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Sam J. Glanzman was born on December 5, 1924, and left us on July 12, 2017. He was an American comic-book artist and WWII veteran, best known for biographical war stories about his service aboard the U.S.S. Stevens (which I collected into two books within the last two years; the first containing his two A Sailor's Story graphic novels, originally published by Marvel in the 80s, and the second containing his actual U.S.S. Stevens short stories, originally published by DC Comics and Marvel Comics in the 70s. The U.S.S. Stevens collection was nominated for an Eisner Award). He is also well known for his work on many other titles, including Hercules (the mythological Greek demigod); and the Charlton Comics Fightin' Army feature he co-created with Will Franz, The Lonely War of Willy Schultz, about a German-American U.S. Army captain during World War II.
Over the last few years, I have worked to bring back into print as much of Mr. Glanzman's work as I could. So far, I put together three collections of his work while working at Dover (A Sailor's Story, U.S.S. Stevens, and ATTU). And here on Kickstarter, I successfully funded two collections of his work; Red Range (written by Joe R. Lansdale), which was recently published, and VOYAGE TO THE DEEP, which will be published very soon! A few months ago I raised the finds here on Kickstarter to reprint the Dunkirk issue of COMBAT by Glanzman. This will be my forth Kickstarter campaign created to publish (or, more specifically, republish) the work of Sam Glanzman.
As with the Dunkirk issue of COMBAT, I am doing something I have never done before. Instead of putting together another hard cover graphic novel collection, I will be reprinting actual the comic books! This campaign supports a reprint of a second in a series of comic books entitled COMBAT, containing incredible stand along stories of WWII. These comics have been out of print since the 1960s, when they were originally published by a company called Dell Comics. And while there have been many educated guesses over the years as to who actually wrote these stories, the one thing everyone agrees on is that every single issue was brilliantly illustrated by Sam Glanzman! It helps that he included his signature at the beginning of most stories. :)
I have been lucky enough to speak recently with the original editor of COMBAT, Don DJ Arneson, and he had this to say about working with Sam Glanzman, "I tell everyone who reminisces Dell Comics with me that Sam was the BEST! I'm still impressed by how much I learned from his incredibly accurate portrayals in the comic books we produced together...he the illustrator (I'd say artist) and me, rather young and naive I admit, the editor of Dell Comics those 50 years ago. I regret not keeping a stash in a shoebox though at one time I had them all. Thanks, Sam."
Upon the successful completion of this Kickstarter campaign, we will publish the issue of COMBAT that tells the story of MIDWAY! I picked this story as my second reprint because the artist who illustrated the variant cover for this issue, Russ Heath, wanted to draw it. More on him in a moment.
For those who need a little history lesson, The Battle of Midway was a decisive naval battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II which occurred between June 4th and 7th of 1942, only six months after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor and one month after the Battle of the Coral Sea.
The United States Navy under Admirals Chester Nimitz, Frank Jack Fletcher, and Raymond A. Spruance defeated an attacking fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy under Admirals Isoroku Yamamoto, Chuichi Nagumo, and Nobutake Kondo near Midway Atoll, inflicting devastating damage on the Japanese fleet that proved irreparable. Military historian John Keegan called it "the most stunning and decisive blow in the history of naval warfare."
The Japanese operation, like the earlier attack on Pearl Harbor, sought to eliminate the United States as a strategic power in the Pacific, thereby giving Japan a free hand in establishing its Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. The Japanese hoped another demoralizing defeat would force the U.S. to capitulate in the Pacific War and thus ensure Japanese dominance in the Pacific. Luring the American aircraft carriers into a trap and occupying Midway was part of an overall "barrier" strategy to extend Japan's defensive perimeter, in response to the Doolittle air raid on Tokyo. This operation was also considered preparatory for further attacks against Fiji, Samoa, and Hawaii itself.
The plan was handicapped by faulty Japanese assumptions of the American reaction and poor initial dispositions. Most significantly, American cryptographers were able to determine the date and location of the planned attack, enabling the forewarned U.S. Navy to prepare its own ambush. There were seven aircraft carriers involved in the battle and all four of Japan's large aircraft carriers—Akagi, Kaga, Soryu and Hiryu, part of the six-carrier force that had attacked Pearl Harbor six months earlier—and a heavy cruiser were sunk, while the U.S. lost only the carrier Yorktown and a destroyer. After Midway and the exhausting attrition of the Solomon Islands campaign, Japan's capacity to replace its losses in materiel (particularly aircraft carriers) and men (especially well-trained pilots and maintenance crewmen) rapidly became insufficient to cope with mounting casualties, while the United States' massive industrial and training capabilities made losses far easier to replace. The Battle of Midway, along with the Guadalcanal Campaign, is widely considered a turning point in the Pacific War.
This new edition of COMBAT: MIDWAY will contain not only the 27 page story of Midway, but also an awesome four page back-up story (also illustrated by Sam Glanzman) entitled Out the Gate, the black and white one-pagers on the inside front and back covers (example can be seen after this paragraph), the essay about General George Patton (otherwise known as "Old Blood and Guts"), the vintage advertisements that were originally in this issue, the inclusion of the original cover art (possibly by artist George Wilson, known for his painted covers for various comics, magazines and paperbacks), a new standard cover created using artwork by Sam Glanzman, and a very limited variant cover by comic book living legend Russ Heath! All this, plus a few surprise extras, will bring the page count up to around 48 pages! Pretty hefty for a single comic book!
Also, after many folks contacted me asking if they could still pick up the variant cover from the COMBAT: DUNKIRK issue we Kickstarted recently, I have decided to make a limited number of signed and unsigned copies of this variant cover available through this campaign. The variant, if you didn't see the last campaign, is by the legendary Walter Simoson! And here it is...
Along with the creation of new cover art, the bulk of the work for bringing this old series back to life, will be in the cleaning up (with color and text corrections) of the interior story pages. Below is a sample, where you can see both the original page scanned, and the cleaned up version. Text will be fixed as well. I hope everyone will find these newly restored pages a joy to read! Take a look!
We are excited about the return of COMBAT, but it can only happen with your help! We have a lot of great rewards to choose from (seen below), and we hope you will consider backing this project. Please feel free to contact me with any questions. Thank you. -Drew Ford
Risks and challenges
I am going into this with the experience of having brought a couple dozen collections to print. I have also run five successful Kickstarter campaigns. Beyond that, I am lucky enough to know several really talented people, who can help out with any bumps in the road.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (15 days)