwhelmed Williamson was, reading this huge comic as kid. Sound familiar?

Anyway, the strip is a lot of fun, and, as usual for Eisner, ahead of its time. The Hawk sails for adventure, but is also interested in fighting for the Rights of Man. Oppression and inhumanity are themes in these stories, but they never overwhelm the fun and derring-do. Plus the strip is filled with those sultry, exotic women (they even frequently wear those off-the-shoulder blouses rendered so unforgettably years later on The Spirit's Ellen Dolan. P'Gell, and others).

As it mentions in the afterword, you can see Eisner develop as the strip progresses. Layouts become more interesting, the storytelling more dynamic, the visuals have more punch. You can see the groundwork being laid for the masterworks that lay ahead in Eisner's future. A great read.

And, at 140 pages, by far the thickest of all the treasury comics!

Heavy Metal - Conquering Armies - 1978

Here's another unusual item I came across whiel randomly searching ebay--an honest-to-gosh treasury-size comic from the makers of Heavy Metal! This is a long-form story by the team of Gal and Dionnet (?), translated from French into English.

I haven't had a chance to read this book yet (it just arrived in the mail today!), but from a quick glance it looks like it has all the usual trappings of a story you'd see in HM--swordsmen, violence, wenches with heaving bosoms; you know, all that good stuff. Nice b/w art!

This comic has an ISBN humber on the back, and no ads or UPC code, so it's safe to assume these were sold in bookstores rather than a magazine rack. It lists five others in this series; so it looks like I'm back to Ebay to see if the rest are also treasury-sized!

68 pages.

Update! - I found copies of the five other books listed in this series--Is Man Good?, Psychorock, Ulysses, Candice at Sea, and Azrach. Oddly enough, though, none of them are treasury-sized; instead they are all standard graphic novel size (around 9x11" or so). Why this one would be treasury-sized and the rest not, I cannot say. Maybe they did this one first and then changed size for the rest of them?

The Block - 1971

Now this is a real rarity. The Block was a free, treasury-sized comic published by Byron Preiss and written and drawn by Jim Steranko! It was given out in public schools to teach kids about the dangers of drugs.

Now, despite my valiant efforts (well, searching on Ebay regularly), I have not been able to procure a copy of the book. But I did come across an issue of the comic newspaper 'zine ComixScene (#4), that had a cover story on "Drugs and the Comics" and featured a whopping eight-pages of the book itself, plus an article on its history!

So, from the article, it seems that The Block was published and distibuted in various cities, and at the time of the article's writing, there were plans to have it published as a pull-out supplement in Miss Black America magazine (?). I do not know whether this ever happened, or if it ever surfaced anywhere else.

In any case, from the pages included, (I assume the first page, at left, is the splash, not the cover), it looks like a really heartfelt and well-intentioned idea--that comics could be used to entertain and educate, and that they'd be welcomed in a classroom, as opposed to being something you had to hide behind your schoolbook.

So, even though I found this, I still intend to try and find a copy of the whole book. (Oddly, you can find a listing for it on Amazon.com, even though there are no copies available for sale...?)

Buck Rogers HC - 1968

This a massive, treasury-sized (10.5x13.5") hardcover book reprinting selected Buck Rogers newspaper strips from 1929-1946, even the color Sundays!

While obviously not approaching the breathtaking beauty of Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon, these strips are quite striking, and filled with all sorts of futuristic-looking doodads and detail. At over 350 pages, I haven't had a chance to read it all yet, so a more detailed analysis is to come (I'll alert the media).

I may be stretching the parameters of this site by including this, but when I came across it for sale I couldn't say no (well, I could have; I just didn't want to). Plus, if I put something on here that isn't a real treasury comic, what happens? I go to treasury jail?

In true treasury-comics-style, though, this book comes with oodles of other fun stuff. It has an intro by Ray Bradbury, a pin-up, a transcript of the first Buck Rogers radio show (!), a "Mystery Color Puzzle" (already helpfully colored in; by some 60s-era kid, no doubt), a Buck Rogers Solar Scout Membership Enrollment Form (awesome), a map of the planet Venus (may not be scientifically accurate), a schematic of the Buck Rogers Flying Needle (the inspiration for the Neil Young song "The Buck Rogers Flying Needle and the Damage Done"), plus a photo page of Official Buck Rogers merchandise! This was on ebay for $10--really, how could I say no?

Click the image to see an ad for this book plus other treasury ads!

Schizo #4 - 2006

This is 11x15" worth of misanthropic fun!

While I was familiar with the work of Ivan Brunetti, I had never heard of his "regular" Fantagraphics series Schizo. Thanks to a tip from Treasury Hunter David Pass (who has a treasury comics site of his own, which you can find here), I discovered that this fourth issue was done in the treasury format. Not so much a throwback to the classic DC and Marvel treasuries, this is more of a riff on the actual Sunday tabloid comics of days gone by (hence its slightly bigger size).

I try and keep this site positive, so I don't like to be too critical of anyone else's work. I find Ivan's work very hit or miss--I've seen other books by him where the humor is, to me, dark and shocking for the sake of being dark and *yawn* shocking. But this 32-page book is a collection of single-page strips that are a little more genteel, maybe again as a riff on the classic newspaper strips of old. But don't worry, they still contain his trademark hopeful-yet-depressed humor.

The artwork and coloring is beautiful, and makes for a really nice package. There's a strip all about horror film producer Val Lewton, of all people, which I found very endearing partly because the subject is so unlikely.

Captain Eo - 1987

You find the oddest things on Ebay.

On a random search under the word "treasury", I came across this little marvel--a bona-fide 11x17" Captain Eo treasury comic--in 3-D no less! Apparently, this was sold exclusively at Disneyland's Captain Eo attraction. How Eclipse Comics, of all companies, ended up with the license is a story I'd like to hear one day.

The art, by fellow Kubert School alum Tom Yeates, is really beautiful. The only real problem with the story is, of course, that it stars Michael Jackson as an interplanetary space superhero. Michael Jackson. I can only imagine the difficulty he faced when he had to draw the sequence of Jacko dancing in step with the other space rabble. The fact that Jackson doesn't look completely ridiculous is a testament to Yeates's skill as an illustrator.

I'm going to try and skip all the obvious jokes and just jump ahead to the main thing that struck me about this book. It was published in 1987, many years after both DC and Marvel had given up the treasury format. But yet, when the idea was sprung to create this souvenir book, it was as a treasury-sized comic--a great way to indicate this was something special. No normal-sized comic here--this book has to be big, big, BIG!

And big it is. I imagine getting this book as a kid would've been pretty exciting, the odd sense of unease about Captain Eo himself notwithstanding (sorry, couldn't help myself). This leads me to wonder if there were other treasury-sized souvenir comic books created over the years that we have yet to discover...?

(The book was also released as a normal-sized book through comic stores, but what's the point?)

36 pages.

Rock Comics #1 - 1979

This was the other great discovery on my latest Ebay treasure(y) hunt. Normally I stay away from tabloid-size books published in the non-bound newspaper format, since I feel those are going a little far astray of my intentions. But when I came across this, I couldn't say no.

I mean--look at it! Rock n' Roll superheroes, fighting a bad guy who looks like Ant-Man, with a cover inked by Neal Adams!! Paypal, don't fail me now!

Anyway, I had never heard of this comic before. From the intro on the inside cover, this was the first in (hopefully) a line of new comics by Landgraphics Publications, headed by publisher and artist Ken Landgraf. Mr. Landgraf managed to corral some real talent too--apart from the aforementioned Neal Adams, this comic features work by comic pros Dave Simons and Armando Gil. From the research I've done since, it seems, sadly, that this was the only issue ever published.

The opening feature is about a rock musician named Axe McCord, who runs afoul of the goofily named (and even more goofily attired) supervillain Captain Feedback. It's all done in that over-the-top 70s Marvel style, where it seems to be trying to be done straight, but you get the sense that just maybe the creators knew how goofy this all was and were having fun with it.

The second feature is about another rock musician, a long-haired blonde Adonis named...Thor. Drawn by Neal Adams (oh yeah, this book is so worth the $10 I paid for it). Sadly, this fun strip is a mere 4 pages long.

The last is an even weirder piece called "The King of Punk", which probably seems hilarious after a weekend of speedballs and Led Zeppelin.

The whole book runs 28 pages, at 11x15". To add to the whole psychedelic feeling to the proceedings, the cover is in color, and so are pages 8,9,14,15,20, and 21--without any sort of reason why. All I know is--we need more comics like this!!

Ken Landgraf - Click here to read a brand-new interview with Rock Comics' and Star Fighters' writer/artist/creator/publisher!

Star-Fighters #1 - 1979

From the people who brought you Rock Comics, comes Star-Fighters, another newsprint tabloid by Landgraphics!

The Star-Fighters, by Landgraf and Armando Gil, are a group of mercenaries in outer space. It's fairly routine, both in conception and execution, although there are some odd moments, like when the main hero ("Buck Blaster"...yes, "Buck Blaster") uses his powers of telekenesis to force a bad guy to shoot his own face off. Really.

Also, Buck is a religious man, so much so that he wears a crucifix around his neck, which helps dispatch some "supernatural" baddies at the story's end.

This book also features the story "The Killer Cat of Zerena" (by Landgraf, Josef Rubinstein, and "Many Hands") and ends with "Debra Starr" (by Landgraf and Jack Abel), a 6-page feature about outer-space female wrestlers. Yes, you read that right.

Unlike Rock Comics, this doesn't feature any randomly-colored pages. Supposedly the cover is inked by Neal Adams, but I don't see his trademark style as much as in its sister publication. Apparently, Ken Landgraf had big ambitions for this line of comics, offering subscriptions to both titles, but as far as I know they both only lasted one issue apiece.

Too bad, since Comics as a whole needed/needs more people with a great love of the medium (which Landgraf obviously had) and unbridled enthusiasm (ditto). Maybe the execution wasn't so hot, but I think Landgraphics had its heart in the right place.

 
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