Wednesday, November 7, 2012

10 Great Reference Works on Comics

There’s at least one I’ll save for a second round because I’m blanking on the name and can’t find my copy.  Apologies for the obvious superhero bias. It just happens to be my leaning.  There will be more non-superhero works when I get around to part 2.

  1. Adult Comics: An Introduction (Roger Sabin): History of comics that can be enjoyed by adults (note: adult in this instance refers to reader age and not pornography)
  2. The All-Star Companion (Roy Thomas; 4 volumes): Looks at All Star Comics (Justice Society) and related titles. Roy Thomas includes extensive notes on those titles he wrote
  3. Comic Creators on Spider-Man (Tom DeFalco): Former Spider-Man writer DeFalco interviews various writers and artists on what it was like to write the character
  4. Eisner/Miller (Will Wisner, Frank Miller, Charles Brownstein): A book length conversation between two comic giants; probably Eisner’s last interview
  5. The Encyclopedia of Comic Book Heroes (Michael Fleisher; 3 volumes): Extensive coverage of Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman respectively, from the 1930s to the 1960s
  6. The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe hardcovers (14 volumes): Extensive biographical information on the characters, teams, etc. of the Marvel Universe
  7. The Slings and Arrows Guide to Comics (Frank Plowright, editor; two editions): Extensive, often satirical reviews of comic books available in the Unted States (including some published overseas)
  8. Stan Lee: Conversations (Jeff McLaughlin, editor): Collects various interviews with Stan Lee over the decades, thus allowing for a multi-sided look at the popular yet controversial figure
  9. Tales to Astonish (Ronin Ro): Biography of Jack Kirby, with particular emphasis on his relationship with Marvel
  10. The X-Men Companion (Peter Sanderson, editor; 2 volumes): Interviews with X-Men creators published shortly after John Byrne left X-Men; as such the two books are probably the most comprehensive look at the X-Men’s greatest period

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