Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dune - A Federal Super Special

This Federal Super Special edition of Dune is a facsimile copy, from front ocver to back cover, of the Marvel edition, which was part of the Marvel Super Special/Marvel Comics Super Special series of album-sized comics. This Marvel series of comics was virtually a separate imprint, printed with cardstock covers and focussing on movie properties and adaptations such as Conan, 2010, Star Trek and pop music-related content such as The Beatles and Kiss.

Federal put out a few of these with similarly upscale production values – the larger dimensions, the cardstock covers, the full colour reproduction, and the “A Federal Super Special” banner or text box, indicating a line of sorts separate to the rest of the Federal line-up. Some of the titles Federal published included Sheena, Conan the Destroyer, 2010 and The Last Starfighter. Unlike their Marvel counterparts, the Federal editions did not have their own series numbering. For example, the Marvel edition of Dune is Marvel Comics Super Special #36 – The Federal edition is unnumbered.

These Federal editions are about as upscale as Murray/Federal comics ever got – large full-colour pages, cardstock covers, no advertisements, premium cover price; a long way away from the black and white more-bang-for-your-buck reprints, and on the cusp of the wave of graphic novels which were about to hit the comics reading market. So consider these few issues circa 1984 as the Federal Comics series of graphic novels. It’s only a bit of a stretch, and I don’t think anyone would begrudge them the courtesy.

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