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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And so I came back for more...
On the strength and the quality of the Silver Age book (also reviewed), I have also purchased the Golden Age book, and not been disappointed. I am an unashamed Sixties kid where TV, music, and comics are concerned, and consider the 1960s to be the true Golden Age as the term is generally used, but the period covered here was a delightfully innocent and naive one (I love...
Published 16 months ago by Jon Abbott

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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Selective?
Not quite what I'd hoped for, but then I'm not a nerdy collector, which may be who this is aimed at. Almost too much material without the sense of an organising brain behind it. But lots of pics and nice covers.
Published 23 months ago by vidanjules


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And so I came back for more..., 12 Oct. 2013
This review is from: The Golden Age of DC Comics (Hardcover)
On the strength and the quality of the Silver Age book (also reviewed), I have also purchased the Golden Age book, and not been disappointed. I am an unashamed Sixties kid where TV, music, and comics are concerned, and consider the 1960s to be the true Golden Age as the term is generally used, but the period covered here was a delightfully innocent and naive one (I love the picture of Bruce and Dick waking up in a double bed, and the glorious unintended symbolism in the picture of Batman's wedding), and the artwork and covers in particular are magical. Only the equally innocent wartime-provoked racial stereotypes and a giant skip full of what must surely be a million dollars worth of comics ready for the book burning remind us of the darker side of the period. There are numerous mouth-watering photographs of ancient newsstands crammed with comics.

It's very important to make the point that this is a visual history, and the price paid for an abundance of wonderful visuals is always the depth of the verbal history. As such, it deserves its five stars for being exactly what it aims to be, a flawlessly produced nostalgic wallow, but as another reviewer points out, and others surely will, the text is very carefully and cautiously written. It's not so much a question of facts not being correct, as a matter of what is expediently glossed over, or left out. This is not the place for airing Seigel and Schuster's trials, the fun facts behind the creator of Wonder Woman (presented here as a prescient early example of feminism rather than tokenism or fetishism!), or whose great mind Batman and Robin and the Joker came from, as this information is freely and widely available elsewhere, but the inclusion of Mad magazine and particularly Captain Marvel, among other later acquisitions without clarification is slightly mendacious, particularly in the case of the latter.

The harsh reality of today's media world and the childish ultra-sensitivity of the massive corporations who control our pop culture treasures, is that you either get no-holds-barred freedom of speech (within the parameters of the law) and limited visual illustrations, or you get access to the files and behave yourself (see also the recent exquisite Roger Corman coffee-table book for some fancy footwork around the facts). There is room for both approaches, and the readership is free not only to choose, but also to choose both. We need both.

Of many options of the former, I wholeheartedly recommend the almost literally unputdownable Men of Tomorrow, by Gerard Jones, one of the finest books on popular culture I have ever read, and a gripping fully detailed history of the birth of DC and Marvel that is on a par with Peter Guralnick's Elvis, Ian MacDonald's Beatles, and David Kalat's Godzilla histories. With this project, Levitz has gone as far as he is able, and succeeded magnificently in producing what he intended. All the essential and expected images are here, plus a few pleasant surprises. My only very minor quibble is that the Columbia serials and the Superman TV series didn't get the same lavish treatment as the magnificent Adam West Batman show did in the Silver Age volume (despite a lovely picture of George Reeves outside his dressing room). Otherwise, this volume might be the slightly more focussed of the two.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A graphic history that's stronger on graphics than history, 12 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: The Golden Age of DC Comics (Hardcover)
This book is "expanded" from Levitz's monumental "75 Years Of DC Comics", which came out in 2010. The older book took about 700 pages to tell the entire history of DC Comics; this one takes about 400 to tell the story up till 1955. In comparison with the earlier work, this one is about half the page size, and doesn't come in its own carrying case, which is good, as it means you don't need the strength of Superman to lift it or the brains of Batman to open the damn thing.

It sets out to be an essentially visual history of DC in the so-called Golden Age (which rarely seems all that golden to anyone who wasn't around at the time) and it meets its objectives with massive style and aplomb. The large pages (about the size of a decent laptop screen) and excellent paper quality do full justice to the reproductions of old comic covers and interior art, to say nothing of fascinating stuff like artists' sketches, the lowdown on how colour "separations" were done, archive photos and memorabilia. For any comics history buff, this is heady, addictive stuff and completely absorbing. The focus is, unsurprisingly, on the superheroes, and particularly on Supes and Bats, but there's lots of stuff on all the other popular genres that thrived in the Golden Age.

As a visual history, there are a couple of minor failings. Sections on key artists fail to provide information on why they're important, and a couple of very important artists (Toth, Meskin) who should be singled out in this way are largely overlooked. Also, some of the labels and legends explaining the illustrations are laid out in a confusing manner. And it's a bit low on the wider historical context that's promised in the introduction. These are small quibbles, though: in purely visual terms, this is a gloriously successful book.

As history, though, it's a bit wobbly. Unlike the 2010 book, which mixed narrative with illustration throughout, this one opts for a condensed narrative at the beginning, and quickly leaves it behind to concentrate on pictures with brief explanatory captions. That's fine as far as it goes, but it's rather disingenuous overall. Given that this is an official history from a very senior company insider, no-one should be expecting an in-depth analysis of DC's business ethics and treatment of creative staff over the decades, but a casual reader could easily get the impression that DC was the original publisher of Mad, the Spirit, and Plastic Man, all of which are covered extensively here. There's also quite a bit on the original Captain Marvel, but you have to look pretty hard to find out that was published by Fawcett Comics, let alone that DC pretty much drove Fawcett out of business. While subsequent corporate deals meant that DC did end up with the rights to most of these characters, it's at best wooly and at worst dishonest to give the impression that the original works of Eisner, Beck, Cole and Kurtzman are part of the history of DC as it happened. They're not, and the book's vagueness on the matter is ever so slightly distasteful.

If the book had been slightly more forthright about DC's relationships with other publishers and creators, this would have been a no-questions-asked five star review, and even with the misgivings I've noted, I'd give four and a half if I could. Because, all objections notwithstanding, this is ultimately a visually glorious book, and for those reasons alone it's a delight to look at, ponder over, and wander through. Four follow-ups are planned, covering the Silver, Bronze, Dark and Modern Ages of DC. I couldn't care less about the last two, but sign me up now for the Silver and Bronze books. But let's hope the history is a bit more forthright.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A treasure trove of Golden Age art and illustrations, 31 May 2014
By 
Mr. Mice Guy (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Golden Age of DC Comics (Hardcover)
This is a ‘coffee table’ book – one that you need to rest on a small table to read comfortably (or screw four legs on to make a coffee-table). It is primarily a collection of comic-book covers, comics’ pages and other illustrations and photographs from and about the period 1935-56 – the Golden Age of comic books.

The Contents are –
P006: Interview with Joe Kubert by Paul Levitz
P014: A Super Hero is Born
P054: The Golden Age
P412: Index
P414: Bibliography
P415: Credits
P416: Acknowledgements

Joe Kubert was one of the few DC Comics’ Golden Age artists still active (at the time of publication). The next chapter is a short overview of the origins and early days of comics and comic books – particularly DC Comics, which includes early sketches of the proposed Superman character by Siegel and Shuster, who also appear to have coined the term ‘Super Hero’. The final and main section is a collection of annotated illustration of Golden Age comics, photographs and artefacts – but primarily comics.

If you are a fan of the early comic books, this will be an interesting volume to look through. My first exposure to the Golden Age came in the 1960s when Julius Schwartz began to reintroduce the Golden Age DC heroes in the Flash, with the pretext that they were living on a parallel-world to the modern DC heroes. I was fascinated by them, and that led to my life-long interest in this period of comics.

My favourite illustration – Aquaman throwing a polar bear at seal-poachers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars coffee table comics history!, 14 July 2013
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This review is from: The Golden Age of DC Comics (Hardcover)
A nice coffee table book .Unusually you learn the history from the captions to the illustrations rather than plain text.A must-have for nostalgia fans.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One for your library, 18 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: The Golden Age of DC Comics (Hardcover)
I started buying DC comics in the Silver Age, which is post 1956, but have always been interested in what went on before. This is a fabulous book, of the highest quality, with superb examples of the comic world from 1935 to 1956. Yes, some of the art work may seem crude by today's standards, but it's fascinating to see the roots of the modern comic world, and to learn about the pioneers in this field. Any serious fan of comics should have a copy of this book - it's an invaluable reference guide to a fascinating period in comic book history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the Book to Have, 24 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: The Golden Age of DC Comics (Hardcover)
Where else can you read all those old stories about your favourite hero

Book is very big for the Home Library Shelf and now is displayed elsewhere
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Golden age of DC Comics, 17 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: The Golden Age of DC Comics (Hardcover)
Good quality book detailing the history of the Golden age, at a very reasonable price. A good starting point for anyone interested in this comic period.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DC Begins, 20 Mar. 2013
By 
Mr. S. Wwilkinson "Steve" (Hull, Uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Golden Age of DC Comics (Hardcover)
I already have DC's 75 Years of comics and was hoping for something a bit different, I was a bit disappointed to see however the similarities between this and the 75 Years book. I sincerely hope Taschen isn't trying to pull a fast one and simply split that mighty tome into various parts and re-issue under a different title.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Super Book for a Super Collection, 29 July 2013
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Golden Age of DC Comics (Hardcover)
The early days of DC and their creation of much loved characters comes to the fore in a solid title that not only brings wonderful artwork to the fore but profiles and interviews with those behind the scenes. The book is informative and whilst I'm not as up on a lot of the characters within as perhaps I should be, I got to see a lot of the original costumes that occasionally make an appearance in today's spin offs.

The book is written in a wonderful style with the author bringing a clear love of the subject matter to the fore but in such a way that its not an infodump but includes wonderful side anecdotes. Add to the mix a whole host of material that you may be unfamiliar with alongside the history and all round it's a title that I really have loved reading through. Definitely something that's going to be part of the pride of my graphic novel collection.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 9 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: The Golden Age of DC Comics (Hardcover)
Again excellent
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The Golden Age of DC Comics
The Golden Age of DC Comics by Paul Levitz (Hardcover - 10 Feb. 2013)
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