View Full Version : Education of a comic fan... favorite books?
07-23-2008, 09:04 AM
I've gathered a few of the 'Essential' series over the past few years but still feel like there are a lot of gaps. Marvel has any number of histories, commentaries, etc. but I don't have endless streams of funding or time (too bad).
So..... if you had to highlight a few of your favorite books on Marvel and Marvel character history, what would they be?
07-23-2008, 02:21 PM
Stan Lee's autobiography EXCELSIOR! is worth reading first, just to get a sense of the "official" version of how the characters were created from a guy that was responsible for most of it. Good to read so when other people say "nu-uh, it happened like THIS," you have some context for what they're responding to.
There was one absolutely fantastic interview book done in the past few years about FANTASTIC FOUR, that had everybody that ever worked on it. It even included Stan Lee's original proposal for the series (which was very different; it had the Thing almost as a Sub-Mariner misanthrope that hated the rest of the team and was attracted to Susan Storm) and interviews with Roy Thomas, where Roy the Boy talked about putting Luke Cage on the team and what he considered his greatest achievement on the title, which is pretty telling: bringing back the Impossible Man. (Ugh!)
One book to avoid is Bradford Wright's COMIC BOOK NATION. A lot of the time when reading it, I got a sense this guy just hadn't read the books he was talking about. For instance, when he got onto the subject of Englehart's famous "Man Without a Country" story, he talked about it as if it was a dark, gritty espionage story, instead of what it was: an adventure story that had supervillains with ray guns powered by mutant brainwaves, which made the issue's grounding in real-world politics all the more shocking and surprising.
07-25-2008, 05:56 AM
Stan Lee's autobiography EXCELSIOR! is worth reading first, just to get a sense of the "official" version of how the characters were created from a guy that was responsible for most of it.
Thanks for the response. I clearly don't have the slightest clue how to ask a question properly (always ultra-short threads or no response) so I'm even more thankful you took the time to respond. I will act on your recommendations today.
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