Yes, I Googled “giant book” to find the right tome to compare with the Puma Blues hardcover.

§ November 19th, 2015 § Filed under publishing, self-promotion § 4 Comments

So I was asked in the comments yesterday regarding the complete Puma Blues book if the “new” Alan Moore story in this collection was in fact the story from issue #20, published back in 1988. And the answer is, yes, the four-page story “Acts of Faith” written by Moore, and illustrated by Steve Bissette and Michael Zulli, is the one included. In fact, in the hardcover’s copyright information, it is specifically stated that only pages 44 through 47 of issue #20 are included in this volume (though see below).

I had forgotten that issue #20 of Puma Blues was an anthology issue, with multiple shorts (some only a page long) by a wide variety of creators, taking place in, or inspired by, the Puma Blues milieu. Creators include Peter Laird, Kevin Eastman, Rick Veitch, Dave Sim, Dan Day, Tom Sutton, and a whole lot more. From what I can tell, only the Moore/Bissette/Zulli story appears in the hardcover, along with Sim’s one-pager which is included with the hardcover’s introduction, and a page from the story “Pause” by Stephen Murphy, Zulli, and Bissette, included with Bissette’s afterword. As I recall, #20 was a benefit/tribute/something-or-other issue resulting from the Aardvark-Vanaheim/Diamond Comics brouhaha, which seems likely as the comic includes a timeline of events surrounding the incident.

Anyway, many of the contributions were pin-ups, and most of the actual stories were outside the main narrative, so you’re not missing any pieces of the plot if you only have the hardcover. But still, it’s something to look for after you’ve finished this Codex Gigas of a graphic novel.

I was also asked in the comments if I had any quality issues with the binding, and I have to say, no, not that I’ve noticed. Seems pretty solidly put together. It may be a different story as I enter, say, month ten of reading the thing, but it looks okay for now.

And in case you’re wondering, I did sell my shelf copy of the book in-store, after a handful of people picked it up and gave it a glance-through. More people than I expected actually remembered the series, after being gone well over a couple of decades, which honestly surprised me. Ultimately it went to someone who’d never seen the series before, and bought it on my recommendation after he spent some time paging through it. Hopefully he’ll like it and not come back and throw it at me in anger and disgust…that book could concuss a blue whale.

• • •

In other news: the latest Question Time is up over there at Trouble with Comics, and the question o’the week is “which work of Alan Moore’s is the most neglected?” Sadly, I cheated a bit and used a rewritten version of this post (which I do own up to in my contribution there). If I had time to actually write a brand-new entry, I might have picked Moore’s back-up serial from American Flagg! but it had already been covered in good detail here. Or maybe that pin-up he drew for that first Dark Horse Comics Godzilla black and white one-shot…that was pretty amazing.

But please go forth and take a look at my contribution there…it was based on a five-year-old post here, so maybe if you’d read it before you’ve forgotten it by now. Everything old is new again!

4 Responses to “Yes, I Googled “giant book” to find the right tome to compare with the Puma Blues hardcover.”

  • Old Bull Lee says:

    Regarding the 24 1/2 mini-comic: In the early 90s I ordered some trades and back-issues directly from Mirage Studios. My order came with a free set of mini-comics, including Puma Blues 24 1/2 and various other things from Eastman and Laird, Steve Bissette, Rick Vietch, Jim Lawson, and others. Some good stuff in there.

  • Bill D. says:

    All good suggestions on the most neglected Moore story. My vote would be that Mr. Majestic one-shot he wrote, with Mr. M and a handful of other more-or-less immortals still around to see the end of the (current) known universe. It was clever and sad and still just a little hopeful in a way that not too many creators can pull off… probably unsurprising because it was Moore, but still.

  • bad wolf says:

    I will have to check this out. The fact that they created an ending for the series adds a lot–and in combination with your Moore comment, makes me wonder how many other series/runs could be completed with only an issue or two’s worth of material, that would add immeasurably to their interest/resale value?

    Eg, what if the final issues of 1963 or Rick Veitch’s followup Swamp Thing arc were completed for the trade? Are there other endings that got truncated that could still be done?

  • Touch-and-go Bullethead says:

    It’s not too late for Sergio Aragones to finish the “T.C. Mars, Very Private Eye” serial begun in SOJOURN, a tabloid that lasted only two issues back in the late 1970s.

    Obviously, it IS too late for Doug Wildey to do any more on his “E.V. Race, Private Investigator” serial from the same comic, but maybe he finished some more installments before the cancellation notice came? The same can be hoped for John Severin’s American Indian saga “Eagle.”

    (As for the other stories left unfinished at the time: Lee Elias took his “Kronos” over to Warren, I presume that Joe Kubert used whatever ideas he had for “Tor” in the subsequent stories he did with that character, and I am content to see no more of “The Smooth” by Mary Skrenes and Dick Giordano.)