RICH REVIEWS: The Silver Age of Comic Book Art
Title: The Silver Age of Comic Book Art (Hardcover)
Publisher: Archway Publishing
Written & Designed by: Arlen Schumer
Price: $ 49.99 US
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Website: www.silverageofcomicbookart.com , www.arlenschumer.com ,www.archwaypublishing.com
Comments: As soon as you hold this book in your hands you will be impressed. The cover is an amazing sight with many super-heroes pictured on it in gorgeous art. They are worked into the letters in the title which works so beautifully to catch your eye. Do not miss out on looking under the cover jacket, stunning wraparound art greets you there.
This book is filled to bursting with gorgeous art from the 1960’s. All the DC and Marvel characters are done by masters of the art form.
As you read the introduction by Arlen Schumer it is easy to see he really does have a true love for this medium.
We see comics do mirror life. In the sixties comics started to be more realistically based. Super-heroes could be real people to.
Each page is just filled with art. All the super-heroes from the sixties if you grew up during that time are here waiting for you.
Carmine Infantino was an innovator. He worked on the Flash, Adam Strange and Batman among others. You will be blown away as you marvel at his art on super-heroes. He was truly amazing at the art form of illustration.
Infantino created the super-hero Captain Whiz and when he went to work on the Flash he used any of this ideas from Captain Whiz. Captain Whiz became the Silver Age Flash.
Infantino also designed the Flash to be a runner with a lean body and not all muscular. He runs so it fit the character.
As you read about the Flash you will be entertained and informed. You will learn more than you knew before. The pictures will keep you focused on the pages and the writing will have you wanting to learn more about each of these wondrous characters.
His Adam Strange was also illustrated as fast. He was also shown not as much as a hero but more as an adventurer.
In 1964 Infantino started drawing Batman. He even redesigned Batman’s costume.
He worked on other super-heroes as well such as Elongated Man and Deadman. He had a way of treating each superhero in a different way that worked for him.
Steve Ditko co-created Spider-Man with Stan Lee. He did have a great imagination. He created other super-heroes as well. Spider-Man was unlike any other super-hero when he was created. Ditko made him into who he is. He did know how to draw Spider-Man in action poses.
Than there was Dr. Strange. He was different. The backgrounds he drew are amazing. They are out of this world literally. He used his own individual style no one else was like him.
He worked on revamping Blue Beetle and created the Creeper and Hawk and Dove, the Question. The Creeper might have been based slightly on Spider-Man just with a more scary side to him.
Steve Ditko was a great artist.
Seven decades Jack “King” Kirby has spent in comics. Jack along with Stan Lee created the Fantastic Four among others. Here we get the dynamics of the Fantastic Four explained. Plus of course more wonderful art. Your eyes will thank you for looking through this book. It is unlikely you have ever seen this much great art in one book.
The Hulk was a Super-Frankenstein creature. Thor, Captain America Jack knew how to draw these characters to best effect and so that their images immediately catch your eye.
Kirby would draw some wide expansive scenery. He included lots of detail as well and realism. Seeing his art it is easy to understand how he got the name “King”. His art is so expansive. It is literally mind blowing.
He started out on Green Lantern and the Atom. While working on these two Gil did work on improving his art a lot. He did draw some great action poses and scenes. Gil looked up to Jack Kirby and tried using him as a guide in his own art.
Gil did work on both Dc and Marvel characters such as Green Lantern, Atom, Captain America, Captain Action and Captain Marvel. He drew his characters stunning poses that were inspiring.
He did work on war comics and than went on to super-hero one such as Hawkman. He had a distinctive style all his own.
Sgt. Rock he was a illustrated by Joe to show a man of duty and responsibility in a war he did not want to be in. Rock did not wear a super-hero uniform but he was easy to recognize. Enemy Ace was different as he was the enemy. Joe did put a lot of detail into his art on him. He was drawn to show his personality as not just the enemy but also a man.
Joe Kubert has a style that anyone in comics can easily recognize. This book barely touches on just how great this man, this artist was.
Gene Colan made Iron Man human. He added emotions to his iron mask. He worked on Sub-Mariner, Iron Man, Daredevil adding his own unique style to them. Drawing Daredevil he really knew how to give him a acrobatic look. He also worked on Dr. Strange and drew him in strange panels. Strange was done to show he lived and dealt with strange and weird dimensions. Gene using his art brought this to the forefront.
Nick Fury was one character Jim Steranko illustrated and did it well. He gave the scenes a crowded look without them actually being crowded. They were exciting. Jim drew Nick Fury in very dynamic poses.
Jim also worked on Captain America. He loved the character and you can see that in his art. His art caught your attention and held it.
Neal Addams was right between the Silver Age and the Modern Age.
He worked on Deadman and did wonderful work. His art conveyed so much emotion.
Neil at Marvel was working on the X-Men. He created Havok to add to the team. The black outfit looked great visually.
Batman Neil decided needed to look more like a bat. This was a great call and worked out well. He is after all a creature of the night as is the bat. He created so much.
Arlen Schumer does provide insightful comments into all of these wonderful artists. The way Arlen replaces the actual wording in word balloons from what it was originally to his own words makes a great way to present it, it is almost as if the actual characters are talking to you.
All these artists mentioned in this book and the art of theirs shown here in will leave you in amazement. There are others briefly mentioned such as: Murphy Anderson, Wood, John Buscema, Nick Cardy and Curt Swan.
Arlen was inspired through comics such as Superman and so were so many others. Comic books are a medium all their own and they deserve as much respect as any other if not more so.