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  1. #16
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    Thanks for the post - I haven't read the comic that came from (I only read a couple of Ms. Tree stories) but I agree it's a great panel. Seeing this makes me want the series reprinted all the more.

  2. #17
    small press afficionado matt levin's Avatar
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    ROM, I'm pretty sure much of Ms. Tree was collected into one, maybe two or more volumes.
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  3. #18
    Astonishing Member MRP's Avatar
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    I am currently reading through the Ms. Tree series.

    Ms. Tree started as a serial in the Eclipse monthly magazine. The first storyline was serialized through that magazine before it graduated to its (semi) own title, Ms. Tree Thrilling Detective Stories which was meant to have a Ms. Tree lead and other back ups including Frank Miller drawn famous detective pin ups and Mike Mist Minute Mysteries, another Collins/Beatty feature, plus a third back up feature written by Eclipse president Dean Mullaney.

    The Mullaney feature was soon dropped and the title changed to simply Ms. Tree with Mike Mist continuing as a 2 page feature and Mike Grell taking over the famous Detective pin ups.

    The series wasn't making enough at Eclipse and moved to Aardvark-Vanheim when the initial contract with Eclipse expired (it appeared to be an amicable parting), where it went from color to black & white (actually 3 tone as a 3rd color was used in most stories, sometimes red, sometimes blue, and occasionally brown depending on the stories needs. The numbering and storylines continued through the switch. The Mike Mist feature continued but the Famous Detective pin-ups did not.

    A-V had a shake up and its publisher ended her partnership with Dave Sim and formed her own company Renegade Press, and Ms. Tree and pretty much all the A-V stuff except Cerebus went over to Renegade. A-V/Renegade collected the first storyline form the Eclipse magazine into slim trade volume titles Ms. Tree Case Files and later volumes collected the early Eclipse issues/stories from the Ms. Tree series. In total in ran for 50 issues plus a 3-D special that co-starred Mike Mist and a summer special in '86 hat was called the Rock and Roll Specatacular I believve. There was also a 3 issue mini from First Comics called PIS that featured Ms. Tree teaming up with other comic detectives published by indy publishers at the time.

    Collins and Beatty co-created the series and Gary Kato did a lot of the art assists and lettering (often doing full pencils over Beatty's layouts which Beatty would then ink) and they co-own the character.

    They went on to create the Wild Dog character (recently seen on CW's Arrow series) for DC and did a mini and a serial in Action Comics Weekly, and did not own the character, but were offered to bring Ms.Tree to DC afterwards and she featured in a quarterly series, but was not owned by DC. It ended before the Vertigo imprint was launched I believe, but DC had a handful of other books that were creator-owned published under the DC imprint at the time. Ms. Tree was one of those.

    Collins is primarily a novelist now, he did the Dick Tracy newspaper strip for a number of years (not sure if he still does or not), but he and Beatty own the rights to Ms. Tree, so there are no rights issues unless it is between the two co-creators. Ms. Tree was well received mostly and sold well by indy standards, but was a target for RA Jones of Amazing Heroes (published by Fantagraphics) who seemed to use Ms. Tree as a anvil to hammer his idea that tv does everything better than comics except super-heroes and books like Ms. Tree are a waste of time and effort because shows like Cagney and Lacey can do what it does a thousand times better-which is ludicrous, but it i what it is, and Amazing Heroes was a popular and influential zine at the time, and it did have an impact on Tree's sales and reception in some corners of the industry.

    So I doubt the lack of reprints has anything o do with rights hurtles but is probably one of economics. It changed from b&w to color to b&w with 3rd color added to color again as it moved from company to company, meaning a lot of the art would have to be remastered or colored to get a level of consistency to package a product, which can be expensive, and since it i a niche interest item even in today's market, that added expense might make it to expensive to be produce to be profitable at expected sales levels.

    I managed to track down all 52 issues (50 + 3-D special + Summer Rock and Roll Special) in a 3 month span out of quarter and dollar bins and 1 order to Lonestar to fill in the 4-5 issues I couldn't find about a year and a half ago (I am just getting to read them now). I don' have the Eclipse Magazine stories (well I don't have all of them, I have 2 of the issues), but the story is recapped in the first issue of the regular series well enough you don't need to read it, and the DC Quarterlies are harder to find than the indy issues, and I am still looking for about half of those.

    It's worth the read so far (I'm about half way through, I've read 24 of the issues plus the 3-D Special so far), but if you want to read it, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for a new collected edition.

    Looking at Lonestar, there are 3 volumes of the Files of Ms. Tree, #1 had the Eclipse magazine 3 parter and the stories from the first 3 issues of the Eclipse series, the second had issues 4-8 of the Eclipse series, and the third is not listed as to what it reprints, but most likely 9-12. Nothing else has been collected, and I am not sure it ever will be.

    -M
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  4. #19
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    First of all, Thanks to all who have responded to this thread. I didn't know so many people remembered and/or were aware of the Ms. Tree series, given that the last issue came out over 20 years ago. I'm guessing a lot of responders may have either read and/or collected the series when it was originally out in the '80's & '90's.

    Quote Originally Posted by matt levin View Post
    ROM, I'm pretty sure much of Ms. Tree was collected into one, maybe two or more volumes.
    You're right - however, these reprint volumes came out back in the '80's/early '90's - they're also OOP & if you can find them, are probably not in great shape these days and/or expensive. I was hoping for much more recent Collected Editions - a series of new Trades or even better HC's would be great, but unlikely.

    MRP, great detailed write-up of the Ms. Tree series. Honestly, I have no interest in looking for back issues - not because I think the series has a good chance of ever being reprinted (I don't), but because I have become very used to the convenience and ease of CE's, and really don't want to be bothered with taking the time & spending the money to track down old floppies.

    So, unless the series ever gets reprinted I don't see ever reading this....unless I happen to stumble into a LCS that's selling the entire series for a good price - which is probably impossible to even imagine. And, even if that were to occur, I don't even got to LCS's anymore (I don't collect floppies these days, and get all of my CE's online).
    Last edited by ROM Spaceknight; 02-08-2017 at 07:57 AM.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRP View Post
    So I doubt the lack of reprints has anything to do with rights hurtles but is probably one of economics. It changed from b&w to color to b&w with 3rd color added to color again as it moved from company to company, meaning a lot of the art would have to be remastered or colored to get a level of consistency to package a product, which can be expensive, and since it is a niche interest item even in today's market, that added expense might make it to expensive to be produce to be profitable at expected sales levels.
    I personally would buy Ms. Tree reprints even if they didn't recolor/remaster any of the original comics. In fact, I would prefer that they kept the original coloring & the original black & white issues, so that the reprints would be as true to the original source material as possible:

    1) Note that I do believe in re-coloring in certain cases, but IIRC the original Ms. Tree colors were not that bad. It was an '80's independent comic, so by that time the comic book color jobs were far superior to what you saw in '70's newsprint comics.

    2) And, as far as the b&w issues - I have seen reprints in the past that combined black & white issues with color issues. Going along with this, if a comic was originally presented in black & white I would want to see the reprints in black & white, not color. I.e., Savage Sword of Conan, the b&w Marvel Planet of the Apes magazine from the '70's, Deadly Hands of Kung Fu magazine, etc.

    3) Re: the b&w with a third color added, I wouldn't mind seeing those issues as well. Again, if they reprinted it this way it would be faithful to the original source material.

    That all being said, I'm probably unusual in that I wouldn't mind the original coloring/black & white issues. And, going along with this, I'm sure you're right that economics does have a lot to do with why we haven't seen reprints of the series. Any comic company potentially interested in bothering to do this would want to recolor/remaster the issues and have a reasonable assurance that the reprints would sell well enough so they could make money on these

    The only way I can see this might work is if it's "made to order" series of Trades in which pre-orders will determine whether or not these are made/released. That being said, I don't know of any cases where this has been successfully done with comics.

    Unfortunately, the more time goes by without any reprints, the less likely the chances are of these happening. As the years pass, those of us comic collectors who even remember Ms. Tree (and other obscure '80's series) will slowly stop collecting and/or being interested in reading comics.

  6. #21
    Ultimate Member MajorHoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRP View Post
    . . . Collins is primarily a novelist now, he did the Dick Tracy newspaper strip for a number of years (not sure if he still does or not),
    According to a Wikipedia entry, Collins took over writing Dick Tracy when Chester Gould retired in late 1977 but was fired in 1992.

    The strip is currently done by Mike Curtis and Joe Staton. In the current run, it guest-stars The Spirit.

  7. #22
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    Very cool - Thanks for the pics. & the post.

  8. #23
    Fantastic Member Kaled's Avatar
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    When First Comic restarted there were plans to collect Ms.Tree but nothing has come of that. The book Collins wrote for Hard Case Crime was not bad. It used the first Ms. tree story as a template and changed a little for a modern take. It was also based on a script he wrote for a Ms.Tree tv series on Lifetime. In the books intro or afterward, I forget which, he said he would like to write more stories of Ms.Tree in comic or book form so I don't know if it is a case of time or the book did not sell that well.

  9. #24
    Fantastic Member Kaled's Avatar
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    When First Comic restarted there were plans to collect Ms.Tree but nothing has come of that. The book Collins wrote for Hard Case Crime was not bad. It used the first Ms. tree story as a template and changed a little for a modern take. It was also based on a script he wrote for a Ms.Tree tv series on Lifetime. In the books intro or afterward, I forget which, he said he would like to write more stories of Ms.Tree in comic or book form so I don't know if it is a case of time or the book did not sell that well. ( I also copied this reply to the above link also).

  10. #25
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    Glad to see this thread is alive even a year after I created it, despite there being no news on any possible reprints of this classic noir comic series.

  11. #26
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    someone I'm friends with of youtube is really into Ms Tree


  12. #27
    Ultimate Member MajorHoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaled View Post
    When First Comic restarted there were plans to collect Ms.Tree but nothing has come of that. The book Collins wrote for Hard Case Crime was not bad. It used the first Ms. tree story as a template and changed a little for a modern take. It was also based on a script he wrote for a Ms.Tree tv series on Lifetime.

    http://www.hardcasecrime.com/books_b...adly%20Beloved

  13. #28
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    Even without Ms Tree itself, it seems that the Genera is not published at all any longer. Is there no audience? We some Noir French translations, but that seems to be it.

  14. #29
    Ultimate Member Lee Stone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ROM Spaceknight View Post
    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".
    I think it fell more in with the Direct Market 'New Format' Mature Readers stuff that wasn't officially in a line, but were more writer/creator focused, such as Green Arrow and Question.
    "There's magic in the sound of analog audio." - CNET.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Stone View Post
    I think it fell more in with the Direct Market 'New Format' Mature Readers stuff that wasn't officially in a line, but were more writer/creator focused, such as Green Arrow and Question.
    there is nothing quite like it, and I keep hoping for something.... but maybe like Animal Man. You would think the premise of this book would be straight forward enough that other titles of similar quality and depth would emerge, but yet here we are, 30 years later and ZILCH....

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