Here’s the cover to the Comic-Con International 2012 Souvenir Book, an exclusive item available only to attendees of this year’s event. The cover features the “birthday boys” of Marvel Comics, each celebrating their 50th anniversary this year: Spider-Man, Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, and Ant-Man. This new piece of art is penciled by John Romita Jr., inked by Klaus Janson, and colored by Dean White. A copy of the Souvenir Book is given free to each attendee (while supplies last). The 192-page, full-color trade paperback includes bios and photos of all the 2012 special guests, plus exclusive content featuring this year’s anniversary celebrations, and much more.
2012 ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS
100th Anniversary of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan and John Carter of Mars
In 1912 two amazing creations leaped full-born from the vivid imagination of Edgar Rice Burroughs. John Carter’s first adventure, A Princess of Mars, was serialized inAll-Story Magazine from February through July of 1912 as Under the Moons of Mars; the epic adventures of Tarzan of the Apes began in the pages of that same magazine in October of that year. The two creations of the prolific Burroughs have gone on to appear in numerous novels, movies, television shows, comics, and much more, including a 2012 John Carter movie from Disney and a new Tarzan film now in production from Warner Bros.
75th Anniversary of Prince Valiant
Hal Foster’s Prince Valiant in the Days of King Arthur, a beautiful full-page Sunday comic strip, began in 1937. Foster’s incredible illustrative style and storytelling ability separated this elegant and exciting strip from pretty much everything else being published at the time (and, one could argue, ever since). The strip continues today by artist Gary Gianni and writer Mark Schultz, who are Comic-Con special guests this year to help celebrate the history and ongoing influence of Foster’s great creation.
50th Anniversary of Marvel Superheroes Spider-Man, Hulk, Thor, Ant-Man, and Iron Man
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby set the comics world on fire with The Fantastic Four in 1961. In 1962 the duo-along with artists Steve Ditko, Don Heck, Dick Ayers, and writer/artist Larry Lieber-struck again with the creation of the Amazing Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, Ant-Man, Thor, and Iron Man. These enduring characters have flourished over the past half-century, in comics and on the big screen (with even an Ant-Man movie in production!).
30th Anniversary of Love and Rockets
In 1981, three California brothers took their love of comics, movies, animation and all things pop culture and created their own fanzine, titled Love and Rockets. Gilbert, Jaime, and Mario Hernandez published the first issue, then moved the book to Fantagraphics in 1982, its home ever since. The brothers have had an incredible impact on the alternative comics scene and are currently producing some of their best work ever. All three Hernandez Brothers are guests at both Comic-Con and APE in 2012.
20th Anniversary of Image Comics
In 1992, seven popular artists stopped doing freelance comics work and formed their own imprints under a new company, Image Comics. Erik Larsen (Savage Dragon), Jim Lee (WildC.A.T.s), Rob Liefeld (Youngblood), Todd McFarlane (Spawn), Whilce Portacio (Wetworks), Mark Silvestri (Cyberforce), and Jim Valentino (Shadowhawk) took the comics world by storm, proving once again that the creators were just as popular as the characters they drew. Since then, Image has gone on to be a major force in the comics industry, with such modern-day hits as The Walking Dead(created by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard) and Chew (created by John Layman and Rob Guillory).