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Comic Books 101 [Paperback]

Scott Tipton Chris Ryall

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Price: £15.12 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

26 Jun 2009
Comic books have more than sixty years of history, and this easy-to-follow resource is the key to increasing your knowledge and enjoyment of the myriad of comic-based properties out today. From the comic book's humble beginnings, through the golden and silver ages, all the way to today's Hollywood blockbuster comic-based movies, this fun guide gives readers at any level everything they want to know.

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Product Description

About the Author

Chris Ryall is publisher and editor-in-chief of IDW, a San Diegobased comic book publisher. He's written dozens of comics and was nominated for the Eisner Award for Best Short Story in 2006. He writes a weekly column for www.comics101.com. Scott Tipton, founder and editor-in-chief of comics101.com, writes the weekly column of the same name, the most highly trafficked on the site.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Primer for the Curious, a Fun Read for the Fan 7 Jun 2009
By Timothy P. Young - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Scott Tipton and Chris Ryall, two fans who ended up working in the industry (like so many other comic writers and artists) have teamed up to bring us the non-definitive work on one of America's great contributions to world culture, the comic book.

Intended more as a primer than anything else, Comic Books 101 takes us through an overview of the history of the industry, walks us through the typical artistic comic book production process, and gives us a solid, if occasionally too brief, background on the major characters, authors, and players of the past 60 years. Yes, there are Marvel and DC, Spiderman, Iron Man, Superman and Batman, the JLA and the Avengers, Jack Kirby, George Perez, Alan Moore, and a whole bunch of other historical bits.

Tipton and Ryall tend to keep things light and not overly pedantic, not being afraid to share opinions and personal recollections via sidebars or in-text mentions (when discussing the state of DC's hero Green Lantern, they end the chapter by stating things are "in our humble estimation...as it should be."). This chattiness is both the weakness and the strength of the book. On one hand, the personal nature of the essays detracts from a more objective overview of certain subjects and might put off the hardcore fan wanting to know more about the Blackhawks or Nick Fury.* On the other hand, the writing style is perfect for engaging the casual fan or the true neophyte. Throughout Comics 101, the overall tone lets the reader know that these are two guys who truly love comics, and want to share that love with the rest of the world.

A particularly moving moment comes in the profile of a Marvel editor named Mark Gruenwald, responsible for much of Marvel's late 80s-early 90's success: rather than just giving us a capsule review of his importance, Tipton gives us a personal essay about Gruenwald, of how they met, and the importance he had not only within the industry, but in nurturing fans. Tipton's testimonial gives us a brief portrait of a man who knew how important the reader is to the medium, and it results in a meaningful, moving essay.

In addition to providing a safe, undaunting haven for the curious, Ryall and Tipton outdo themselves by providing a list of recommended reading--from graphic novels to deeper histories of comics in general. They break it down by character, company, and creator, and it's possibly the most valuable resource one could have for diving into the morass of comicdom, with its 60-plus year history and ever-changing emphases.

In many ways, this work, while not definitive, is definitely the best starting point I've ever been fortunate to read. The authors make the convoluted world of comics incredibly accessible, and for that, I salute them.

Comic Books 101 is highly recommended.

*Slight Disclaimer--I'm a long-time reader and (very)occasionally correspond with both authors via Tipton's site, and he's covered both the Blackhawks and Nick Fury in much greater depth in his weekly column.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good solid book. 22 Jun 2009
By Two readers - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What a good book. On the way from the mailbox, I flipped through it and found a whole bunch of "No kidding, I didn't know that" factoids, and I have been reading comics for 35 years now. Written by fans, but in no means fannish, this is a book that the old jaded collector and the non comic reader will enjoy.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun even if you aren't a major comic fan. 21 July 2009
By Esther Schindler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I bought a copy of this book for a teenage friend who is becoming a VERY good comic artist. I figured it would help her to have a definitive history of the field. I read through most of the book before wrapping it (one benefit of giving books as gifts--nobody knows you sampled the goods!) and truthfully, I sort of wish I wasn't giving the book away. Not because it isn't good, but because it is SO good.

I'm not a big comics fan. I like them, but I don't get excited about 'em. However, this book is just loads of fun even for someone who reads comic strips in a casual way. I really enjoyed the history of the Superman comic, such as learning how his parents' first names changed over time, or his gradual acquisition of various superpowers. I never followed Wonder Woman (sorry, fans!), so I liked the overview of her backstory. I chuckled at the bio of Stan Lee and what he accomplished. And I loved looking at all the photos of comic book covers, especially since I remember how much trouble my brother got for owning some of these in the 50s. ("They'll rot your brain!" my parents declared.)

As a result, I'm likely to buy another copy of this book to give as a holiday gift. Maybe a few.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comic Fan Nirvana 28 May 2009
By Joe L - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I've been a fan of the Comics101 website for a long time. Been a comic fan even longer, going back to the early 70's when I was just learning to read. Scott and Chris are my people. When it comes to a comic book trivia throw down, unless your name is Mark Waid, I think I have a chance. Got Comics101 the book in the mail yesterday and read through it last night. Great book. They did recycle some of the old posts, but expanded them with new info and more history. Learned some stuff I didn't know. Good looking book, lots of classic panels and covers, plus some original art. Touched on some of the more contentious issues in Comic Book history without taking sides. If you love comics, you should take a look.
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive overview 23 Mar 2013
By Evan - Published on Amazon.com
This book was awesome! It covers DC, Marvel, Disney, and all of the major independent comicbook companies, the best graphic novels, recommended reading, bios of creators, opinion, facts, and even reviews of every comicbook movie and TV show up to 2008! There's an introduction by Stan Lee, and a great epilogue that nicely rounds off the book. It's a great book for lifelong comics lovers AND newbies to the comicbook world. An absolute must-have for anyone and everyone interested in comics.
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