There are comic book readers and then there are 'Comic Book Readers!"
I consider myself the later.
I am a serious collector of and historian of comic books in the United States. I've been collecting since I was five years old (I'm 62 now) and I think I know a thing or two about comic books, their writers, artists, publishers and history.
Still, one is never too old to learn new things and comic book history and facts are no exceptions. Finding new and interesting commentaries, articles and books about comic books is difficult.
Unfortunately many new books are all fluff and stuffing. Not so the new 'The Ages Of..' series of books from McFarland & Company, Inc.
I got really excited when I saw the various titles on McFarlane's website. Finally, some serious discussions about comic books or as I refer to them as 'sequential art.'
Of the series I have in my comic book ink discolored fingers are five 'Essays on the (insert name here) in Changing Times.' They include Iron Man, Wonder Woman, The Avengers, The X-Men and Superman. An Incredible Hulk volume is also available. All are edited by Joseph J. Darowski.
Each title goes into extensive detail about the individual characters starting from their origins and their transition and evolution through the decades.
Discover how each character has changed to fit the times and reflects the events in each decade. More than simple history essay collections the books delve into the personalities, supporting casts, locales and every other facet of each character.
Each book makes for fascinating reading and (SURPRISE!) I learned a lot. Imagine that!
Kristen L. Geaman edits a collecting of essays about Dick Grayson, Boy Wonder as his years as Robin and Nightwing and his long association with Batman.
This book gets into the nitty gritty of what makes the Boy Wonder tick and how he has changed over the years and what influences caused that change.
The book focuses entirely on the original kid sidekick and brings to light many surprising and little know facts.
Another set of critical essays are contained in 'Grant Morrison and the Superhero Renaissance' edited by Darragh Greene and Kate Roddy.
Long known for his innovative and groundbreaking comic book stories, Morrison's long and impressive list of works are analyzed and taken apart piece by piece by a number of essayists.
Discover how Morrison's 'unique' take on the world of comic books and the characters that inhabit them has successfully transformed and changed the industry for good.
Originally one of DC Comics' original 'British Isles' imports' Morrison has brought more maturity and richer stories to the medium of comic books that were long considered juvenile.