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


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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: 1.8 x 7.8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,354,079 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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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
One thing I have to say first...Hembeck Rules NOW There are only two problems I have with this 900 page volume of strip reprints.
Bennet Pomerantz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 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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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bennet Pomerantz VINE VOICE on August 17, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One thing I have to say first...Hembeck Rules

NOW There are only two problems I have with this 900 page volume of strip reprints. Problem one is this book does not include such books like Fred Hembeck Destroys the Marvel Universe #1 July 1989, Fred Hembeck Sells the Marvel Universe #1 October 1990, The Spiderman book Fred did for Marvel and DC books as well. Problem two is the book is the size of the Manhattan phone book, so it is hard to carry around on long travel trip and takes up too much shelve space! ..OTHERWISE, I would not change a thing

This collection is a love song to comics and animation. This overstuffed volume reprints the seven books Hembeck did for Fantaco, The Dateline stuff from the Comic Buyers Guide and assorted other ideas and stories he has done over the years. His knowledge of Comic and media is an amazing feat. He acts like a comic pro in a fan's body. His encloypedic memory of comics long gone by as well as modern comics is a tresure why he has had a career for over 30 Years. And his Hembeck show should be revised and put in comics today for every comic fans to enjoy. I would think he would have much to poke fun at (the Fantastic Four Movie, Captain America's death, The anime style of Archies and even The Dark Knight)

He peppers his comic and media knowledge with a satire slap and a wicked wit unseen in a medium which needs a good poking every once and a while. He is the comic;s toastmaster general in my humble opinion.
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2 of 3 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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