By Robert C. Harvey
(author of The Art of the Funnies)
The Art of the Comic Book is a fascinating demonstration of how
comics work--how the medium functions as dramatic narrative and how
it achieves its special effects. Author R. C. Harvey
deploys again the methods of analysis and discussion that made his earlier
work, The Art of the
Funnies, a best seller about newspaper comic strips. In this sequel,
he shows how the comic
book grew out of the comic strip and developed its own aesthetic at
the hands of such creative
cartooning giants as--
. Jack Kirby (Captain America, the Fantastic Four)
. Will Eisner (The Spirit, Contract with God)
. Harvey Kurtzman (Two Fisted Tales, Mad)
. Robert Crumb (Zap Comix, Mr. Natural, Fritz
. Frank Miller (Batman: The Dark Knight, Sin
Packed with scores of illustrations that provide vivid
examples of each work discussed, The Art
of the Comic Book concludes its historical examination by proclaiming
the dawn of a new
golden age of comics, citing as evidence the creations of such contemporary
cartoonists as Art
Spiegelman (Pulitzer award-winning Maus), Scott McCloud (the insightful
Comics), Harvey Pekar (Our Cancer Year), and others. A cartoonist
himself (that's his self-
portrait above), Harvey brings the insights of the craft to his analysis.
As he shows how comic books can be discussed and evaluated, Harvey answers
many of the
industry's tantalyzing questions:
. Who created the Silver Age Marvel Universe--Stan
Lee or Jack Kirby?
. What rejected newspaper comic strip virtually created the comic
. Why are superheroes so prevalent in comic books?
. How did the financial realities of comic book publication derive
newspaper comic strip syndicate reprint policies?
. In what way does Art Spiegelman's Maus tread on dangerously
. Why doesn't the aesthetic for movies apply to comics?
. What was the first underground comic book and who published it?
If you liked The Art of the Funnies, you'll want
to get the rest of the story in The Art of the Comic Book. And
if you haven't ordered The Art of the Funnies yet, you'll want
to order it at the same time as you order The Art of the Comic Book
so you can get the whole story in one two-volume set.
Both volumes are available from the University Press of Mississippi (singly or in quantity for
discount): 3825 Ridgewood Rd., Jackson, MS 39211-6492; or Toll Free