No, I'm not doing magic, although Zatanna is involved. If you've ever wanted DC characters at your fingertips, now's your chance. Check out Workman Publishing's DC Comics Super Heroes and Villains Fandex.
Fandex? What's a Fandex? I'm glad you asked. It's a wonderful amalgamation of knowledge, in this case, with your favorite good guys and bad guys. (They've also got a Star Wars Fandex as well.) My picture doesn't even accurately describe how cool this is. It's a deck of 75 different connected "cards" with info on the front of back for each of the characters. It's a great idea for kids wanting to learn, or people like me who want to add to my collection or just be able to quickly look up a fact or two.
According to Workman, the Fandex was "obsessively researched" and includes "layers of information, including biographies, origin stories, motivations, secret affiliations, mysterious powers and weaknesses, plus the year and issue each character made its debut. From the essential—the Crisis on Infinite Earths—to the offbeat—how Penguin sold his own memorabilia." The DC Fandex Editor, Randall Lotowycz, is no novice. His bio says he, "read his first DC comic—Superman #75—at age 11, has seen every DC movie on opening day, and had to build a custom bed frame to fit his dozens of crates of comic books." In other words - he's one of us.
One thing I love about the Fandex is that "families" are grouped together. So you have Batman and his related friends and villains, then Superman's, Wonder Woman's etc. You've also got your teams and other associations receiving their own cards. Fans may be slightly disappointed their favorite character was left out of the Fandex but with only 75 spots able to be filled, I think Workman and Lotowycz chose wisely. And be on the lookout, it may be the current Blue Beetle, Jaime Reyes, pictured on his card but every Blue Beetle is listed in the description. For the most part the same goes for others as well (The Flash, Firestorm, the Question).
I can't leave out the beautiful art that makes the Fandex go from regular, old encyclopedia to something really special. You'll recognize the images because they are taken straight from the original comics. If you're a big DC fan, you might even be able to guess which issue. And it's a who's-who of talent including Neal Adams, Jama Igle, George Perez, Cliff Chiang, Jack Kirby...I could go on and on but you get the idea.
Now here's the best part. Workman Publishing has been kind enough to offer not one, but TWO copies of the DC Comics Fandex to my readers!! You know what that means? It's contest time again!!
Send an email to nerdybirdcontest [at] gmail [dot] com and let me know who your favorite DC character is and why. It doesn't have to be a research paper, just tell me why you dig him/her/it! Get your entries in by Wednesday May 5, 2010 at 11:59 PM EST and I will choose two winners from the bunch. No need to send me your info yet, if you're the winner I'll get it from you later. Good luck!