(Last) Three Books (Sunday Comics)

This is the last Three Books post.

I had fun doing this every Sunday but a year seems like long enough. I do, however, like to do a themed post of some kind on Sundays, so I’ll do something with comics each Sunday for a year. Not just cover scans—panels, strips, etc. But this Sunday, three covers/three books:


The New Mutants Vol. 1, #22, December 1984. Marvel Comics. Issue by Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz. Cover painting by Sienkiewicz.

I got rid of most of my Marvel Comics collection when I was 13 but could never bear to part with Sienkiewicz’s run on The New Mutants, my favorite comic book. (I wish I had kept more of Claremont’s 1980s run on The Uncanny X-Men).


Cerebus #164, November 1992. Aardvark-Vanaheim. Issue (and cover) by Dave Sim and Gerhard. This is the second issue of Cerebus that I bought (issue #163’s cover is not nearly so good, so…not featured today). I had no idea what was going on but loved it. I caught up fairly quickly through Sim’s so-called “phonebooks” of the earlier books. I eventually quit reading Cerebus monthly, but still picked up the big collections, albeit more and more intermittently, until I almost forgot about it altogether. A few years ago I realized that Sim must’ve finished the damn thing (he’d always said it would be 300 issues long and conclude with Cerebus’s death), and I got the final volumes and read them. Let’s just say the first half of Cerebus is much, much better than the second half.


Ronin Vol. 1, #2, September 1983. DC Comics. Issue and cover by Frank Miller (colors by Lynne Varley).

Before Frank Miller became a cranky old fascist hack, he made some pretty good comic books. I’m pretty sure The Dark Knight Returns was the last really good thing he did, and that was thirty years ago, but my favorite Miller will likely always be Ronin.

The Bard and the Bird (Shakespeare Portrait) — Bill Sienkiewicz

Demon Bear — Bill Sienkiewicz


Queequeg in His Coffin — Bill Sienkiewicz


Untitled — Bill Sienkiewicz


Wolverine/Moby-Dick (Bill Sienkiewicz)


Captain America — Bill Sienkiewicz


Elektra — Bill Sienkiewicz


Batman vs. Santa — Bill Sienkiewicz

batman vs santa

Santa — Bill Sienkiewicz

santa sienkiewicz

H.P. Lovecraft — Bill Sienkiewicz


Nosferatu — Bill Sienkiewicz



These are (as near as I can tell) all the versions (translations, if you will) of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick at our house.


This is my beloved copy, a hardback Signet Classic edition that’s the size of a mass market paperback.

I love this copy because it was the one that I read when I really read Moby-Dick (I also kinda sorta ‘klept it).


These abridged versions for young readers are the same, despite the cooler updated cover on the right, which I guess fooled my wife into buying another copy for me to read with my daughter. (She liked it the first time though, so….). Even the illustrations are the same:



More of a resource than a reading copy—although as Norton Critical Editions go, this one’s footnotes aren’t too obtrusive. Handy dictionary of nautical terms.


I am a huge fan of Bill Sienkiewicz. And Moby-Dick. I wish his Moby-Dick adaptation had no words though.



My dad’s childhood adaption, a Grosset & Dunlap from the early ’60s.



Sam Ita’s fantastic pop-up adaptation fails to mention Herman Melville’s name at all.

Despite the gross oversight, it’s given me hours of joy with my kids.



Moby-Dick was published on October 18th, 1851 in England.

The English printer Peter Bentley’s text contained numerous errors, including leaving out the epilogue, where we learn that Ishmael survives to bear witness to disaster.

Although the American printing in November of 1851 emended many of these errors, the early reviews of Moby-Dick were scathing, and Melville’s career and reputation deteriorated.

It wasn’t until the advent of literary modernism in the first decades of the twentieth century that the world caught up to Moby-Dick.


Wonder Woman — Bill Sienkiewicz


Warlock — Bill Sienkiewicz

warlock sienkiewicz

Dr. Strange — Bill Sienkiewicz



New Mutants Cover — Bill Sienkiewicz