Sunday, October 11, 2015

Review- DC BLUE RIBBON DIGEST #23: GREEN ARROW



DC BLUE RIBBON DIGEST #23: GREEN ARROW (DC, cover date July, 1982)

Collects selections from Action Comics #428, Adventure Comics #250, 252, 253, The Brave And The Bold #85, DC Super Stars #17, Green Lantern #87, and World's Finest Comics #98, 102, and 113 (cover dates July, 1958- December, 1977)

Writers: Mike Barr, Ed Herron, Dave Wood, Bob Haney, Denny O'Neil, Eliot S. Maggin,
Artists: Jim Aparo (cover), Dan Spiegle, Jack Kirby, Lee Elias, Neal Adams, Mike Grell (Penciler), Bruce Patterson (Inker), and Dick Giordano



I have seen these digest sized books floating around comic shops for years but never bothered looking at them. Designed to compete with Archie's highly successful reprints displayed at checkout registers for maximum impulse buy, these low cost reprints hung around for a several years before folding. 96 pages (excluding covers) for 95 cents was a bargain at a time when a new comic with 22 pages of stories went for 60 cents. I remember Marvel also trying these out, albeit a few years later. I remember buying the G.I. Joe, Transformers, and Amazing Spider-Man reprints in the mid-80s. This format never caught on for whatever reason.

This was part of a birthday present from my homeskillet Mike Hansen. He has been collecting these books, and with good reason. Given DC's lack of focus with their collected editions department the books in this series are likely the only chance that a lot of this material will ever be reprinted in color. This particular book also has seven pages of framing sequence between stories by Mike Barr and Dan Spiegle which are unique to this book. Green Arrow and Black Canary are basically sitting around going through his scrapbooks and these reprinted stories are supposed to be reminisces of past exploits.



As far as story selections go you can't go wrong with this assemblage of who's who of Green Arrow artists: Jack Kirby, Neal Adams, and Mike Grell are Green Arrow royalty. The 1950s stories are fun, although Green Arrows Of The World from Adventure Comics #250 is pure crap, the type of garbage that I associated with DC as a kid. The cheesiness of it. How there are supposed to be different Green Arrows all over the world, all with their own dress and dialect based on territory. It's a horrible story saved by the Jack Kirby artwork.



That story's suckiness is completely washed away by the Neal Adams and Mike Grell tales, which are fantastic. I own the Neal Adams stuff in the old slipcased Green Lantern/Green Arrow hardcover so those stories are rereads, but I could read that stuff a hundred times and it would hold up. The stories in this book are all great (except for one) and I enjoyed this in spite of the fact that scattershot collections usually only annoy me. Thanks again for the cool birthday present, Mike!
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4.75 out of 5.

The OCD zone- As stated above, this is a digest sized book. If you buy them off of eBay don't be surprised that it so little.
Linework and Color restoration: Ben Day dots, line bleed, and off register printing, as well as some blurry spots. The “artistic intention of Ben Day dots” cult can kiss my ass. The printing in this book looks like crap.
Paper stock: Cheap pulp paper of the day, yellowed and browning due to exposure to air and elements. It smells fantastic, though.
Binding: Perfect bound trade paperback. The glue is remarkably intact, which gives me hope for the future of my books.
Cardstock cover notes: The type of coating found in books of this era is prone to wear over time. My copy has a fair amount of cover and spine wear as well as the soiling found on comics not stored in bags. 

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