The world has never seen the like of the American comic book. In their heyday, the top 500 comics sold over 60 million copies a month, and are still avidly collected. Taking us from the 1930s into the 1950s, Nicky Wright tells the fascinating story of the rise of this highly creative popular art form through its decline due to the self-censorship imposed by Congress and the churches. Highly illustrated with a huge range of front covers, comic strips, and images of the characters, the book also covers the personalities who wrote, drew, and edited these classics. It's a history that will enlighten newcomers, enthrall fans, and be as treasured as the best comics themselves.
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Nicky Wright collected comics all his life and wrote for American Comic magazine. He was principally known as an award-winning writer and photographer of books on American cars. He lived for most of the last 15 years of his life in Michigan, but died in 2000 in England, home of his birth. Joe Kubert started working in the comics business at age 11 and for the next 60 years produced stories about Hawkman, Tarzan, and Batman, as well as many other great comics. He was an editor for DC Comics for 25 years and founded the only school for comic artists. He received many honors including the 1998 Will Eisner Hall of Fame award. He died in August 2012.
Whether he is discussing how one company's failure became another's success, reviewing how the House UnAmerican Activities Committee destroyed EC Comics, or revealing the underlying bondage themes of early Wonder Woman adventures, Wright is well informed. And he tackles such central themes as funny animals, clowns, superheroes, girls (both good and bad), horror, crime, war, and romance. He does all this adequately. But he does not rise above the adequate, rivet the reader, or seem to offer information that has not been heard before. The layout often veers into the garish, which doesn't help. This book is recommended for public libraries that have an extensive collection of comics-related material. Other libraries would do better with The World Encyclopedia of Comics (LJ 11/198).DChris Ryan, New Milford, NJ
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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