Taschen’s Silver Surfer XXL Soars With Marvel Cosmic

All 18 Silver Surfer stories from the 1968 series by Stan Lee and John Buscema and lots more.

All 18 Silver Surfer stories from the 1968 series by Stan Lee and John Buscema and lots more.

Taschen's Silver Surfer XXL Soars With Marvel Cosmic

I’ve been provided a copy of the Marvel Comics Library Silver Surfer. Vol. 1. 1968–1970 XXL from Taschen books which features a giant-sized more than perfect reprint of the original classic from Stan Lee and John Buscema.

As I posted on social media, the book weighs over 10 lbs!

What makes the Marvel Comics Library Silver Surfer. Vol. 1. 1968–1970 so special is that, in addition to only 5000 copies being made (and only 1000 of the aluminum print cover with foil embossing, bound in leatherette spine, and presented in a slipcase enhanced version!), the book is reprinted from actual photographs of the original comics and is not simply a reprint and recolor.

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What are the details?

Again, this thing is massive and a collector’s dream!

The Marvel Comics Library. Silver Surfer. Vol. 1. 1968–1970 is a hardcover that weighs 10.48 lb, measures 11.0 x 15.6 in., and spans 706 pages, including two forewards and so much more.

Taschen worked in close collaboration with Marvel and the Certified Guaranty Company to reprint the pages from the original comics.

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“The Silver Surfer is the stuff of legend”

The first foreward is by Douglas Wolk, the multiple-Eisner-winning author of All of the Marvels and Reading Comics who teaches comics history at Portland State University. 

The Silver Surfer, though, was something new: a bimonthly, 68-page, 25-cent series with entirely new content,” said Wolk in part who has written about comics and pop music for The New York TimesTimeThe Washington PostRolling Stone, and The Believer, and more.

Wolk continued, “The Silver Surfer was a vehicle for big stories — its main feature clocked in at 38 pages in that first issue, and 40 pages thereafter. It was scripted by Stan Lee and drawn not by Jack Kirby (who had his hands full drawing Fantastic Four, Thor, and Captain America at the time), but by John Buscema.”

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Getting on board

The legendary Sal Buscema also adds his voice who actually got his start in comics by inking his brother John’s work on The Silver Surfer.

“When I first broke into comics in 1968, it was to ink my big brother’s pencils on Silver Surfer. That’s where it all started for me, working side-by-side with John Buscema on a project that meant so much to him,” said Sal Buscema.

He added, “He was very enamored of the Silver Surfer. He loved the character, and he wanted to do some very special things with him in this new series. To really achieve that, he wanted an inker of his choice. He always told me that nobody inked his pencils as well as I did — with the possible exception of himself, but he wasn’t too fond of what he did. He thought I was better! All in all, he was very gratified when I came onboard Silver Surfer. And together, we produced what many claim is the best artwork of his career.”

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What is it about?

Per the official description:

Soar across the cosmos with one of Marvel’s most far-out characters! All 18 Silver Surfer stories from the 1968 series by Stan Lee and John Buscema (with a final issue drawn by Jack Kirby) are collected in this galactic-sized volume from the Eisner Award-winning Marvel Comics Library, each page meticulously photographed from the rarest pedigreed comics.

Stan Lee and Sal Buscema’s Silver Surfer also wasn’t aimed at the kiddie crowd, as Stan Lee said they “created the comic book for the older reader, for the more literate, more perceptive, more cognizant fan.”

Now that sounds like the Marvel Cosmic we all know and love!

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What’s inside?

In addition to a copy of the book, Taschen provided me with a batch of preview images to show off the cosmic glory (see below!).

As mentioned, the book features the two forewards, but that’s not all as along with the forewards, original art by John and Sal Buscema is featured which captures the cosmic essence of Stan Lee’s story.

From there, over 600 pages of comic book content is included (including the original ads, Letter’s Page, and Marvel Bullpen with Stan’s Soapbox!), but we’re not done.

The Marvel Comics Library. Silver Surfer. Vol. 1. 1968–1970 XXL HC also features the history, storylines and credits, and the biographies of all the collected issues.

“The Silver Surfer rescues an astronaut plummeting to Earth in a damaged space capsule. The U.S. Navy misunderstands his actions and attacks him. The Surfer flees the confrontation, lamenting his imprisonment on a planet full of humans who seem to lack humanity,” offers in part the description for Silver Surfer #1.

The book also features a nice tribute to Jack Kirby who created the Silver Surfer with Stan Lee in Fantastic Four #48.

“We were both greatly influenced by many of the comic book and cartoon strip giants of yesteryear. Jack Kirby, of course, was an artist of both yesteryear and ‘the now’ — and he was responsible for the first appearance of the Silver Surfer,” said Sal Buscema in his foreward.

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Where to buy?

The Marvel Comics Library Silver Surfer. Vol. 1. 1968–1970 HC is available on the Taschen books website which also has the enhanced version available.

Taschen’s Marvel Comics Library of XXL books also includes X-Men, Amazing Spider-Man, The Avengers, and Fantastic Four!

“The Marvel Comics Library has earned well-deserved raves from comic collecting diehards for combining an old-school comic book reading experience with a luxurious oversized book format, winning the industry’s coveted Eisner Award for Best Publication Design,” states Taschen. “These XXL collectors’ dreams, close in size to the original artwork, feature comics sourced from collecting greats Shelton Drum and Bob Bretall. Rather than recolor the original 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.” 

Taschen continues, “The most pristine pedigreed comics have been cracked open and photographed for reproduction in close collaboration with Marvel and the Certified Guaranty Company. Each page has been photographed as printed more than half a century ago, then digitally remastered using modern retouching techniques to correct problems with the era’s inexpensive, imperfect printing—as if hot off of a world-class 1960s printing press. A custom paper stock was exclusively developed for this series to simulate the feel of the original comics. The library offers collectors a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lay their hands on the world’s most desirable comics. Each volume includes an essay by a comic book historian alongside archival photographs, ephemera, and original comic book artwork.”

Preview images:

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