Penguin Classics partners with Marvel Comics in historic first

Penguin Classics has partnered with Marvel to publish a series of comic book anthologies.

The first three books in the series will include Black Panther, Captain America and The Amazing Spider-Man and will feature a foreword by a contemporary young adult author and a scholarly introduction.

The project marks the first time Penguin Classics, which was founded in 1946 with the aim of promoting the “greatest and most important works of writing”, has published comics.

It has previously published fiction, poetry, drama, history and philosophy by the likes of Aristotle, Jane Austen, George Orwell and James Baldwin.


Black Panther (Penguin Classics/Marvel Comics/PA)

Each title will be published in paperback with a black spine, and there will also be a hardcover collectible edition with gold foil stamping, gold stain borders, and endpapers featuring illustrations from the comics.

Black Panther, which was filmed in 2018, features a foreword by Nnedi Okorafor, author of Who Fears Death and the Binti novella trilogy.

New York Times number one bestselling author Jason Reynolds is providing the foreword to the Spider-Man book, while American cartoonist and lecturer Gene Luen Yang is doing the same for Captain America.

Ben Saunders is the series editor and Professor of English at the University of Oregon, where he founded the world’s first comics minor.

He said, “The comics produced at Marvel in the 1960s can be compared to the most enduring popular music of that same tumultuous decade.

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“The creators of Marvel worked at tremendous speed from what was widely viewed as a low-status commercial medium, initiating and participating in an aesthetic revolution.

“These comics have since influenced writers and artists in all media, from contemporary novelists to hip-hop musicians to Hollywood filmmakers.

“It’s not an exaggeration, just a fact: these classic Marvel comics are foundational documents of our culture.”

Jessica Harrison, Publishing Director of Penguin Classics, said, “For decades, Marvel comics have captivated audiences with an entire world of storytelling, visual artistry, ideas and social commentary.

“That’s why, year after year, readers return to the stories of Spider-Man, Black Panther and Captain America – characters who are as ingrained in our culture today as the folk heroes of older literary traditions.

“We are thrilled to present Marvel’s classics as Penguin Classics, and to place the iconic works of Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby and many other historical Marvel creators on the shelves alongside the world’s greatest literature.”

Sven Larsen, Vice President of Licensed Publishing at Marvel Entertainment, said: “From The Odyssey to The Time Machine, the Penguin Classics roster not only recognizes the most important works of storytelling, but also places them in their important historical and cultural context.

“Spider-Man, Black Panther and Captain America have become the foundation of countless stories across media, and it is a testament to the genius of Marvel’s writers and artists that these characters resonate so strongly today.”

The first three books in the series will be released on June 14th. Penguin Classics partners with Marvel Comics in historic first

Fry Electronics Team

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