News has come out that IDW Publishing has partnered with DC Comics to reprint classic DC superhero comic strips, starting with Superman and eventually going on to Batman and Wonder Woman. If you're like me, your fangasm of "Oh my god, all of these incredibly obscure and rare comics are finally being collected eeeeeeeeeeeee!" would be followed up with the question, "Wait... which era of Batman comic strips will be collected?"
While the current press releases do not specify, I got the answer from Dean Mullaney, the creative director of the Library of American Comics, who is putting the book together for IDW. Consider this an About_Faces exclusive, if you'd like! I wrote to Mr. Mullaney because I--perhaps presumptuously--wanted to offer my services in some capacity on the off-chance that they were going to collect the '89-'91 strips. The upcoming Superman Dailies book was made possible due to the contributions of a super-fan collector, and I wanted to see if I might be able to help in my own way to bring this beloved strip to the masses.
As it stands, the license that IDW/LoAC has from DC only goes up to 1972. The good news is that this means we'll finally be seeing a collection of the impossible-to-find 60's Batman comic strip, the one that featured the creepily happy-looking Two-Face! Hot damn, now we'll finally be able to read that full battle with all the rogues! The bad news, of course, is that there are no plans for reprinting the '89-'91 as of just yet, but Mr. Mullaney is hopeful that they'll be able to get around to those at some point.
Hopefully they will, and hopefully they'll keep me in mind too. I still have so much love for that strip, and I'd be more than happy to lend out my collection. Hell, I'd love to contribute more than that, if they'd let me. If I knew how to acquire the rights, I would be spearheading the development of that collection myself, complete with analysis, commentary, and interviews with the surviving creators. Any way--small or large--that I could help to bring this strip to bigger audiences would be an honor.
In the meantime, I'll continue to be on the lookout for affordable copies of color Sunday strips. I just found a bunch of new ones recently, so I'll be posting them here in the near future!