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75 Years Of DC Comics: The Art Of Modern Mythmaking Hardcover – November 18, 2010

58 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paul Levitz is a comic book fan who has worked as editor/publisher of The Comic Reader, editor of the Batman titles and others, writer of more than 300 stories including an acclaimed run on Legion of Super-Heroes and a DC Comics executive, finishing his 38-year stint with the company as President and Publisher. He returned to writing in 2010 with a new series of Legion stories and other projects.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 720 pages
  • Publisher: Taschen America; 2nd edition (November 18, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 383651981X
  • ISBN-13: 978-3836519816
  • Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 3.5 x 18.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 16.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #634,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Paul Levitz was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1956, and entered the comics industry in 1971 as editor/publisher of The Comic Reader, the first mass-circulation fanzine devoted to comics news. He continued to publish TCR for three years, winning two consecutive annual Comic Art Fan Awards for Best Fanzine. His other fan activities included editing the program books for several of Phil Seuling's legendary New York Comic Art Conventions,. He received Comic-con International's Inkpot Award in 2002, the prestigious Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award in 2008, and the Comics industry Appreciation Award from ComicsPro (the trade association of comic shop retailers) in 2010. Levitz also serves on the board of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

Levitz is primarily known for his work for DC Comics, where he has written most of their classic characters including the Justice Society, Superman in both comics and the newspaper strip, and an acclaimed run on The Legion of Super-Heroes, a series he's recently returned to write. Readers of The Buyers' Guide voted his Legion: The Great Darkness Saga one of the 20 best comic stories of the last century, and visitors to the site selected the same story as #11 of the Top 100 Comic Book Stories of All Time. DC Comics has just issued a new hardcover edition of Legion: The Great Darkness Saga, which made the New York Times' Graphic Books Bestseller List.

Cumulatively, Levitz has written over 300 stories with sales of over 25 million copies, and translations into over 20 languages. As a DC staffer from 1973, Levitz was an assistant editor, the company's youngest editor ever, and in a series of business capacities, became Executive Vice President & Publisher in 1989 and then served as President & Publisher from 2002-2009. He continues as a Contributing Editor, but is now concentrating on his writing.

His current writing projects include Taschen's 75 YEARS OF DC COMICS: THE ART OF MODERN MYTHMAKING, which the LA Times praised for "its colossal ambitions, insights and collected rarities" and the NY Times called "richly conceived history."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

103 of 105 people found the following review helpful By Veese on November 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Over the past several decades, my bookshelf has filled up with publications that cover the long history of the Comic Book and the big two publishers. This newest tribute to the history of DC Comics, '75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking', quite literally, crushes them all. It will also crush your lap and test your strength if you try to hold it up to read it! This tomb is MASSIVE! Nearly sixteen inches tall, 12 inches wide, 3 inches thick and weighs a metric ton! Well, perhaps not quite that much but it will feel like it after holding it for a short period of time!

The hardcover comes shrink-wrapped in a sturdy cardboard slipcase, matching the artwork on the wraparound cover. The box even conveniently comes with a side handle. Although you will need both hands to carry this monster around.

Yes, this is a very pricey book. As one who has a collection of like publications, I can assure you this book is worth every penny. Inside, the rarity of images and artwork along with the high production values, the quality of the print and page stock is well above the norm. For example, for each era of comic history (The Golden Age, Silver Age, Bronze Age, etc), that chapter begins with a two page spread highlighting the name of the era with thick, high gloss, corresponding color foil pages. Each era also includes a four page, pull-open timeline highlighting key events in both the fictional DC Comic universe and the real world of the comic book industry.

The author, Paul Levitz, a man who has spent his entire adult life working for the company, first as a young freelance writer in the 1970s, then later as publisher until 2010, was the right choice to chronicle this retrospective. If he had not seen it all, he certainly heard it all.
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63 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Tome Raider VINE VOICE on November 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Let me start off by disclosing that I'm really more of a book collector than a comics guy. Exploring the world of comics is something I look forward to doing in the future, but right now I really don't know much. I do know spectacular books, however, and this book is clearly that. This is not just huge, it is sophisticated in a dozen other ways. Let me just run through a quick list of superlatives here:

1) This is a cloth-covered hardback. Cloth is harder and harder to get nowadays, and it really harkens back to the days of better book binding. This book is so massive you will need to assure that it is properly supported while you are perusing it, but the book meets you half-way by giving you a bona fide binding.

2) Paper quality is first-rate. Each section (Black Age, Silver Age, Bronze Age, etc.) is divided by ultra-thick metallic paper of corresponding color. This is a totally innovative flourish, it really upgrades the book's sophistication. The colors used in reproduction of graphics and covers are almost certainly perfect and true; this is something for which Taschen is known. There are also numerous fold-out pages with chronologies of the characters and the innovators of these comics.

3)The book has a thick paper dust jacket. Since we are talking about an almost-certain valuable collectable here, I suggest getting the dust jacket into a Brodart mylar cover protector. You can buy it by the roll, or perhaps your local librarian will help you out. You'll be glad you made the effort to protect your investment. The book has a gorgeous ribbon book mark built in. There are indexes galore for you comics scholars and geeks.

4)Even for a comics novice like myself, the orgy of spectacular comics images is truly amazing.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By David Swan VINE VOICE on November 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There were two things that held me back from preordering this book. First was the price and the second larger reason was the unbelievable size. Perhaps the most stunning statistic is the colossal weight that checks in at an astounding SIXTEEN pounds. I read somewhere that the average weight of a comic book is 2 ounces which would mean this book is the weight of 128 comics (well over a decade of Action Comics) and trust me I don't doubt it. The storage for this monstrosity is not inconsequential and definitely factored into my thinking. Someone once said this isn't a coffee table book it's a coffee table. The largest comic related material I ever bought was the recent Wednesday Comics but that one pales in comparison to this leviathan. I suppose you could just lay it on the floor and read it on your stomach or seated Indian style but I fear for the spine of this very expensive book (although I suspect the book would handle it fine). I ended up sitting it next to me on the couch with the front cover resting on my right leg and the back cover propped up with pillows. With no intent towards exaggeration you will serious need a certain level of strength to read this book and I wouldn't recommend giving this as a gift to a small child.

What changed my mind about getting this book was this thought. How often can you own the best of anything? I can't afford the best watch ever made or the best car or the best pair of shoes but I can afford arguably the best book ever devoted to the history of DC Comics. The Art of Modern Mythmaking is 720 pages of glossy, heavy stock paper (hence the unbelievable weight) featuring thousands of images of comics from slightly prior to the existence of National Publications (DC Comics) up until today.
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