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The Nearly Complete Essential Hembeck Archives Omnibus Paperback – June 10, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-1582408729 ISBN-10: 1582408726

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 900 pages
  • Publisher: Image Comics (June 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582408726
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582408729
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 7.9 x 1.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,573,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes "funny" in their funny books!
Moses Wyne
Here, far too many of those pages suffer from just enough dimension compression that the text is pretty small, and the denser text portions are difficult to read.
Michael Grabowski
Pages that have heavy black areas on them bleed through to the other side, ruining that page too.
Stephen Weakley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Michael Grabowski on June 19, 2008
Format: Paperback
Dave Sim was the first to collect massive amounts of his comics (Cerebus) into modestly produced black & white newsprint paperbacks. Those were affectionately called "phonebooks." In the last ten years or so, Marvel copied that design for its Essentials series, and more recently DC has followed suit with its Showcase volumes. This Hembeck collection, though, is the first one that most closely resembles a phonebook, in both dimensions and number of pages.

If you don't know what you're getting, the main event here is that Fred Hembeck draws himself as comics character interviewing other comics characters. Sort of like Larry King. His encyclopedic knowlegdge of characters, creators, even specific issues informs every page, every gag, but he never comes across as pedantic or condescending. Before the "Official Handbooks" and "Who's Who's" from Marvel and DC, Hembeck was and still is the best guide to comics history for readers of a certain era. It's all done with love and affection for the medium and for the superhero genre, with a sensibility that never puts you down for once having had love and affection for the superhero genre. I also love the way he writes his characters as aware of themselves as comics creations but also alive in their own universes. Aware of the ridiculousness of their adventures, but still accepting them as experiences. It's a light-heartedness that genre comics these days is sorely missing.

Like a phonebook, this one has several distinct sections.
1. A brief section of comparatively recent auto-biographical pages telling the "origin" of Fred Hembeck, comics reader.
2.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Andrew C. Rempt on July 10, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really do love Hembeck's stuff. He's a true fan and his work is fun to read, but that's just the problem with this collection. At times, it's almost impossible to read due to blurry text and bad printing. I understand corners had to be cut to be able to produce a volume this large at a reasonable price, but combine Hembeck's tendency for cramped text with cheap printing, and you get entire sections of the book that are just unreadable. I've even thought of buying a magnifying glass to be able to deciper some of the text.

Other than that, the material I can read, and there's a lot of it, is wonderful. The book reprints all of Fred' Fantaco books, and it's great to see those again.

If they ever do a high quality reprint, I'll happily buy it again.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Weakley on June 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
Thanks Image for doing such a lousy print job on what should be a 5 star book. By trying to copy Marvel's Essential line Image has once again proven they have no new ideas, only cheap ways to copy others, with a bit of flash. Big smears of ink from the top to the bottom of far too many pages. Ink printed on so heavy as to obscure the dialogue, looks like one big mess. Pages that have heavy black areas on them bleed through to the other side, ruining that page too. I know some are going to say, oh he just got a bad copy. Been buying books for a long time. You can tell the difference between a goofed up print run and a overall shoddy job. If you're going to honor the man with a book this massive, do him justice by picking the right way to print the work so it can be appreciated. Not just the cheap way. Mr. Hembeck is a genius and please do not in anyway take my negative review against him or his work. As I said in my title, he deserves better than this, and so do his fans.
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By J. Carroll VINE VOICE on October 9, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Comics have received much more critical attention in the past few decades with worthy works like, MAUS, WATCHMEN, and AMERICAN SPLENDOR all being critically admired. But where's the love for the comics like Superboy, Herbie, and Jimmy Olsen? You'll find that love and gentle critiques hilariously presented here by Fred Hembeck, one of comic's true originals.
Using his cartoon alter-ego, Hembeck has presented his love and knowledge of comics in a variety of different formats and outlets collected here in this massive book. Starting off with his autobiographical "Little Freddie" cartoons this book puts together most of Hembeck's work. The best section in my opinion is the collecting of his entire Dateline@!!?# books in one convenient package. These strips were Hembeck at his most focused and his art was detailed and expressive. But basically it was an exceptionally funny and affectionate portrait of the comics of the 50's and sixties. Obscure characters like "Iron Jaw" could be found alongside Superman (who had been transformed into a shark by Hembeck's "Grey" kryptonite-Starting to see how surreal this is?) and it all ties together. OK I'm gushing here, but if you love comics and you haven't picked this up you are cheating yourself out of a lot of laughs and some real insight.
So why not give it 5 stars? Well there is a problem. I guess the decision was made to get everything here at an affordable price, so quality was sacrificed. Printed on paper slightly better than your average phone book, there are sections that are illegible particularly in the latter sections of the book where the type becomes very compressed. Also Fred's classic destruction of the Marvel Universe was not available and the loss is felt. I love to revisit Hembeck's work and I just don't think this will hold up.
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