‘The Marvel Comics Library’ is an exclusive, long-term collaboration between TASCHEN and Marvel. Over the next decade, Marvel’s rarest classic comics, including Spider-Man, Avengers and Captain America will be reproduced in their original glory, in extra-large format. The library offers collectors a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lay their hands on the world’s most desirable comics.
The inaugural volume of ‘The Marvel Comics Library’, Spider-Man. Vol. 1. 1962–1964, features the first 21 stories of everybody’s favorite web slinger, meticulously honoring the original vision of Spider-Man creators Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. An in-depth historical essay by Marvel editor Ralph Macchio, an introduction by uber-collector David Mandel, original art boards, rare photographs, and other never-before-seen gems make this book the ultimate tribute to the teen who redefined what it meant to be a hero, right ahead of Spider-Man’s 60th birthday.
TASCHEN’s extra-large format, close in size to the original artworks, reveal startling new details in the work of Marvel’s most acclaimed artists. For each title in the series, the most pristine pedigreed comics have been cracked open for reproduction in close collaboration with Marvel and the Certified Guaranty Company. Rather than recolor the original production artwork (as has been done in previous decades’ reprints of classic comics), TASCHEN has attempted to create an ideal representation of these books as they were produced at the time of publication. Beginning with high grade, top-quality comics sourced with the assistance of the CGC, super-high-resolution photographs of each page were made as printed more than half a century ago, using modern retouching techniques to correct problems with the era’s inexpensive, imperfect printing. This included improved and balanced ink densities and color matching, proper registration of the four-color printing and correction of thick/thin lines resulting from the flexible plates “smudging.” The end result is a finished product — as if hot off a world-class printing press produced without economic or time-pressure constraints – tailored for readers, fans, artists and collectors alike.
Each volume features an essay by a comic book historian alongside hundreds of photos and artifacts. The books use three different paper stocks, including an uncoated and woodfree paper exclusively developed for this series that simulates the feel of the original comics.
The first 5,000 copies of Spider-Man. Vol. 1 will be numbered and released as a ‘Famous First Edition’. The book is also available as a Collector’s Edition, limited to 1,000 copies featuring an aluminum print cover tipped into a leatherette-bound spine, foil embossing, and housed in a slipcase. Each book is individually numbered. The inaugural purchase of the Collector’s Edition entitles the collector to preemptively secure the same identical edition number for all forthcoming Collector’s Edition titles in ‘The Marvel Comic Library’.
The next titles in ‘The Marvel Comics Library’ series will be Avengers. Vol. 1. 1963–1965, Fantastic Four. Vol. 1. 1961–1963 and Captain America, all scheduled for release in 2022 and 2023.