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DC’s 1982 Style Guide By Jose Luis Garcia Lopez Comes To Print

On June 3, 2024, NY-based publisher Standards Manual and Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products will formally announce the official and long-awaited reissue of the 1982 DC Comics Style Guide, reproduced from a rare original copy as a high-quality 1:1 hardcover book, featuring the legendary art of José Luis García-López.

In 1982, Spanish-Argentine artist José Luis García-López was hired to create the key art for an ambitious project: a total standardization of DC’s Super Heroes look. The resulting 3-ring-binder filled with rules, color swatches, character profiles, and hundreds of pages of stunning art was in itself a showcase of García-López’s artistic talent, collaborating with legendary inker Dick Giordano. But it served a very practical purpose, as it was intended to create artwork for products and packaging of DC’s wide range of licensed products and promotions. Most earlier DC licensed products or ads picked up images from the comics, without any additional payment to the talent—led by president Jenette Kahn, the team updated that policy so that most licensees had to use artwork created specifically for that purpose, either in the Style Guides or newly drawn.

The model sheets in the 1982 DC Comics Style Guide became the standard reference for DC license holders working on DC releases for decades and, thanks to García-López’s timeless character work, has continued to deeply influence many DC artists and fans to this day.

Over the years new pages were added to the Style Guide and new DC Style Guides were issued to keep it current, but as franchises moved on and updated looks eventually took over, the original Style Guide was no longer needed (and in most cases, likely disposed of). The copy held by Standards Manual is a rare collector’s item and unavailable to wide-audiences beyond low resolution, poorly reproduced, and often watermarked images online. The reissue is based on the original copy held by Standards Manual, containing an amalgam of page versions—presumably added by the owners of this original from ’82 to ’85.

There’s a nostalgia element, too. Many comic fans today grew up with García-López’s depictions of Batman, Superman, and more on products and advertisements. In the hearts and minds of many, García-López’s art is synonymous with DC of yore, and thus carries with it a deep nostalgia linked to childhood and growing up with their favorite characters.

To date, the 1982 DC Comics Style Guide has never been made available to the public in print, so with the faithful reproduction work by the team at Standards Manual who pioneered the republishing of legacy graphic manuals, fans will finally be able to experience this legendary art as close as possible to the original format. This reissue also intends to highlight the team behind this great artistic endeavor, including Joe Orlando, Neal Pozner, Mary Yedlin, Paul Levitz, and many others.

The book will be available for pre-order at an early-access price of $90 and will begin shipping August 31, 2024. The book will be available for consumers and retailers from Standards Manual at www.standardsmanual.com/dc, and widely available at comic stores, bookstores, and the Official DC Shop in North America through Lunar Distribution.

ISBN: 979-8-218-33743-8, 384 pages

About Standards Manual:

Standards Manual is an independent publishing imprint founded by designers Jesse Reed and Hamish Smyth in New York City in 2014. Originally born on Kickstarter, Standards Manual’s mission is to archive and preserve artifacts of design history and make them available to future generations. From reprinted graphics standards manuals to new compendiums of archival work, their titles always aim to make great design available to all.

About Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products:

Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products (WBDGCP), part of Warner Bros. Discovery’s Revenue & Strategy division, extends the company’s powerful portfolio of entertainment brands and franchises into the lives of fans around the world. WBDGCP partners with best-in-class licensees globally on award-winning toy, fashion, home décor and publishing programs inspired by the biggest franchises from Warner Bros.’ film, television, animation, and games studios, HBO, Discovery, DC, Cartoon Network, HGTV, Eurosport, Adult Swim, and more. With innovative global licensing and merchandising programs, retail initiatives, and promotional partnerships, WBDGCP is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations in the world.

About DC:

DC, part of Warner Bros. Discovery, creates iconic characters and enduring stories and is one of the world’s largest publishers of comics and graphic novels. DC’s creative work entertains audiences of every generation around the world with DC’s stories and characters integrated across Warner Bros. Discovery’s film, television, animation, consumer products, home entertainment, games, and themed experiences divisions, and on the DC Universe Infinite digital comic subscription service. Learn more at DC.com.

June 3, 2024
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