01/10/2010. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
DC Comics: The 75th Anniversary Poster Book by Robert Schnakenberg. pub: Quirk Books. 208 page very large softcover. Price: GBP24.99 (UK), $40.00 (US). ISBN: 978-1-59474-462-4.
check out websites: www.quirkbooks.com, www.dccomics.com and www.irreference.com
This really is a big book. I’m wondering how many people will buy it and pluck the posters out and use it in the manner it was intended. You certainly aren’t going to like all the pictures here in. Some of them, frankly, you’ll wonder why they were included in the first place. It’s understandable that all first appearances of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman should be here as they are significant history but when title like ‘Angel And The Ape’, ‘Leave It To Blinky’,’Mr. District Attorney’ and ‘Prez’, not to mention romance titles like ‘Heart Throb’, ‘Girls’ Romances’ and Girl’s Love Stories’ are included, one has to question who the target audience is. They might be part of DC’s history but would you want to have these on your wall other than for dart practice?? Don’t forget to put some cork behind them if you choose that option cos it messes up a good wall otherwise.
As it is a poster book, be careful of the perforations, the text for each comicbook cover is on the back of each page. These also feature other covers that were influenced by such a source and it’s a shame that a smaller picture of the feature cover isn’t with the text if for no other reason than for you to turn back and forth having a look at it.
In many respects, this book should be treated as a history and evolution of DC Comics over the years as it highlights characters, stories and artists. Even with a quick scan, even the most novice amongst you will realise how big an influence Neal Adams, Brian Bolland and Alex Ross had with their covers standing positively out and have a good representation here. Comicbook covers depends a lot on strong composition as much as good art and having both together is always a bonus which is why so much care is put into them these days as everything is sold based on cover value.
I think this book will sell regardless of whether it was a poster book or not. Comicbook fans always like reference books showing the art and it’s rare to have them at nearly a quarter size smaller than they were originally drawn at than the usual third smaller. Some of them also show the wear and tear of their age but it’s like vinyl records, you like to know that they were real with the crackles. I’m sure there will be debates as to which covers should have been included but you’ll have to decide that for yourself when you get this book.
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