Staff Picks (May): The American Comic Book Chronicles — The 1990s

TwoMorrows Publishing is continuing their series of full color hard covers, The American Comic Book Chronicles, covering the history of comics decade by decade and year by year. The newest volume, written by Keith Dallas and Jason Sacks, covers one of if not the most turbulent decades in comic book history: the 1990s.

The 90s was when Marvel Comics sold millions of copies of X-Men #1, further ingraining the mania of variant covers.  Sales primarily based on “superstar” creators lead to a select group leaving Marvel and, with the help of Malibu Comics, becoming, Image Comics who, along with the Jim Shooter-led Valiant Comics, showed there was more for retailers than the Big Two when ordering comics for their stores. We saw Marvel go bankrupt, Superman died, Batman had his back broken, and Neil Gaiman’s Sandman led to DC Comics’ Vertigo line of comics. It was also the best of times for indie comics as both Bone and Strangers in Paradise arrived in the 90s as did Hellboy.

It was also the worst of times as publishers gravitated to the T&A format and others discovered gimmicks like Chromium covers and, of course, the mega event-crossover. These helped lead an industry artificially bolstered by speculators into a shocking and rapid collapse further exacerbated by Marvel’s purchase of Heroes World leading to the near collapse of the comic book market.

Every generation of comic book readers had to start somewhere, and while I’m glad I got started in the Silver Age of comics there are those for whom the 90s was theirs to remember. Now pick up your copy of The American Comic Book Chronicles: The 1990s from TwoMorrows publishing and relive your golden age.

Steven Leaf

Publisher: TwoMorrows Publishing
Item Code: MAY182060
Release Date: 9/26/18
SRP: $44.95

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Staff Picks (January): The Goon #1

Recommended by Leigh Tyberg
The Goon has always played in that creepy/funny sandbox that appeals to readers’ darker sense of humor, funning on the dead and the dreary.