Penguin’s Penguin Classics line is reserved for some of the most prestigious novels ever written. Now that distinction will also be applied to some of the greatest graphic novels ever printed as well for the upcoming launch of Penguin Classics Marvel Collection.
The first three entries in the series will include: Black Panther, Captain America, and The Amazing Spider-Man, which will be published on June 14, 2022.
Each selection will be published in black spine paperback as well as a collectible hardcover edition with beautiful gold foil stamping, gold top stain edges and endpapers featuring artwork from the comics. They will also each include a foreword by a contemporary author, as well as a “…detailed scholarly introduction, speaking to the enduring significance of Marvel’s iconic creations.”
Series Editor and Professor of English at the University of Oregon, Ben Saunders, is the series editor and author of the scholarly introductions to Captain America and The Amazing Spider-Man. Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of South Carolina and Eisner Award-winning writer of EC Comics: Race, Shock, and Social Protest, Qiana J. Whitted, will provide the scholarly introduction for Black Panther.
Saunders (who also established the first undergraduate minor in Comics Studies) believes that “The comics produced at Marvel in the 1960s can be compared to the most enduring popular music of that same tumultuous decade. Working at tremendous speed in what was widely regarded as a low-status commercial medium, the creators at Marvel initiated and participated in an aesthetic revolution. These comics have now influenced writers and artists across all forms of media — from contemporary novelists to hip hop musicians to Hollywood filmmakers. It is not hyperbole but simply a fact: these classic Marvel Comics are foundational documents of our culture.”
The official descriptions of each of the first three titles read as follows:
–The Amazing Spider-Man includes a foreword by Jason Reynolds, the award-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling author of many books including Miles Morales: Spider-Man, Look Both Ways and Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You. Reynolds is the 2020-2021 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.
–Black Panther includes a foreword by Nnedi Okorafor, the multiple award-winning author of Who Fears Death and the Binti novella trilogy. She has written Black Panther and Wakanda Forever for Marvel Comics.
–Captain America includes a foreword by Gene Luen Yang, the fifth National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, and the author of Shang Chi for Marvel Comics and American Born Chinese.
It is not clear at this time if the collections will be chronological in nature, but they are being described as “…carefully curated comic book anthologies present(ing) the original stories and seminal tales of key Marvel characters”.
The Penguin Classics Marvel Collection will continue with the release of additional titles in the future, so be sure to keep coming back to Conskipper for all of your classic comic news.