Comic-Con@Home is trundling along very nicely this weekend, replacing the physical San Diego Comic-Con sadly cancelled in response to the Coronavirus Pandemic. But it just wouldn’t be Comic-Con, @Home or otherwise, without the yearly Comic-Con Souvenir Book, which includes features on Ray Bradbury, Ray Harryhausen, EC Comics, the Moomins and more – and you can grab your free copy online.
What’s in this year’s Souvenir Book? Well, artist William Stout – famed for his illustrations and murals depicting dinosaurs, and his comics and movie poster work – once again graces the Souvenir Book with one of his incredible covers, this one saluting the centennial of famed author Ray Bradbury, one of Comic-Con’s most beloved guests over the years.
Stout is also one of the very few people to have attended every Comic-Con, as a special “Cover Story” feature reveals in this year’s book. Learn the “Easter Eggs” Bill worked into this cover, plus his process of creating this amazing illustration, along with his past association with Bradbury.
In addition to a long section devoted to Ray Bradbury (including an extensive biography, plus articles on his work in movies and TV, comics, and personal reminiscences), there’s also a special section devoted to the “other” Ray … Ray Harryhausen, the stop-motion animation genius, who was a lifelong friend of Bradbury’s, and is also celebrating a centennial this year.
It’s also the 75th anniversary of the very beginnings of EC Comics, and we celebrate with a history of the company focusing on their artists by author Grant Geissman, the recognized expert on EC. (There’s also a very special surprise that brings both Ray Bradbury and EC Comics together!)
The worldwide phenomenon of Moomin also celebrates its 75th anniversary with an article by comics historian Paul Gravett, plus an incredible collection of fan art.
Moving on, there’s a look at the 50th anniversary of two historical American comics series, Conan and Jack Kirby’s Fourth World, featuring, respectively, articles by Roy Thomas (who brought Conan to Marvel Comics in 1970), and John Morrow and Mark Evanier discussing “King” Kirby’s groundbreaking creation, the Fourth World, which included the New Gods, the Forever People, Mister Miracle, and – believe it or not – Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen.
Comic-Con also celebrates legendary underground comix publisher and distributor Last Gasp and its owner, Ron Turner, in a career-spanning article by Jon B. Cooke (author of Comic Book Creator and The Book of Weirdo).
Plus, there’s a look back at the award winners from 2019, and those we lost in the past year are paid tribute to in our traditional “In Memoriam” section.
All of this, plus the return of fan art paying tribute to our anniversary celebrations. The book even includes some amazing ads, featuring exclusive products that would have debuted at Comic-Con this year, that you can order directly from the exhibitors!
Released as a PDF, Comic-Con’s 2020 Souvenir Book is set up in two-page spreads, to better mimic the feel of an actual book. Throughout the book are advertisements … for most of them, clicking anywhere on the actual ad will take you to the advertiser’s website, where you may find exclusive merchandise for sale or exclusive content.
To navigate the PDF, the Comic-Con team recommend you use your keyboard’s left and right arrow keys; clicking on the ad pages will take you to the web. Remember to zoom in for easier reading of the great articles in the book!
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.