Sunday, November 3, 2013

Marvel to reprint Alan Moore & Neil Gaiman's "Miracleman" in 2014

Straight from New York Comic Con! Easily the biggest news in the world of comics in a decade? Two? Marvel will be reprinting Alan Moore and Neil Gaimain's groundbreaking 1980's-90's superhero book, Miracleman in 2014! First published serialized in the pages of the UK's Warrior Magazine, then reprinted in the US via independent publisher Eclipse Comics finally sees the light of day after decades of being relegated to the obscurity of then small print runs and the current labyrinthine legal morass (see below) that it's been mired in since Eclipse's bankruptcy in 1993. The book significant for not only being Moore's first work published stateside concurrently with his run on Swamp Thing for DC at the time, but also Neil Gaiman's 'big break' as it were, after being personally selected by Moore to follow his 16 issue run. Lending the book even greater significance, it is regularly cited as the first postmodern superhero book, all the self-awareness, real-world realism and socio-political consciousness that implies. A startling, inventive approach at the time for it's meta-recycling of the original 'Golden Age' material from the 1950's into a contemporary, epic re-contextualization. Without this book, the ground it broke and the raising of both it's author's profiles within American comics, there might not have been a "Watchmen" or a "Sandman". Certainly not as the late-80's 'British Invasion' and the founding of the Vertigo imprint and the creative revitalization of comics as a medium they enabled. It's that important a comic. What makes this announcement even that much more notable, not only will "Miracleman" be restored from original art negatives, and printed to higher standard than it was originally published, but Neil Gaiman has announced he will complete his then-unfinished story with original artist Mark Buckingham. Ideal points of entry into this work include Julian Darius' meticulously researched "Why Miracleman Matters" and the immensity of his methodical ongoing re-read, analysis and annotations project for SequentialArt. As a companion piece, sci-fi publishing giant TOR, have a series dedicated to the same endeavor, Tim Callahan's The Great Alan Moore Re-Read: "Miracleman" - Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3  - Part 4. These both touching on the genuine groundbreaking graphic arts adventure and exercise in narrative innovation more readers will now be able to partake in for the first time in almost two decades!