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#1229760 - Sun Sep 22 2019 06:13 PM Marvel Graphic Novel series, 1981-1992
Wonder Boy
Online   content brutally Kamphausened

Registered: Wed Sep 12 2001
Posts: 20181
Loc: A glorious bold new America



Here's every last one of them online available to read:

http://12comic.com/comic.jsp?id=190227124454gwsm



They were an outgrowth of European graphic novels, and of a few similar projects in the U.S., such as McGregor/Gulacy's SABRE (1978), the first publication of Eclipse, that soon after grew into a line of comics, McGregor/Rogers' DETECTIVES INC (1980), and Will Eisner's A CONTRACT WITH GOD (1978).

In the early years they offered innovative material and new genres outside of mainstream superhero comics, and increasingly after 1989 presented more sporadic bits of greatness, mixed in with a lot more mediocre bad art and colors, unworthy of the higher quality format, many of those latter releases just another superhero comic in an unnecessarily high quality format.

I started tuning out with the HERCULES graphic novel (Marvel Graphic Novel 37) since after that point they ceased to have a numbered Marvel Graphic Novel series order, and were just random non-numbered one-shots released sporadically. But even among those there were some great ones, such as Charles Vess' SPIRITS OF THE EARTH (number 63), and CONAN: THE SKULL OF SET by Moench and Gulacy (number 53).

I like how this web-page not only gives you all of them to read in their entirety, but also gives them a numerical sequential order that they previously didn't have after 1-37.

Some of my favorites are:
ELRIC by Thomas and Russell (number 2, 1982),
DREADSTAR by Starlin (number 3, 1982),
X-MEN: GOD LOVES MAN KILLS by Claremont and Brent Anderson (number 5, 1983),
KILLRAVEN by McGregor/Russell (number 7, 1983, concluding the series),
HEARTBURST by Rick Veitch (number 10, 1984),
RAVEN BANNER by Zelentz and Vess (number 15, 1985),
and MARADA by Claremont and Bolton (number 21, 1986).

As I've said elsewhere, I like the 8" X 11" magazine size, the larger format allows you to see the art better, as compared to the larger 11" X 14" size, which is a bit too oversized and bulky, to the point that they are difficult to store, and many begin to be easily damaged under their own weight. Magazine size is the perfect mid size in between, slightly larger than 7" X 10" comics, but still in a manageable size.

Many of the above graphic novels were the introduction to a series that continued out of them (NEW MUTANTS, DREADSTAR, ELRIC, STARSTRUCK, SWASHBUCKLERS, ALIEN LEGION).

Others were intended originally for serialization in EPIC ILLUSTRATED, and for reasons unknown were chosen to be stand-alone graphic novels instead (KILLRAVEN, HEARTBURST) that you can see were divided up into serialized chapters.

STARSTRUCK and MARADA were previously serialized, and then first presented in collected form as graphic novels. In the case of the MARADA material (previously serialized in EPIC ILLUSTRATED 10-12), in graphic novel form appeared in color for the first time.


I think emergence of the Epic Comics line and other creator-owned publishers gradually resulted in less and less good material in both the Marvel Graphic Novel series, and in EPIC ILLUSTRATED, that both those series died a slow death. Well-crafted new ideas got more lucrative offers from places like Eclipse and Pacific and First to publish elsewhere, and eventually starved EPIC and Marvel Graphic Novel of that material.

But for a decade or so, Marvel's Graphic Novel line presented some enduringly great material, that might otherwise never have seen the light of day.



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#1229801 - Fri Sep 27 2019 08:24 PM Re: Marvel Graphic Novel series, 1981-1992 [Re: Wonder Boy]
Wonder Boy
Online   content brutally Kamphausened

Registered: Wed Sep 12 2001
Posts: 20181
Loc: A glorious bold new America

It took jumping through some word-search hoops, but Mycomicshop.com has most of them in series order, though not numbered after the SILVER SURFER graphic novel (number 38).

https://www.mycomicshop.com/search?SeriesID=4251

Their number order after 38 is not the same as that in my first post.

Even in the initial 37 releases, determining the date of publication can only be done by seeing the monthly bullpen bulletins pages. And even among the numbered ones, that's not necessarily the order they came out.
CLOAK AND DAGGER for example (number 34) is in the June 1988 marvel bullpen checklist.
The O'Neil/Kaluta THE SHADOW graphic novel (number 35) is in the May 1988 bullpen checklist. So despite being numerically after 34, it was actually released before 34. I think they were assigned numbers as they were editorially assigned to be produced, and released when completed, but on many occasions not in numerical order.



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