Fantagraphics announces a series of Atlas Comics collections

The publisher will work with Marvel to bring the 1950s comics line back into print.

Fantagraphics and Marvel have announced a series of hardcover volumes collecting comics from Marvel’s 1950s Atlas Comics line. Fantagraphics plan to release collections of individual titles and compilations of a single artist, starting with Adventures Into Terror and artist Joe Maneely.

Edited by Atlas scholar Dr. Michael J. Vassallo, the comics were scanned “directly from the original printings and meticulously restored with a wealth of detail never seen before.” Fantagraphics will publish five volumes a year, with the first two volumes coming this fall.

“It is with great pleasure that I reintroduce modern audiences to this hidden gold and Marvel’s talented 1950s creators, many of whom would go on to fame in the silver age and beyond,” Vassallo said.

Here’s the description of Adventures Into Terror from Fantagraphics:

Adventures Into Terror shows the finest talents in the comics medium working in the shockingly wild, untrammeled freedom in the days before the industry came under the censorious eye of the Comics Code Authority. Atlas, revered by horror-comics aficionados, produced far more hair-raising titles and issues than any other publisher at that time.

And here’s the description of the Maneely volume:

The Maneely volume, the first of a series of oversized coffee table Atlas Artist Editions, presents a cornucopia of his varied genre comics, including Stan Lee’s satire on anti-comics crusader Fredric Wertham, “The Raving Maniac.” Maneely died at a young age and his short but incandescent career is only now being fully appreciated.

“One of Fantagraphics’ mandates has been to preserve cartooning throughout history, from newspaper strips like Popeye to EC Comics to Carl Barks’ Duck stories — and now, to the superb craftsmanship on display in the Atlas line,” said Fantagraphics publisher Gary Groth.

Atlas published comics across a spectrum of genres, including horror, suspense and supernatural titles, as well as war stories, Westerns, funny animals and romance comics. Many now-legendary creators contributed to the line, including Gene Colan, Russ Heath, Jack Kirby, Carl Burgos, Stan Lee, Bill Everett, Steve Ditko, Basil Wolverton and John Severin.

“At Marvel, it’s essential for us to continue to honor our legacy of comic book storytelling and the creators behind it, and Fantagraphics has proven to be a leader with that same mission,” said Sven Larsen, VP of licensed publishing at Marvel. “The Fantagraphics Marvel Atlas Comics Library will shine a spotlight on an important era in our history, and we’re excited for today’s fans to get to see these historic genre comics for themselves.”

Adventures Into Terror: The Atlas Comics Library will arrive in October, while the Maneely volume will follow in November.

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