DC Comics Style Guide

Tuesday post! Lots to cover before Superman Celebration this week. Today it’s José Luis García-López’s Style Guide. Praise be his name.

Yesterday press releases went out to comics media about the upcoming reprint of the 1982 DC Comics Style Guide. All across the media we got stories with the lede DC Comics has announced the long-awaited reissue of its 1982 DC Comics Style Guide. Even my beloved Superman Homepage got in on the action.

The problem? They ran stories with this exact same news last month. The preorder has been available for weeks. The last issue of Justice League vs. Godzilla vs. Kong had an ad with a QR code to preorder on the back cover. A book that shipped two weeks ago.

advertisement for the reissue of the 1982 DC Comics Style Guide. Featuring art by José Luís Garcia-López depicting Batman standing with his hands on his hips; plus a close up of Batman’s face. Multiple Batman logos and an old Batman wordmark.

Strangely, it was the only comic I got with that ad on the back; usually all books in a week have the same back cover ads. Doc Shaner had a different version of the ad on the back of a Green Lantern issue; but my copies of Green Lantern and Green Lantern: War Journal from April and May had different ads.

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I understand that publications wanted to run the latest press release from DC, but it was weird to read it without publishers providing any context. There are new details in there, but no mention that this had already been announced. Or that they already linked to the preorder a month ago. Each website just copies the press release verbatim and passes it off as their own original writing or reporting. I almost felt like I was dropped into Earth-2 reading announcement news articles about a book that I had already pre-ordered.

13th Dimension gave some good context in their post last week.

The original Style Guide was looseleaf, so there are a ton of copies out there that are an amalgam of different years; the source for the company’s edition — officially licensed by DC — is one such version.

I have an original copy in my collection, but as mentioned it’s looseleaf. Not every page is included in every copy. A Facebook user José Luis García-López Fans” shared some great scans and their version includes many pages (like the awesome Supermobile) not in my copy.

Despite these breathless articles, this isn’t the first time DC has made some of this work available commercially. The DC Through The 80s: The End of Eras hardcover has some reprinted pages; although they are smaller than the originals. We also have the upcoming July variant covers. Surprisingly, none of this work is included in the two excellent Adventures of Superman José Luis García-López” hardcovers.

I remember as a kid in the 90s wondering why no Superman merchandise had the Superman I was reading in the comics. I saw the same few Superman images everywhere, the same ones I had seen since before I was reading on VHS tapes and Super Powers toys. I just called him the marketing” Superman. It wasn’t until years later when I learned about the Style Guide and gained a newfound appreciation for JLGL’s phenomenal work. I am eagerly anticipating having this hardcover in my collection.

animated gif with many pages from the DC Style Guide. Various DC heroes showcased including Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman

June 4, 2024 Design

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