Sunday, June 5, 2016

TEX'S BACK ISSUE QUEST EPISODE 25 (THE NEW TITANS: GAMES ASHCAN)



Hello brothers and sisters!!

    Happy Sunday to you all! 

    As you gear up for the coming week, I thought I'd tell you a little known tale - a tale of a comic so rare, to some it's only a legend. To most, it's a wazy, it's a woozy...It's fairy-dust (to steal a quote from Matthew McConaughey). But it's not any of that. It's real, but it's just SCARCE as can be - but I am pleased as punch to have one in my collection:



TEX, what in the blue hell is THAT? That's probably what you're asking, right? 

It's my copy of "The New Titans: Games" Ashcan!! Not many of these exist - I'll tell ya exactly how many there are in the FUN FACTS.

Still don't know what it is, right? Well, let me tell ya...

    In 1980, Marv Wolfman and George Pérez launched a series called "The New Teen Titans." It was a breakout hit. Marv Wolfman scripted wonderful stories that put the Titans through the ringer, taking them from side-kicks and teen-heroes, to the respected team of heroes (and solo heroes in the cases of Cyborg and Nightwing) that we know them to be today. With Wolfman was George Pérez who was cranking out art that was just as great as Wolfman's scripts. "The New Teen Titans" was on fire, far outselling most, if not all, other its contemporary DC titles. 

   But all good things must come to an end. 

   By 1985, Pérez was leaving the title (which by them had become "Tales of the Teen Titans) to pursue other opportunities at DC. In 1986, Pérez became the artist, and often times, the writer, of Wonder Woman volume 2, which launched in 1987. Now comes the weirdness.

   Back in 1984, after changing the title of "The New Teen Titans" vol 1 to "Tales of the Teen Titans," DC, for some reason, launched "The New Teen Titans" vol 2, running concurrently with "Tales of the Teen Titans" which used to be "The New Teen Titans" vol 1. And it gets worse. In the early parts of "The New Teen Titans" vol 2, storylines sometimes referenced occurrences that hadn't even taken place yet over in "Tales of the New Teen Titans!" It goes without saying that sales started to be very modest. But there was brightness on the horizon!

   In 1988, Pérez announced that he would be returning, for a limited run, to "Tales of the Teen Titans," taking over the art on volume 2 with issue #50. This made fans everywhere really happy. Then the folks over at DC realized that they had made a mistake. The Teen Titans weren't teens anymore. So when Pérez returned with issue #50 the name of the series was changed to "The New Titans." Pérez returned for twelve glorious issues, pencilling and sometimes writing or co-writing several issues. 

  Wolfman and Pérez wanted to end it with a bang in 1990 with a graphic novel to say goodbye to the Titans for whom they had been writing stories for a decade. Set to be published in 1990, the graphic novel was to to be entitled, "New Teen Titans: Games," which is weird because earlier DC had established that the Titans weren't teens anymore and had changed the title of volume 2 accordingly.

SHEESH.

  Unfortunately, by 1992, the graphic novel hadn't materialized, for whatever reason (some say Wolfman had creativity issues). Still, the fans wanted that promised graphic novel, and they asked after it for years - Wolfman and Pérez couldn't escape it at any appearance they made. It became the stuff of legend - especially since it was leaked somehow that Pérez had more than 70 pages of art completed for the story. 

  Here's where my comic comes in. A publisher and enthusiast named Marcus Mebes (also colorist, editor and frequent contributor to the George Pérez Newsletter) was able to gain access to Pérez's and Wolfman's existing work on "New Teen Titans: Games," and in 2001, he published a beautiful ashcan under the proper title, "The New Titans: Games," featuring seventy-one black and white pages of Pérez's gorgeous artwork with the first thirty pages inked by Pérez himself and Al Vey. The Ashcan also features an eight-page plot summary. Here are a couple of sample pages for you to enjoy:






 Now, on to the FUN FACTS!

FUN FACT 1: "New Teen Titans: Games"was finally published by DC in 2011 (still with "teen" in the title), more than twenty years after it was originally supposed to be published, and ten years after Marcus Mebes' ashcan was published. In the GN, The Titans help King Faraday take on the Gamesmaster!!

FUN FACT 2: Marcus Mebes published this book himself. 

FUN FACT 3: My copy was Marcus Mebes' personal copy, and is signed by both Marv Wolfman and George Pérez!!



FUN FACT 4: ONLY FIFTEEN OF THESE COMICS WERE EVER PRODUCED!!! ONLY 15!!

That makes this, without a doubt, the most rare Teen Titans book in existence today. I am sure happy to own a copy. 

For more info, click here: Recalled Comics.

Thanks for reading!

8 comments:

  1. Your too awesome Tex.
    Great write up mate.
    Sorry for lacking in the review side of things Tex, Just to busy...I'll get there soon!

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    Replies
    1. Gil,

      I am honestly glad that you decided to contribute to the page - and you contribute AMAZING content. Thank you. I know that you will be around when you can.

      I am only able to write so much now because I am on vacation.

      Delete
  2. Doesn't that make it scarcer than one of the "Cancelled Comics Cavalcade"?

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    Replies
    1. Welcome pblfsda!!

      Thank you for reading, and for your question.

      Yes, you are correct. "Canceled Comics Cavalcade" had 35 original copies done (of course, there are copies of the original copies to be had - I have seen them up on eBay from time to time). This book has less than half that number with only 15 copies.

      Thank you again. Please keep visiting.

      Delete
  3. Hey Tex,
    I remember that amazing comic. It would go well with a collection of unicorn tears.

    I dropped by knowing you'd have an Ali tribute of some kind... but I don't see it, what's the deal?

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    Replies
    1. Hey Robbie,

      You know, I really wanted to; but I realized that I didn't have any Ali comics with which to lead in to an article. I try to do articles using the comics in my personal collection. Superman vs. Muhammad Ali is on my "want to buy list" but I just never pulled the trigger. Prices are through the roof now, as to be expected, but as soon as I get one you have my word that there WILL be an article on The Greatest of All Time.

      Delete
  4. Still on your want list? Ouch. :)

    ReplyDelete