Legendary 1982 DC Comics Style Guide by José Luis García-López Re-Issued For Sale In The U.S. And Canada

In 1982 José Luis García-López drew the now world-renowned DC Comics Style Guide, a book that displayed the legendary comic characters created by the publisher in a beautifully illustrated volume. Now, after 42 years this gorgeous book is being re-published.

Here’s the full press release:

” NY-based publisher Standards Manual and Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products have now formally announced the official and long-awaited reissue of the DC Comics Style Guide, reproduced from a rare original copy as a high-quality 1:1 hardcover version.

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.

However, 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, the guide has continued to deeply influence many DC artists and fans to this day.

Over the years new pages were added to the volume 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 them, 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, this art is synonymous with DC 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 highlights 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 on 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

This truly is amazing news, but the fact that fans outside the U.S. and Canada may not be able to get copies of the book is quite disappointing. Perhaps we can all hope for a softcover version in the future.

Images and Press Release Courtesy of NY-based publisher Standards Manual, Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products, and DC Entertainment

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