I don't know about you guys but I'm a sucker for books about comic books. I have a large number (probably more than twenty) and most of them are devoted to the golden or silver age. I'm always looking for more to add to the collection, and last week I found (whilst browsing on Amazon) "Superheroes! Capes, Cowls and the creation of comic book culture" by Laurence Maslon and Michael Kantor.  

I bought it from one of the merchants who sell used books on Amazon and got it for the princely sum of 4 pounds (that's about 6 bucks) and it arrived today.

It's a work of genius! Straightforward, jargon-free writing, taking the reader from the 30's, comic-strips and the advent of Superman, right up to the appearance of Obama on a Spider-Man cover in 2012. Superb images throughout including some that this reader had never seen before! Interviews with Steranko, Kubert and Adams help to make this a book among books.

This, together with "Men of Tomorrow" will henceforth be my top two of my book collection.

Anyone else collect books about comics?


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The two best books on Australian comics I know are John Ryan's Panel by Panel, which covers comics and newspaper strips, and the more recent Bonzer: Australian Comics 1900s-1990s ed. Annette Shiel, which sticks to comic books and has articles, creator biographies and a checklist. Both are copiously illustrated.

These are my three favorites, all of which I heartily recommend, in no particular order:

Supergods — by Grant Morrison

Give Our Regards to the Atomsmashers! (Writers on Comics) — a collection of essays edited by Sean Howe

Reading Comics (How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean) — Douglas Wolk

I still have my first ever book about comics - a well worn copy of Jules Feiffer's The Great Comic Book Heroes. I wish I still had my copy of Les Daniels' Comix, which made for a great companion piece to the Feiffer book. Most of the comics related books on my shelf are ones dedicated to individual artists - Kirby, Kubert, Caniff, Infantino, Neal Adams and a few others.

I hear you. I began my career as "Ask Captain Comics," where I did a Q&A every week. Needless to say, Mr. Google squelched that career.

Mr. Silver Age said:

Needless to say, Mr. Silver Age had a lot more stuff to write about back when nobody remembered every comic's plots and didn't have the entire run of every title sitting on their shelves!

 -- MSA

Needless to say, Mr. Google squelched that career.

Not as much as I'd think, though. There is a TV column my paper runs occasionally, as well as a daily weather question, and in both cases the people could've gotten deeper and faster information if they'd typed the same question into Google. But some people still like being told information, possibly because they are lousy with search engines.

Long after Google started, I'd still get occasional questions from fans asking about trivia. I got one asking for every appearance of the Silver Surfer, so I sent him a couple Google links. Ideally, I taught him how to fish, but maybe not.

-- MSA

Being a fan of the silver-age, I searched for a decent 2nd hand copy of this book for ages before finally finding a superb copy on Amazon last year. This is my third favourite book about comics. It is a large book which weighs in at a hefty 2.2 kilos.  But what a beautiful book! I got this copy for 12 pounds which included shipping from the USA.  For anyone who treasures the silver age it is an absolute must to have in your collection.  Paul Levitz also wrote "The Golden Age..." but this outshines that in every way, especially in its attention to detail.

See some reviews here   https://www.amazon.com/product-reviews/3836535769/ref=cm_cr_dp_syn_...

 

There's also a Levitz Bronze age book, which I have. (I still need to get the GA volume!) Plans for two subsequent volumes have apparently be canceled by Taschen.

I have his whole DC history in one gigantic volume that weighs a ton. Sounds great, but it's hard to read!

@Captain Comics - yes I've seen that book advertised on Amazon. "75 Years of DC Comics" HUGE! Costs about $185. Was tempted to buy until I found out "Golden" "Silver" and "Bronze" were all lifted from the original volume.  As Rob says Taschen aren't planning to publish the two remaining sections of the original book - Stone Age (nicely called Prehistory - 1938) and Modern Age: 1998 - 2010.

The original book seems to be out of print, but Amazon indicates a new edition will be published June 1st. It'll cost $65, which might cut into the sales of the ones being sold on eBay for $300+!

-- MSA 

But it sounds like the new version will be smaller in size than the original. From Amazon UK -

"The 2010 original XL edition of 75 Years of DC Comics was winner of the 2011 Eisner Comic Industry Award for Best Comics-Related Book of the Year! But as even Superman might have trouble lifting the XL, here is the chance to enjoy the title in a smaller format. And if it is still too heavy for you, the slipcase converts into a book stand, so you can delight in your favorite comic stories and characters book on display."

Steve W said:

But it sounds like the new version will be smaller in size than the original. From Amazon UK -
"The 2010 original XL edition of 75 Years of DC Comics was winner of the 2011 Eisner Comic Industry Award for Best Comics-Related Book of the Year! But as even Superman might have trouble lifting the XL, here is the chance to enjoy the title in a smaller format. And if it is still too heavy for you, the slipcase converts into a book stand, so you can delight in your favorite comic stories and characters book on display."

But does it have wheels?

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