Artist's Edition (and related) Fascination

Very basically, the Artist's Edition format is a hardcover-bound facsimiles of original art at original size.

This format allows for people to simulate owning original art at a fraction of the cost of buying it.

There are a two things that muddies the basic definition.

  • Publishers aside from IDW have their own names for theirs.
  • IDW also started 3 other lines: Artifact, Artisan, and Portfolio.

Below is a chart I put together to explain the differences.

Feature Chart

Bound Original Art @ Original Size Original Art @ Reduced Size Complete Story
Artist’s Edition (IDW)

Apex Edition (2000AD)

Archival Edition (Hermes Press)

Art Edition (Dynamite)

Curator's Edition (Kitchen Sink Books/Dark Horse)

Gallery Edition (Dark Horse & DC/Graphitti Designs)

Original Art Archives (Genesis West)

Original Art Edition (Titan)

Studio Edition (Fantagraphics)
Yes
Hardcover
Yes 1, 2, 3
No Yes
Artifact Edition (IDW) Yes
Hardcover
Yes 4 No No
Artisan Edition (IDW) Yes
Hardcover
or
Softcover
No Yes Sometimes 5
Artist's Edition Portfolio (IDW), Portfolios (various) No
Unbound
Yes 6 No Sometimes 7

Notes

  1. Exception: A minor amount of pages may be missing. In those cases, the publisher will replace with high-resolution scans or other versions of the art
  2. Exception: A few titles have art that is slightly reduced due to the vast size of the original art. To my knowledge, the exceptions are Charles M Schulz's Peanuts Artist's Edition and Hal Foster's Prince Valiant Studio Edition.
  3. Mostly 12"x17" or 15"x22". However, the extremes are 9"x13" and 17"x23.25".
  4. Mostly 12"x17".
  5. Wally Wood's EC Comics and Dave Stevens's Rocketeer do. I'm unsure if Jack Kirby's Pencils & Inks and Kevin Eastman & Peter Laird's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles do or not.
  6. Mostly 12"x18".
  7. These portfolios contain full stories: Bernie Wrightson's Muck Monster, Michael Golden's G I Joe Yearbook, Neal Adams's Thrill Kill, Russ Heath's Yellow Heat, Walt Simonson's Lawnmower Man. These portfolios do not contain full stories: EC Covers, Gabriel Rodriguez's Locke Key, Gabriel Rodriguez's Locke Key Cover, Walt Simonson's Ragnarok, Wally Wood's THUNDER Agents.

External Links

General Resources

Highly Recommended: Comic Book Daily's Artist's Edition Index http://www.aeindex.org