Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Ray and The Black Condor

One more book lugged out of the old closet. Special Edition Series 2, The Ray and The Black Condor, by Lou Fine, Reed Crandall, and others, 1974. Special Edition Reprints, Inc., East Moline, Illinois. Introduction by James Steranko.

I still consider this the best reprint volume ever published although the quality of the reproduction is only one step above a photocopy. In 1974 I had only seen some of Fine’s cover artwork in Steranko’s History of Comics. DC comics also ran a few color stories as backups in one of their Giants. It’s a large book and reprints 316 pages of Quality art from the forties Crack Comics and Smash Comics in sequence.

The Lou Fine portrait below is from a trade card set “Famous Comic Book Creators” ©1992 Eclipse Enterprises. Fine’s cover work was also heavily featured in Comic Images handsome card set The Golden Age of Comics All-Chromium.


  1. I prize my beat-up copy of this book. It's a breathtaking display of Fine's bravura style before he went all slick and commercial. I must say it had the lousiest color reproduction I've seen...I still wonder how Alan Light managed it.

  2. Makes me wonder who was featured in Special Edition 1.

  3. Special Edition #1 feautred Whiz Comics by C.C. Beck and Special Edition #3 featured Captain Marvel Jr., by Mac Raboy.

  4. Thanks, I had always wondered which other characters had been featured in the series.