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75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking Hardcover – 25 Oct 2010


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Hardcover, 25 Oct 2010
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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: 31.8 x 8.9 x 46.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 380,492 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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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Robin Benson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 Nov. 2010
Format: Hardcover
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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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Ian Williams TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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 Amazon.com 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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. Taylor on 15 Feb. 2011
Format: Hardcover
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Pemberton on 28 Jun. 2011
Format: Hardcover
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 By Mr. Lee Banyard on 22 Dec. 2010
Format: Hardcover
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 By GordonD on 2 Feb. 2011
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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