Sunday, 8 May 2011


7. Introduction.

These last two books aren't graphic novels but a celebration of comics. More specifically a celebration of 75 Years of DC Comics. Indeed there is already a book, and a hugely expensive one at that which is reviewed in an earlier post, called 75 Years of DC Comics. Comics fans can often be tribal, something I consider to be, bluntly, stupid. In this series of graphic novels, I've reviewed two from Marvel, two from DC/Vertigo, and one from Image (one of the major independent comics publishers). My collection of graphic novels tends to reflect this, except that I tend to favour DC over Marvel in a ratio of about 5:2. DC not only has a wider range of comics than Marvel, I prefer their characters and the treatment of them which is why I've indulged myself in these coffee table books. The first review is an edited version of the one I wrote for Amazon.

8. DC Comics: the 75th Anniversary Poster Book. Text by Robert Schnakenberg.  DC/Vertigo. Very large format paperback.

What it is. A large format collection of 100 comic book covers with comments on the following page plus two much smaller but linked covers. 

I love it, though I waited until I could get it for around a tenner rather than twenty. Of course no-one is ever going to agree on which covers should or shouldn't have been included. You could publish another ten or twenty books just like it and there would still be hundreds of covers worthy of inclusion. I'm just grateful for what we've got.

However, I do have one reason in particular for only giving the book four rather than five stars (though it's really four and a half). There is one major and quite astonishing omission which would have been extremely useful to fans of comic book art and I could hardly believe that it wasn't included. If DC ever do anything like this again, please include an Index of Artists. 100 posters plus further 200 small cover images means a lot of artists and an index would have been very helpful to find covers by individual artists. I really can not understand how this was overlooked. 

9.  DC Comics Year By Year: A Visual Chronicle. Writers: Various. DC Comics. Slipcased large format hardback, 350 pages.
 The full cover of the book
The slip-case cover

What it is. A selection of (at a guess) about 1500 significant (or sometimes just plain odd*) comics from the entire DC range in chronological order. Each entry contains commentary on the issue and a smallish reproduction of the cover, plus a few double page spread reproductions. 

As with the other book, I waited until I could get if for a more affordable price than the RRP -£20 as opposed to £35. It's a lovely book for the comic fan. While hitting all the obvious comics, it still manages to come up with some weird and wonderful stuff you've never even heard of. If you're into comics nostalgia, comic art, comics reference books, then it's a great time to be a DC fan. Many hours of fun to be had from a medium that was once considered childish ephemera. Not any more.

* Teen Beat cover dated Dec '67. Only one other issue, renamed Teen Beam.

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