Gemstone Publishing

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Gemstone Publishing
Gemstone Publishing.png
Founder Stephen A. Geppi
Country of origin United States
Headquarters location Timonium, Maryland
Publication types Annuals
Official website www.gemstonecomics.com

Gemstone Publishing is a U.S. company that publishes comic books and collectors' guides. The company was formed by Diamond Comic Distributors President and Chief Executive Officer Stephen A. Geppi. Gemstone published licensed Disney comic books from June 2003 until November 2008. The company has reprinted EC Comics of the 1950s. Additionally, the company is the current home of The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide. [1]

The core of the editorial staff (John Clark, Gary Leach and Susan Daigle-Leach) previously worked at Gladstone Publishing. Archival editor David Gerstein previously worked at Egmont and is author of Nine Lives To Live - A Classic Felix Celebration, a collection of 1920s Felix the Cat comic strips published by Fantagraphics Books.

Disney comics[edit]

Gemstone's flagship publications were comic books featuring Disney characters; particularly the Donald Duck/Uncle Scrooge comics of such Duck artists as Carl Barks and Don Rosa, and the Mickey Mouse comics of Floyd Gottfredson, César Ferioli, and Romano Scarpa, among others.

While popularly known as a reprint house, Gemstone's comics were actually dominated by stories that were new to United States audiences. Vintage material, though popular with readers, was not the majority of the content.

Name Number of pages Format Status Stories featuring
Walt Disney's Comics and Stories 64 (68 w/covers) Prestige Ended Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Big Bad Wolf, Brer Rabbit, Bucky Bug, Fethry Duck, Grandma Duck, Jr. Woodchucks, Scamp
Uncle Scrooge 64 (68 w/covers) Prestige Ended Scrooge McDuck, Gyro Gearloose, Beagle Boys, Launchpad McQuack, Magica De Spell, Fethry Duck, Donald Duck
The Barks/Rosa Collection 72 (76 w/covers) Prestige Ended Scrooge McDuck, Donald Duck
Donald Duck Adventures 128 (132 w/covers) Digest Ended Donald Duck, Scrooge McDuck, Mickey Mouse, Duck Avenger
Mickey Mouse Adventures 128 (132 w/covers) Digest Ended Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Ellsworth
Donald Duck and Friends 32 (36 w/covers) Standard Ended Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, Goofy
Mickey Mouse and Friends 32 (36 w/covers) Standard Ended Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Pluto

Gemstone issued annual editions of Christmas Parade, Vacation Parade, and Spring Fever; a giveaway for Free Comic Book Day; and occasional special editions (including comic adaptations of Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers and Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas).

Gemstone's first large-size book collection, Mickey And The Gang: Classic Stories In Verse, was issued in November 2005. It was a compilation, edited by David Gerstein, of Disney cartoon story pages published from 1934 to 1944 in Good Housekeeping magazine. Gerstein later edited two Gemstone softcover books that were official tie-ins to the Walt Disney Treasures DVD collections: Disney Comics: 75 Years of Innovation (2006) and Uncle Scrooge: A Little Something Special (2008).

Russ Cochran and EC Comics reprints[edit]

Gemstone has also published reprints EC Comics. Gemstone's Comic Book Marketplace-editor Russ Cochran had previously published (in 1973) a dozen reprints of EC titles including Crypt of Terror, Weird Science, The Haunt of Fear, The Vault of Horror, etc., before moving to Gladstone Publishing and then to Gemstone, which has been the home of Cochran's EC reprints for over 15 years.

Reprinting the Cochran/Gladstone-reprints of The Haunt of Fear, The Vault of Horror and Weird Science (all 1992), Gemstone also republished (in single issue and 'annual' - four issues per 'annual' - format):

Oversize, hardback, slip-cased collections of these comics had been previously published in black & white by Cochran during the 1980s as "The Complete EC Library". This Library was then added to by Cochran/Gemstone with 2005's Picto-Fiction collection, comprising the EC comics: Confessions Illustrated, Crime Illustrated, Shock Illustrated and Terror Illustrated, along with "18 previously unseen stories, never published before".[1]

Full-color hardbacks[edit]

Main article: EC Archives

In 2006, Cochran and Gemstone began publication of a series of full-color EC Archives editions. Promising that "[e]ach EC Archive volume will reprint six complete issues (24 stories)",[2] the first volumes of Weird Science and Shock Suspenstories both saw print in December, 2006, with forewords from (respectively) EC fans George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. Ostensibly beginning to publish two volumes every two months, the schedule changed to one-per-month and recently one every couple of months.

In addition, "Deluxe" versions of Weird Science Vol.s 1 & 2 (both signed by artist Al Feldstein), Shock Suspenstories Vol. 1 and Tales From the Crypt Vol. 1 have been published.

Future[edit]

In early 2009, the future of Gemstone Publishing was unclear, after reports of unpaid printing bills, particularly from the EC Archives.[3] In April, Geppi responded to the uncertainty, noting that while there had been "a reduction in staff at Gemstone," such moves did "not [signal] the end of Gemstone Publishing."[4]

Geppi hinted at "new developments" for the Overstreet Price Guide in 2010, and stated that while "no final decision has been made regarding The EC Archives or our comic books featuring Disney's standard characters... it seems certain that both lines will continue in some form."[4] The last batch of Gemstone's Disney comics had appeared in November 2008, complete with previews for next month's issues that Gemstone was to fail publishing. BOOM! Kids acquired all comic publishing licenses regarding Disney characters, and started publishing comic titles priorly owned by Gemstone by the second half of 2009.

References[edit]

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