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  1. #1
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    Default Ms. Tree - crime noir series (Eclipse comics & others; 1981-1992)

    I was a kid back in the '80's, and do remember seeing the crime noir/detective comic Ms. Tree on shelves. It was written by crime author Max Allan Collins, and had superb art by Terry Beatty. I didn't read/collect many issues at the time due to limited funds, but do remember paging through it & being impressed by the story/art. I do remember reading a Ms. Tree story in a crime anthology several years back - good stuff here.

    Here's more info. on the series:

    http://www.thrillingdetective.com/tree.html

    http://comicbookcatacombs.blogspot.c...k-ms-tree.html

    http://www.comicsreview.co.uk/nowrea...th-do-us-part/

    There were a couple of Trades reprinting select issues back in the '80's - however, that was over 30 years ago.

    I would definitely be onboard for a new series of Trades/HC's reprinting this entire series, i.e. roughly 50 issues. However, given that it was at several different comic publishers over the course of the title, I'm sure copyright issues would be a nightmare to wade through. That being said, hopefully we will get this at some point. I can't be the only one that has fond memories of this title
    Last edited by ROM Spaceknight; 02-02-2017 at 07:09 PM.

  2. #2
    Ultimate Member MajorHoy's Avatar
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    It looks like the last time there may have been any new Ms. Tree comic books published here in the U.S. were ones from DC in 1990-1992?
    (At least from what I see on the GCD site.)

  3. #3
    Spectacular Member Chintzy Beatnik's Avatar
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    In 2007 Max Allan Collins did a Ms. Tree novel for Hard Case Crime.

    I would love to see him do another one, or even better, do a new comic through the Hard Case Crime imprint.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MajorHoy View Post
    It looks like the last time there may have been any new Ms. Tree comic books published here in the U.S. were ones from DC in 1990-1992?
    (At least from what I see on the GCD site.)
    Yes, that sounds right. I had stopped collecting comics (the first time) in the late '80's, but did read online that Ms. Tree changed companies numerous times during the title's run - and it sounds like the last run was @ DC. Again, this is another reason a comprehensive reprint collection would probably be a logistical & financial nightmare - i.e., whoever reprints the series would have to get permission from numerous comic companies - some which are now defunct, I think (Eclipse,etc.)

  5. #5
    Ultimate Member MajorHoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ROM Spaceknight View Post
    . . . this is another reason a comprehensive reprint collection would probably be a logistical & financial nightmare - i.e., whoever reprints the series would have to get permission from numerous comic companies - some which are now defunct, I think (Eclipse,etc.)
    But you're forgetting, many of those independent companies didn't OWN the characters, the creators of them did.
    All would depend on how contracts were written at the time as to who owned the rights to the characters / the stories / the artwork, and it seems to me Ms. Tree was pretty consistent from publisher to publisher for much of her run as to whote wrote and who did art on many of those stories (at least up until the DC run).

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MajorHoy View Post
    But you're forgetting, many of those independent companies didn't OWN the characters, the creators of them did.
    All would depend on how contracts were written at the time as to who owned the rights to the characters / the stories / the artwork, and it seems to me Ms. Tree was pretty consistent from publisher to publisher for much of her run as to whote wrote and who did art on many of those stories (at least up until the DC run).
    You are correct. I honestly don't know how copyright/licensing issues work when it comes to this sort of thing. Does MAC own the Ms. Tree character, or do the respective comic companies that published the series (Eclipse, DC, etc.)?!

    The more important question is - have potential licensing issues kept this title from being reprinted?! And the most important question is: have any current comic companies even shown interest in reprinting the title?!

    I definitely would like to see Ms. Tree reprints, but I'm also probably one of a handful of comic collectors these days who even remembers the series.
    Last edited by ROM Spaceknight; 02-03-2017 at 07:12 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ROM Spaceknight View Post
    I was a kid back in the '80's, and do remember seeing the crime noir/detective comic Ms. Tree on shelves. It was written by crime author Max Allan Collins, and had superb art by Terry Beatty. I didn't read/collect many issues at the time due to limited funds, but do remember paging through it & being impressed by the story/art. I do remember reading a Ms. Tree story in a crime anthology several years back - good stuff here.

    Here's more info. on the series:

    http://www.thrillingdetective.com/tree.html

    http://comicbookcatacombs.blogspot.c...k-ms-tree.html

    http://www.comicsreview.co.uk/nowrea...th-do-us-part/

    There were a couple of Trades reprinting select issues back in the '80's - however, that was over 30 years ago.

    I would definitely be onboard for a new series of Trades/HC's reprinting this entire series, i.e. roughly 50 issues. However, given that it was at several different comic publishers over the course of the title, I'm sure copyright issues would be a nightmare to wade through. That being said, hopefully we will get this at some point. I can't be the only one that has fond memories of this title
    Ran across a few issues when Ms. Tree was at Eclipse. If the same author and same artist did the work with several publishers and it was not done by company for hires then the original creators would have the rights. Off shoot characters created by anyone else wouldn't be in the original creators hands. I'm basing this from DC's Red Circle run where Archie could license Fly Girl but not The Fly which was given back to Joe Simon by Archie many years ago. There may be other better examples of this such as the status of Valiants Gold Key era. I am not a copyright expert or lawyer. The real question here is who would have the interest and money to back a reprint reissue program and where is Max Allen Collins or his estate?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by alton View Post
    The real question here is who would have the interest and money to back a reprint reissue program and where is Max Allen Collins or his estate?
    Yes, this is the most important question here. I don't even know if there are any potential issues/problems with reprinting the series, since I don't even know if anyone has bothered to even look into this. Obviously, Ms. Tree is an obscure, '80's/early '90's comic detective/noir series that was primarily published by Independent comic companies, not the "Big 2" ( though it was at DC at the very tail end of the series, I'm almost not counting that since it wasn't there for that long).

    The target audience for reprints may be so small that it may not even be worth doing this in the first place.
    Last edited by ROM Spaceknight; 02-03-2017 at 07:53 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ROM Spaceknight View Post
    Yes, this is the most important question here. I don't even know if there are any potential issues/problems with reprinting the series, since I don't even know if anyone has bothered to even look into this. Obviously, Ms. Tree is an obscure, '80's/early '90's comic detective/noir series that was primarily published by Independent comic companies, not the "Big 2" ( though it was at DC at the very tail end of the series, I'm almost not counting that since it wasn't there for that long).

    The target audience for reprints may be so small that it may not even be worth doing this in the first place.
    Then again was DC's era done as DC or Vertigo? As a Vertigo it might have some traction although I'm not sure how the editorial switch out and other things over the last 2-3 years has been going. I also don't know if Vertigo has ever reprinted anything not done by them or DC. Titan would be an even more logical home come to think of it. Don't get discouraged because with the hunger for intellectual property especially for TV/film these days you may see all kinds of things pop up. Ms. Tree on Netflix?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by alton View Post
    Then again was DC's era done as DC or Vertigo? As a Vertigo it might have some traction although I'm not sure how the editorial switch out and other things over the last 2-3 years has been going. I also don't know if Vertigo has ever reprinted anything not done by them or DC. Titan would be an even more logical home come to think of it. Don't get discouraged because with the hunger for intellectual property especially for TV/film these days you may see all kinds of things pop up. Ms. Tree on Netflix?
    Good point(s) and good question. I looked this up, and the 1990-1992 run of Ms. Tree @ DC may have been a Vertigo title, but it's not immediately clear from the covers:

    http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Ms._Tree_Quarterly_Vol_1

    I agree that if this series ever gets adapted as either a TV series or film, the likelyhood of classic reprints will increase. After all, there's very little new material out there when it comes to TV shows or films - they're usually re-booting an older series/film, or are adapting a novel, comic book, etc.

  11. #11
    Ultimate Member MajorHoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ROM Spaceknight View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by alton View Post
    Then again was DC's era done as DC or Vertigo?
    Good point(s) and good question. I looked this up, and the 1990-1992 run of Ms. Tree @ DC may have been a Vertigo title, but it's not immediately clear from the covers.
    It's pretty clear that it was still a DC imprint:



    Besides, I believe all but the last of the DC issues was cover-dated before 1993.

    The actual Vertigo imprint line wasn't launched until 1993.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MajorHoy View Post
    It's pretty clear that it was still a DC imprint:



    Besides, I believe all but the last of the DC issues was cover-dated before 1993.

    The actual Vertigo imprint line wasn't launched until 1993.
    That being said has any DC title been switched to Vertigo for any reason? Actually the more I thought about it Titan would be a better home base for any anthologizing of this type of title. If all rights can be located that is.The number of 80's/90's era DC minis of this type you showed us drive me crazy because they were so much better than 90% of the standard fare of that era and now. I find them in the back bins from time to time and love them.

  13. #13
    Ultimate Member MajorHoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alton View Post
    That being said has any DC title been switched to Vertigo for any reason?
    Oodles of them.

    From the Wikipedia article on Vertigo Comics,
    Vertigo was launched in January 1993 with a mixture of existing ongoing series continued under the new imprint, new ongoing series, new mini-series, and single-volume collections or graphic novels. Their publishing plan for the first year involved two new titles – whether ongoing/limited series or one-shots – each month. The existing series (cover date March 1993) were Shade the Changing Man (starting with #33), The Sandman (#47), Hellblazer (#63), Animal Man (#57), Swamp Thing (#129), and Doom Patrol (#64, with new writer Rachel Pollack).

  14. #14
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    Thanks for the research re: Ms. Tree's short run @ DC in the early '90's. I'm guessing that if the title had continued into 1993, it would have eventually fallen under the Vertigo imprint - given that it was designed for "mature audiences".

  15. #15
    small press afficionado matt levin's Avatar
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    terry beatty ms tree 1.jpg
    One of my favorite Ms. Tree pages... and it's up on my wall!
    "When, and why, did you halt your previous psychoanalysis?"
    " 'When' is when my previous analyst died. 'Why' was because I killed him."
    Last edited by matt levin; 02-06-2017 at 07:24 AM.
    Age/Bronze, Age/Reptiles, Alex&Ada, Anne Bonnie, Astro City, Bone, Briggs Land, Cerebus, Criminal, Courtney Crumrin, Eleanor & the Egret, Fables, Fatale, Fell, Grass Kings, Green Valley, Goon, Gotham Midnight, Groo, Hellboy, Hillbilly, Incognegro, Jack Staff, JL8, Jonah Hex, Kane, Lazarus, Little Nemo, Lone Wolf, Next Wave, Popeye, Powers, Princess Ugg, Resident Alien, SiP, Squirrel Girl, Stray Bullets, 10G, Thief of Thieves, Tuki, Usagi, Velvet

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