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Boilerplate: History's Mechanical Marvel Hardcover – October 1, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett have been collaborating on comics and graphic novels since 1989, including the Eisner Award–nominated science-fiction comic series Heartbreakers. Paul is an artist and writer whose clients include the History Channel and the Cartoon Network. Anina is a writer and editor who has worked with Dark Horse Comics and international publisher Egmont. They live in Portland, Oregon.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810989506
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810989504
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #584,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Paul Guinan is an artist and writer whose eclectic career includes stints as a television personality, cinematographer, commercial illustrator, movie reviewer, production designer, storyboard artist, model maker, and wax-figure restorer for a Ripley's Museum.

He produced and hosted the award-winning Chicago cable TV variety show "The Friday Club", and was lead background artist on the animated series "Stan Lee's Stripperella". In comics, he has worked on a variety of titles, including co-creating and illustrating "Chronos", a monthly time-travel series from DC Comics.

An avid history buff, Paul has garnered international acclaim as the world's foremost authority on nineteenth-century robots. With wife and co-author Anina Bennett at his side, he has lived with the Apache in traditional fashion, sailed the Pacific on a square-rigged brig, and traversed the sands of the Roman Coliseum.

Paul lives at the end of the Oregon Trail, with Anina, and a dog named Sisko.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Guinan and Bennett create an entire world here, an alternate universe in which a talking robot designed to fight the wars of men can be lost to history. Every part of the story is researched and couched in reality, so the effect is disorienting and transporting. Meanwhile, the authors are exploring issues of technology, fame, warfare, communications, and more. The illustrations and Photoshop work are brilliant. Great work... I recommend it highly.
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Format: Hardcover
In retrospect the below "Hoax" review may be the most positive compliment paid to this book.

The fact that this book is so well executed, so convincing that a person will ignore common sense, a basic grounding in history and even the slightest knowledge of engineering to believe that Boilerplate was real only attests to the skill, talent and vision of the artist.
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Format: Hardcover
Despite the comment by J Stonebraker, who could quite possibly be a complete idiot, this is a great book. Yes, it is a work of historical fiction, but it is an incredibly detailed, beautifully executed work of fiction.
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Format: Hardcover
I genuinely feel pity for the person who returned this book as a hoax, but what a brilliant compliment to this masterful mix of fact and fiction. The author has created an alternate history that is so real and so compelling that any acknowledgment or wink-wink clues as to its fantasy would have taken away from it. It stays in character without deviation. This genre is so entertaining and fascinating (when done right), and especially in this case, where the fantasy only makes up 10% of it and you suddenly realize how much you've learned about actual history while being entertained. (If you're rusty on your history, re-learning about all the incredible events of the 1893-1917 era is worth the price of admission by itself.)

I found this book quite by accident when the author's booth at WonderCon was my family's last stop of the long, tiring day. It only took a moment of scanning through this stunning, high-quality book to understand its genius. Although I find the robot's face to be personally creepy, the concept, story, history, illustration, layout, and photo compositing are simply outstanding. I have never seen a higher quality book. If you like steam-punk, history, sci-fi, mockumentaries, fiction-as-reality, illustration, or high-concept, BUY THIS BOOK. It's a steal at Amazon's price. It's also endlessly entertaining, EDUCATIONAL, and inspirational. Bravo.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Years ago I stumbled across the Boilerplate website and ordered the "book". What I got was a fun little black and white photocopied history of Boilerplate summed up in a few pages. Neat, but so tantalizing! I knew there was more story to be told.

But I never in a million years would have expected this much story! The sheer number of photos, paintings, and illustrations is staggering. The way Boilerplate is subtly woven into history is a treat as well, since the "light touch approach" allows the reader to actually learn a good deal of history along the way.

Besides praising the creators of this fantastic book, I really want to praise the publishers. I'm sure they were sold on the quality of the material, but the way this book has been put together speaks more of love. This is a handsomely prepared book that should withstand years and years of enjoyment. I'm so happy to have it in my library, and so proud to be able to share it with my friends.
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Format: Hardcover
Boilerplate *History's Mechanical Marvel* by Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett is a book that I am thrilled to have added to my library, not the least for the historical value, but certainly for the beauty of its contents and illustrations. What a wonderful gift for all age groups!
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Format: Hardcover
Boilerplate is a beautifully illustrated work documenting an alternate history wherein a steam-powered robot joins in a variety of historic events. Think of Boilerplate as the steampunk version of the "Young Indiana Jones" TV show from years ago. Wonderful book. I'll keep an eye out for other works by this author.
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Format: Hardcover
I first heard of Boilerplate when I stumbled across the website: [...]. The site consists of a series of historical accounts that, along with top notch faked photos, seemingly tells the story of a robot with Zelig-esque ability to be present around important people and events during the late 19th and early 20th century.
This book now gives us a heavily expanded version of the story. Bringing together photographs, graphics, and memorabilia that is presented with an almost maniacal attention to detail. The story is well told and seamlessly weaves true historical accounts into the tale. The graphics are so well done that I was having a hard time figuring out how they were able to create them. (I work with Photoshop every day. These guys did an AMAZING job!) History, comics, steampunk, whatever! You'll dig this.
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