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The DC Vault: A Museum-in-a-Book with Rare Collectibles from the DC Universe Hardcover – October 7, 2008

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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.

Editorial Reviews


"This is a treasure trove of reproduced memorabilia... so superbly entertaining you'll forget you don't want your kids to play with it." Empire "A treasure trove for Marvel fans." SFX Magazine"

About the Author

Veteran animation, comics, and television scribe Martin Pasko has been a writer, producer, and/or story editor for productions from a wide array of entertainment companies, including Disney, Warner Bros. Animation, Marvel Entertainment, Cartoon Network, and many others. His television credits include Max Headroom, The Twilight Zone, and Batman: The Animated Series. For the latter, his work as writer-story editor earned him a daytime Emmy. In his long and continuing association with DC Comics, Pasko has served as both a writer and editor. He has written Superman in many media, from comics and syndicated strips to TV animation and interactive internet content. He lives with his family in New Jersey.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press; Spi edition (October 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762432578
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762432578
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 10.6 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Richard Guion on October 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I like this even more than the Marvel Vault, which came out last year. The DC Vault has better content as far as the history of DC is concerned, starting with More Fun comics and leading up to recent history. Martin Pasko, who many longtime DC fans will remember as a key writer during the 1970s, wrote the text that accompanies the multitude of pictures and collectibles. He includes numerous typed and handwritten memos from DC Comics writers and editors that give us a fascinating inside look at how certain decisions were made.

The collectibles that are reproduced here are really, really sweet.

For starters, the cover of the DC Vault is a reproduction of Dick Sprang's "Secrets of the Batcave" lithograph that he produced in 1994. Some of the 1940s items are the Junior Justice Society Decoder Wheel, a Wonder Woman Sensation Comics button, and a Batman 1943 mask that announces the newspaper comic strip. There are some never-before seen items, like Neal Adams concept drawings for a "Superman-land" amusement park, where we could have explored the World of Krypton. A sticker reproduces the "Shazam Is Coming" button that announced Captain Marvel's 1970 comeback into the DC Universe. My favorite reproduction is the History of the DC Universe Jam Poster (shown above), where a few dozen DC artists collaborated to draw their famous characters: Carmine Infantino on the Flash, Neal Adams on Deadman, Joe Kubert on Hawkman, Walt Simonson on Manhunter, Curt Swan on Superman, etc. I had this poster when it originally came out and somehow lost it, glad to have it back now. It even has Dave Gibbons doing Rorschach, which must make Alan Moore's head spin around.

If this wasn't enough, the DC Vault contains tons of preliminary cover and character sketches.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Tim Lasiuta on October 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The DC Vault

All I can say is WOW!

The team of Martin Pasko and DC Comics (Paul Levitz provides the foreword) has produced a truly remarkable book with few faults. From a historical viewpoint, Mr Pasko has managed to shed new light on the murky origins of Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholsons' company. The 'new' information not only includes what little we know of the various publisher mergings, but what fascinated me was the licensing impetus/juggernaut that grew out of DC Comcs/National Publications. With Dr No, the licensing arm behind the scenes kicked into high gear and with the merger of Kinney into a Time-Warner Corporation, DC was not only a publishing company, but a licensing monster!

As comic fans and readers, all we saw was the amazing array of products that came out of the mythcal offices we saw four color images of the heroes who saved the fictional universe again and again. DC swallowed Fawcett in the 1950's, and along with that, the amazing Captain Marvel franchise. Charlton Comics, oncde a major competitor, was also absorbed in the 1980's. The forays of DC Comics into network TV with the Adventures of Superman, Batman (West et al) and Superman films is referenced, but the Flash and Wonder Woman have been glossed over. Major talent movements from Marvel to DC (late 1960's), and the DC Implosion (1977/78) that purged the publishers low selling ranks, are covered by Pasko in a thoughtful, matter of factual manner.

Probably the greatest feature of this book is the wealth of 'vault' material included. Art pulled from files that never published, and actual copies of rare promotional items turn this into a true page turner.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tim Janson HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Last year Running Press gave comic book fans the very cool Marvel Vault, a "Museum in a Book" as they refer to it. This year Running Press is back with the DC Vault. If you haven't seen the Marvel Vault these books are part history book and part collectible. It comes packed with over two-dozen pieces of reproduction memorabilia from DC's decades-long history, all secured in clear plastic sleeves.

DC's history is an incredible story in itself. You'll read about the foundation that was laid for the modern comic book as far back as 1929 when publisher Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson tried to start up his own newspaper feature syndication while Harry Donenfeld and Jack Leibowitz were making a name publishing lurid pulp magazines. Bt perhaps the most important character in developing what we know as modern comics was M.C. "Max" Gaines. Gaines was the man largely responsible for Superman eventually seeing the light of day in Action Comics #1 after his creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, had been turned down from newspaper syndicates.

You might be interested to know that Superman was not the first work that Siegel and Shuster did for DC. The book contains pages of pre-Superman work by the duo including the characters Slam Bradley and Dr. Occult. One of the rarest Super/Batman Comics is New York World's Fair #1 1940. On July 3, 1940, the World's Fair featured a Superman Day. The book contains rare color photos taken at the fair of Siegel and Shuster along with others, enjoying the day and having fun. As the golden age history of DC reveals itself, you'll get to see house ads promoting new characters and titles that have not been seen for decades.

The first bit of reproduction material in the book is a copy of an ashcan edition of Double Action Comics #2.
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