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75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking [Hardcover]

Paul Levitz
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
Price: £135.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

25 Oct 2010
This book features super heroes from the Atom to Zatara: 75 years of DC Comics. In 1935, DC Comics founder Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, published "New Fun No. 1", the first comic book with all-new, all-original comic material-at a time when comic books were mere repositories for the cast-offs of the newspaper strips. What was initially considered to be disposable media for children was well on its way to becoming the mythology of our time - the 20th century's answer to "Atlas" or "Zorro". Over 40,000 comic books later, in honor of the publisher's 75th Anniversary, and from Batman and Wonder Woman to The Sandman and Watchmen, TASCHEN has produced the single most comprehensive book on DC Comics in an XL edition even Superman might have trouble lifting. Over 2000 images-covers and interiors, original illustrations (including Wonder Woman's invisible jet!), photographs, film stills, and collectibles-are reproduced using the latest technology in digital reproduction to bring the storylines, the characters, and their creators to vibrant life as they've never been seen before. Telling the tales behind the tomes is 35-year DC veteran Paul Levitz, whose in-depth essays trace the company's history, from its pulp origins through to the future of digital publishing. Massive foldout timelines and an in-depth appendix including biographies of the artists, writers, editors, publishers, and actors who cast the spell make this an invaluable reference for any comic book fan. You'll find them all here.

Frequently Bought Together

75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking + Dc Comics: The 75th Anniversary Poster Book + The Art of Vintage DC Comics
Price For All Three: £171.38

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 600 pages
  • Publisher: Taschen GmbH; Box edition (25 Oct 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 383651981X
  • ISBN-13: 978-3836519816
  • Product Dimensions: 39.5 x 8.9 x 29 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 333,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Paul Levitz is a comic-book fan who has worked as editor/publisher of The Comic Reader, editor of the Batman titles and others, writer of over 300 stories-including an acclaimed run on Legion of Super-Heroes-and a DC Comics executive, finishing his 35-year stint with the company as President and Publisher. He returned to writing in 2010 with a new series of Legion stories and other projects.

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Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pow! Sock! Smash and more 19 Nov 2010
What better way to celebrate seventy-five years of DC Comics than this massive, stunning Taschen book. With 720 pages, two thousand plus images and probably over a hundred thousand words. It all adds up to treat for comic fans that will last and last.

Where to start? I preferred to dip into the five fold-out timelines (each forty-four inches wide) with about a thousand dated items spelling out the activities of DC, the comic industry in the context of the times and the seven pages at the back of the book, with comprehensive biographies of all the creative folk, was useful with the timelines.

The seven chapters are divided into Ages, starting with the Stone Age (nicely called Prehistory - 1938) and ending with the Modern Age: 1998 - 2010. An Afterword brings everything up-to-date with a section on the Digital Age. A feature that I particularly like and it runs throughout the pages, are the artist portfolios, for example, Bernie Wrightson gets eight illustrations, Curt Swan seventeen (including a lovely whole page of Superman heads with various expressions). Another interesting feature is the inclusion of titles other than DC because they in some way influenced comic art or writing, a quick scan of the index (it's huge) reveals: Fawcett Publications; Jack Kirby; Mad; Marvel comics; Spider-man and Zap comix.

As usual Taschen spoil their readers by turning out an impressive looking book. Hundreds and hundreds of covers (many page size) original artwork, movie stills, ads and other graphics are all in colour and each with comprehensive captions. Oh yes and a gold colored bookmark completes the package.

Expensive? Yes but you won't see something like this again for a long time (unless Taschen are planning a Marvel special!)

***LOOK INSIDE THE BOOK by clicking 'customer images' under the cover.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding compendium of DC Comics material 15 Feb 2011
Highly recommended for those with an interest in all things DC.

Taschen deliver the goods once again with a weighty tome covering the lifetime of DC in chronological order.

Surprise yourself with Superman, baffle yourself with early Batman and jump for joy with the Justice League.

Even better if you can score a copy at way under list price.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to get yourself fit the DC way 21 Nov 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Simply buy a copy of this book but don't remove it from its case. Now, with the book flat on the ground, slide your hands underneath until the full width of the book is flat against your arms. Now lift until the book is on a level with your chest and hold the position until your arms feel as if they're about to drop off -trust me, it won't take long. Repeat until you realise there is a much better use for this book, open the case, now enjoy the wonderful contents.

There has never been a book like this about the comics industry and probably won't be again, at least not for a long time (unless Marvel, not untypically, follow DC). It is huge -not a coffee table book, a dinner-table-for-eight book- and extremely heavy. Whatever you do, don't drop it on your foot or you could easily break a toe. This is not a joke as the size and weight of it makes it impossible to hold on your lap. The production values (publisher Taschen is known for this) and the contents are magnificent. It is, obviously, an authorised (and no doubt sanitised) history of DC comics but that's fair enough. Although the copious and beautifully reprinted illustrations almost swamp the text, a reviewer at reckoned the word count to be around 100,000 (a conservative estimate?) so there is plenty of text to read.

Although expensive, and the most expensive book I've ever bought, it's worth every penny to anyone interested in DC Comics or the history of comics in general. I've read that some people consider this to be an investment as it's bound to be a collector's item once it goes out of print; which is something I've considered. If you're thinking of buying it for that alone, here's a word of warning.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super book 28 Jun 2011
There's not much I can add that hasn't already been said. This book is a masterpiece. If your a comic collector or just a book fanatic, this book is a must. The low price Amazon offer is a bonus.This now takes pride of place on the floor because I don't have a bookshelf big enough or strong enough to take it!. I will add though, that Amazon need to learn how to pack an item. This book came wrapped in some corrugated paper! There was some damage to the outer box the book comes packaged in but none to the book itself. This is unforgivable giving the type of item this is. Only the fact that I suspect a replacement would be packaged the same stopped me from doing a return. Great book, great price, poor delivery.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous 22 Dec 2010
Can only echo what's been said already. This is a wondefully over-specified book, the quality is astounding. Lovely to be able to see actual-size reproductions of covers and art. Expensive yes, but very much worth the money!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super in every sense 2 Feb 2011
By GordonD
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is not a book to carry around to read at odd moments. This is not a book to carry anywhere if you can avoid it - it weighs around seven kilograms (just checked it on the bathroom scales). Fortunately it comes in its own carrying case, which is itself the size of the average briefcase!

The book itself is beautiful, a fitting tribute to seventy-five years of DC's output. The text is divided into six chapters: pre-1938 (referred to as 'The Stone Age') plus the Golden, Silver, Bronze, Dark and Modern Ages. A nice touch is that each chapter is introduced by a two-page spread in metallic-effect paper of the appropriate colour. The other pages are on high-quality cartridge paper, which is why the book is so bulky. This brings out the gorgeous illustrations to their best effect - old covers and panels from stories, both classic and obscure, are reproduced, many larger than the originals so all the detail can be seen. In addition, there are numerous extracts from the records kept by the late, great Julius Schwartz - another long-time editor at DC - showing what was going on behind the scenes in the creation of the classic stories.

The text is by Paul Levitz, who has been with DC for over thirty-five years, as writer, editor and (from 2002 to 2009) president, so he knows the company inside-out and it shows here.

Also - the foldouts. Each chapter has one or more four-page foldouts showing the timeline of the period in question, chronicling events both within the company and in the outside world, showing how events influenced what appeared in the comics.

All in all, this is a book that will be of interest to anybody who loves comics. It's pricey, yes, but the quality cannot be faulted and as you leaf through its 700-odd pages you will be satisfied it's worth the money.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Christmas present
I bought this as a Christmas present for my husband and he loves it. My only disappointment was the box, it was described as 'slightly damaged' but I would have said it was a bit... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Julie Beckwith
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic comic book !!!
This is one of the best history book i ever have seen and read. Quality of the book is the best i have ever seen. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Orjan W
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book
Stunning book, well thought out and payed out, made fantastic gift for comics lover, arrived on time and beautifully presented
Published 23 months ago by B
5.0 out of 5 stars wow!
If u are a marvel fan than this book for you. Brilliant illustration.The book is very large but great to keep.
Published on 4 Nov 2011 by MartialArtsHipHopDude
5.0 out of 5 stars If there is a bigger better book on DC I have never seen it.
This is a brute of a book. Its enormous and to be frank it needs to be.

I just love it. Cover DC from day one and it also covers other comics including the Beano. Read more
Published on 22 Sep 2011 by Mr. G. Bridgeman-clarke
5.0 out of 5 stars super
This book offers a thorough historical background of american comics, from the first prot comics to the varying styles of present day comics
full taschen quality
Published on 29 Aug 2011 by P. Heesterbeek
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for comic fans
This book is enormous. It is fantastic. If you like the look of it from the picture and the description then you should get it because the actual book is far better than you can... Read more
Published on 4 Aug 2011 by Lotta
5.0 out of 5 stars DC Massive
It's huge, it's big, it's Superman! I wasn't disappointed by this new Taschen phenomenon, as the written words match the pictures in this larger-than-life extravaganza about the DC... Read more
Published on 29 Jun 2011 by O. Cachin
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