Home / Books / Get ready for a heavy dose of nostalgia, with a re-issuance of the 1982 DC Comics Style Guide

Get ready for a heavy dose of nostalgia, with a re-issuance of the 1982 DC Comics Style Guide

The classics are about to return. From the talented pencils of José Luis García-López, the 1982 DC Comics Style Guide is back.

Visions of a pantheon

If you were a comics fan in the 80s, and specifically a DC Comics fan, then you likely saw the work of José Luis García-López just about everywhere. There’s a simple reason for that too, as artist was the creative force behind the 1982 DC Comics Style Guide.

Going far beyond the realm of comics, the Style Guide was meant to present a comprehensive visual format for merchandise companies who wanted to license DC characters. That means if you wanted to make a gigantic plastic wristwatch that could be hung on the wall, and you wanted Batman on its face, then you’d have to go by the 1982 DC Comics Style Guide for your imagery.

Interesting to note is that, according to the press release, there was no ‘style guide’ prior to the ’82 edition. Merch coming before that time used (more or less) scans directly from the comics themselves, meaning it was previously existing artwork. DC president Jenette Khan did away with that by creating the guide that we’re talking about here, in order to make sure talent got paid for their work, and presumably to present fans with something fresh to buy too, instead of the same old retreaded illustrations.

The re-release of the original tome by Standard Manuals means that both new followers and those fans who remember the halcyon days of the 80s can thumb through it for the first time. It’s also going to be much easier to do so, as the original ‘book’ was a massive three-ring binder that included “rules, color swatches, character profiles, and hundreds of pages of stunning art”. Now all of the above will be included in one handy-dandy 1:1 hardcover.

Going one step beyond too, the 1982 DC Comics Style Guide will also build on the original, with a bit more content. Fans will find a section about the team behind the original book, “including Joe Orlando, Neal Pozner, Mary Yedlin, Paul Levitz, and many others.” Even that isn’t all though, as the original version that Standards Manual will be working off of includes some updates that run through 1985. So it just might be the most comprehensive visual look at DC Comics’ 80s era as you’re going to get.

As to when you’ll be able to add this mighty book to your own collection, that’s coming up alter this year. Fans will be able to get their hands on a copy when it releases on August 31st (2024), by way of Standards Manual’s own online shop, plus comics shops, bookstores, and “the Official DC Shop in North America through Lunar Distribution”.

About Jason Micciche

Jason's been knee deep in videogames since he was but a lad. Cutting his teeth on the pixely glory that was the Atari 2600, he's been hack'n'slashing and shoot'em'uping ever since. Mainly an FPS and action guy, Jason enjoys the occasional well crafted title from every genre.

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