Dave Johnson Tackles Will Eisner’s Classic Character for the Guide!
Perhaps no other creator championed the different forms that comic books and comic book artwork can take better than Will Eisner. From the pages of The Spirit sections in local newspapers in the 1940s and ‘50s to pioneering graphic novels to the U.S. Army’s P.S. Magazine, Eisner relentlessly showcased what could be done with the art form.
Now, Gemstone Publishing and the Hero Initiative, the first 501 (c)(3) charity dedicated to helping comic book creators in need, and artist Dave Johnson have teamed-up to put Eisner’s famous character on the cover of a limited edition of The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide #45. All funds raised from the sales of this volume go to Hero.
As with past collaborations between Gemstone and Hero, this version of the Guide will be available only in the special hardcover edition limited to 500 copies. It will go on sale at Comic-Con International: San Diego on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at the Hero Initiative booth, #5003. There will be no soft cover edition of this version, and it will retail for $35.
“In addition to loving comics and pushing them for all they were worth, my friend Will Eisner was equally committed to the cause of his fellow creators. So in the 75th anniversary year of his beloved creation, we’re very happy to have The Spirit on the cover of The Hero Initiative edition of The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide #45. Purchasing a copy is a great way for fans to celebrate Will’s legacy while raising funds for a tremendous cause,” said Steve Geppi, President and CEO of Gemstone Publishing and Diamond Comic Distributors.
Known for his incredible illustration and inventive design skills, Dave Johnson made a name for himself with striking, evocative covers on such series Vertigo’s 100 Bullets, Marvel’s Deadpool, DC’s Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters, among many others. For this cover, in the tradition of Will Eisner, he illustrated the Guide’s logo as part of the overall image.
The Hero Initiative edition will be available exclusively from Hero. An extremely limited number of copies will be available from Hero’s website and through a select group of participating retailers.
“Our thanks to Steve Geppi, Bob Overstreet, and their team at Gemstone Publishing, who once again have delivered a great, must-have item for serious collectors and Hero supporters,” said Hero President Jim McLauchlin. “Dave Johnson’s timely 75th anniversary tribute to The Spirit and Will Eisner and the Guide’s 45th anniversary make an excellent team.”
Johnson joins a roster of celebrated artists who have contributed covers for the special Hero Initiative limited editions including John Romita, Jr., Klaus Janson and Dean White (#40), John Romita, Sr., Tom Palmer and Dean White (#41), Matt Wagner and Ryan Brown (#42), Terry Moore and Brian Miller (#43) and Herb Trimpe, Tom Palmer and Laura Martin (#45).
The standard editions of The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide #45 feature Captain Action by Paul Gulacy, Bloodshot and X-O Manowar by Cary Nord, Captain America and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. by Greg Land, and Superman by Joe Shuster.