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Mars Attacks Hardcover – October 1, 2012

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About the Author

The Topps Company, Inc., founded in 1938, is the preeminent creator and brand marketer of sports cards, entertainment products, and distinctive confectionery. Len Brown, former creative director at Topps—where he worked for over 40 years—is the co-creator of Mars Attacks. He lives in Texas. Zina Saunders is an author, illustrator, and animator. She lives in New York.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; Includes four Mars Attacks trading cards edition (October 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1419704095
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419704093
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,992 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Trollbeard on September 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Can you smell the Bazooka Joe bubble gum?? I swear, Abrams somehow permeated this book with Eau-de-Bazooka Joe! Fantastic!
This is one amazing book! In every way! The dust wrapper is lovingly made with a semi-transparent paper that mimics the original Mars Attacks pack wrapper. The text, mostly by Len Brown who is well-known to us card, comic and monster-mag fans, presents the most in-depth portrait of Woody Gelman (of Topps and Nostalgia Press) that I've ever read. Zina Saunders, the daughter of the painter Norm Saunders who painted most of the finished cards over Bob Powell's pencils, also contributes an excellent and touching account of the "Mars Attacks" days with her dad. And the cards... these are the finest reproductions I've ever seen. Even better than the originals. I'm a big fan of Topps' 1994 reissue set, but this book's repros are the best. The original (and 1994 reissue) cards were about 2.5" x 3.5". The repros in this book are about 3" x 4.25". Needless to say, gorgeous repros of all 55 original cards, full page, with the back of the card on the facing page, are included. The card images are crystal clear. The reason? The book's repros are shot from the ORIGINAL TRANSPARENCIES! This is the ultimate Mars Attacks book!
Also included are the 11 cards from the extended 1994 set, as well as various other random magazine premiums and Screemin' cards.
The book is a treasure. I sold my set of Mars Attacks cards in 1965 for $1, and have regretted it ever since, but this book makes up for it. Thank you, Abrams!!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By on September 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In 1962 I was 8 years old and my downstairs neighbor (a wise and wizened 10 yr old) showed me this cool thing he had gotten-Mars Attacks cards! I was riveted and bought em up at every opportunity. They horrified me and I loved it-I laid awake at night convinced that passing traffic was the beginning of the invasion. Burning flesh, giant bugs, ice rays too much! "Burning Flesh" was the most popular card on Ocean Parkway.

At any rate when the internet was born my first search brought me to Zina Saunders Mars Attacks page. How cool was that-but still I wondered how come no coffee table book?

Well this aint a coffee table sized tome but it sure is grand-nostalgia pangs aside its a loving production that does justice to my inner 8 yr old still terrified of impending invasions from outer space-still mightily in love with Mars Attacks! Many thanks to all concerned.

(Now its time for a respectful movie-that includes giant bugs!)
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By TheEyesHaveIt on September 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Everything about this book oozes production value and attention to detail, from the semi-translucent paper stock chosen for the dust jacket, to the quality of reproductions inside. Has to be seen to be believed, much like the Mars Attacks series itself! A fitting tribute to the original cards and the artwork of Norman Saunders. Obviously a labor of love by someone at Abrams Books.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Grymsayre on October 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Loved the cards then, love the book now. I love it all the more because, seeing the cards presented this way, in sequence, one to a page, I noticed something I had not noticed before, something I might not have noticed in any other way. Back around 500 years ago, a popular subject for picture books was The Dance of Death. This was a series of vignettes of men and women from all walks of life, farmers, mechants, princes, beggars, encountering and being led away by the skeletal figure of Death. In effect it was a pictoral sermon on the topic of human mortality. Now come forward 500 years and look at Mars Attacks, a series of pictures of men and women from all walks of life being incinerated, crushed or otherwise done to death by skull-faced, big-brained aliens! Surely it is the same sermon all over again, re-imagined for the mid-twentieth century, infused with less piety, more violence and a hellofalot more giant bugs!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Daniel R. Royer on December 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Dying Breath: 5.0 out of 5
This book is perfection, I can not sum it up any better than that. Collecting the original trading card series, the second series and some more amazing artwork, this book preserves a fantastic piece of horror history. A huge plus on why this book is so good, is because not only do you get to read the original trading card set, but you also get some commentary about what was going on when the series was created. That commentary had to be my favorite part of this book. Learning about what was allowed to go on this GORE-Geous card set and what wasn't is often time silly to read by today's standards. As a designer myself I have to talk about the layout of this book as well. The interiors are clean and crisp. The cards, if scanned, are perfect. The dust jacket is possibly the coolest I have ever seen. Mimicking a pack of the cards, I honestly tried to open it from the back, I thought it was real. Also there is a secret surprise I won't ruin printed on the book itself under the dust jacket. Overall I can not recommend this book more. Collecting everything Topps put out with the original card set and more, this book has it all. So glad to have this in my collection, it is just what I needed.

Artwork: 5.0 out of 5 * Story: 5.0 out of 5
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Christopher J. Schillig on September 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
At first, I was disappointed with this book's physical dimensions, but I soon got past that as I took a closer look at the contents.

The entire Mars Attacks card series is reprinted, along with Len Brown's prose descriptions. Each card, front and back, is printed on facing pages, a stroke of genius that allows the reader to study each in its entirety without flipping the page.

The book also reprints newer cards released as part of a 1994 series, seldom-seen "sanitized" images from an aborted reboot, and loads of preliminary sketches from the legendary Wally Wood, one of the artists charged with brainstorming the visual look of the cards and the aliens.

In addition, you get an insightful introduction by Brown -- a truly humble guy who was instrumental in the series' creation (I had the pleasure of phone-interviewing him many years ago) -- and an afterword by Zina Saunders, daughter of Norm Saunders, who painted the original cards.

I knocked off one star (and would have deducted only a half-star if Amazon allowed it) because the book lacks any of the newspaper articles concerning protests over the series. As these were instrumental in Topps' decision not to release the cards nationally, they're an important part of the Mars Attacks saga. I also wouldn't have minded some card-to-film comparisons to Tim Burton's movie adaptation.

Really, though, you can't go wrong with the handsome production values and attention to detail presented here. This is a fitting fiftieth anniversary tribute to Mars Attacks, modestly priced, that keeps the focus where it ought to be: the original card series. Recommended.
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