Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Comic Book History of Comics #2

   If you're a fan of comics, and you have any interest in the history of the business, then you really should be reading this series.

   It sounds like a scholarly treatise - and it does have plenty of educational content (think goodness) - but it hits the historic high points, and it's a lot of fun.

   The first issue covered the earliest years of comics, from their creation to the introduction of super-heroes.

   And that's where this issue picks up, covering the introduction of Superman and the effect that character's success had on the industry.

   The focus isn't just on the characters, but also on the people behind the scenes who helped craft the industry, by creating comic book companies and writing and drawing the four-color adventures.

   It's all written with intelligence and great humor by Fred Van Lente, and the art by Ryan Dunlavey is loaded with comic (and cosmic) energy.

   It must be a real challenge to recap comic history without actually depicting the characters (no doubt there are legal issues making it difficult), but they get around it via clever visuals, so you're not missing a thing.

   It's lots of fun - and you just might learn something!

Grade: A-


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