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Spider-Man The Icon: The Life and Times of a Pop Culture Phenomenon Hardcover – October 23, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books (October 23, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845763246
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845763244
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 1.3 x 12.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,481,930 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

STEVE SAFFEL
While on staff at Marvel Entertainment, Steve Saffel developed behind-the-scenes magazines that revealed the secrets of the comics and introduced readers to the worlds of film, animation, toys, video games, and much more. He also spearheaded Marvel’s promotional efforts in the comic book specialty market.

His career as a professional editor has included tie-ins with the first two Spider-Man movies, and allowed him to work with many astonishingly talented people, including fantasists David Gemmell and Greg Keyes, authors Greg Bear, Eric Nylund and Peter David, science fiction legend Robert Silverberg, Star Wars icon Steve Sansweet, thriller writer John Birmingham, actress Amber Benson, and pop culture maven Mark Cotta Vaz.

Currently he’s a writer, an editorial and marketing consultant, and a multi-platform project developer. He's also a long-standing Spidey fan, and many of the rarer items of memorabilia showcased in Spider-Man: The Icon come from his personal collection.

Coincidentally, he lives in Spider-Man’s hometown of Forest Hills.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 16 customer reviews
I bought this book as a Christmas present for my son.
tasha maxon
This collection is very informative and has great pictures by all the best artists.
Chris Lee
Steve Saffel has the credentials to make further volumes equally great!
Michael L. Pasqua

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michael L. Pasqua on October 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is both for the novice fan and for the individual who (erroneously) thought that everything about Spider-Man was available in other books. This is a meticulously researched project and an obvious labor of love by Steve Saffel. Going beyond comics and exploring cartoons (including the lyrics for the Spider-Man Theme Song), newspaper strips, toys and films, this is a comprehensive treatise on the web-slinger that should satisfy everyone who even has a marginal interest in Spider-Man. The author probably has information that even Stan Lee is probably unaware of (if that's possible). An excellent volume that sets the bar for similar books. What next, Fantastic Four? Steve Saffel has the credentials to make further volumes equally great!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mark Vaz on November 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In the classic "Spider-Man" comics, Peter Parker, and his Spidey alter ego never seemed to get respect. Nowadays, Aunt May's favorite nephew is a certified movie star and there's finally a book that celebrates Spider-Man's history with the grandeur, and sense of fun, the character deserves. Author Steve Saffel comes out of the Marvel universe and had a long and successful run as an editor with the Random House Publishing Group, so it's a treat to see him put that experience to work on behalf of the 'ol webslinger. A tip of the hat to Titan Books as well for producing the kind of beautiful, high-class volume that this pop culture phenomenon deserves (those who saw the recent book on Stan Winston know that Titan pulls out all the stops). It's a class act, one that I hope will attract not just the legion of comics fans, but those who only know Spider-Man from the movies. Gazing into my crystal ball, I see a lot of "Spider-Man: The Icon" books wrapped up and waiting under many a Christmas tree.
Mark Cotta Vaz
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gina R. Misiroglu on October 31, 2007
Format: Hardcover
As a fan of the Web-slinger and a pop-culturalist, I am amazed with Steve Saffel's book. It is beautifully produced, bursting with rare art, filled with cool factoids, and historically and factually sound. What an effort! It speaks to both the comic-book novice and the longtime Spidey fan, making it the perfect giftbook for just about anyone on your list this holiday season.
--Gina Misiroglu, co-author of The Superhero Book: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Comic-Book Icons and Hollywood Heroes
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James on October 31, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Great compilation of all things Spidey. A must for every collector and fan. This book is not just of Spiderman but for anyone interested in the creation and evolution of an "icon." From the first incarnation to the latest movies, the history is both a fantastic homage to a hero and a thrilling tale of creation, art, and how an icon changes over times. Thoughtful, respectful, funny, and in all ways entertaining.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm one of those guys who started reading Spider-Man back in 1962 with his first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15. I've kept up with Spidey's adventures all these years through all sorts of titles, and episodes. I even worked for Marvel as a freelancer during the `80s & `90s (a little bit of that time for author Steve Saffel while he was an editor over there), so it is entirely possible that I'm a tad biased when it comes to this subject.

I believe that one of the reasons that I became a professional writer was because of my love for this character. When I spotted this book at a local bookstore, I knew I had to have it. Having Steve's name on the cover clinched it for me.

Now as I read the book, rediscovering all of the things that made me a Marvel Zombie, and Spidey fan as a teen came flooding back. This is a terrific book, and if I, who not only knew much -- if not all -- of this stuff already still finds it fascinating, think how engrossing it will be to someone who doesn't have my history with the character. Going through the book I see snippets of conversations I had with Steve about the history of both Marvel and Spider-Man, as see that he has taken the care necessary for dealing with a subject that is near and dear to the author's heart.

Yes, this is a great coffee table book that is a great research tool as well as a wonderful trip down memory lane for any fan of May Parker's beloved nephew. All of which brings up an interesting point.

As much of the early accolades for Spidey (as reported in the book) revolved around the degree of realism that Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, and John Romita, Sr.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By T. Anderson on April 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book appears to have been inspired by the superior "Batman Collected" by Chip Kidd. Far from an analysis of Spider-Man as a character, or the various Spider-Man comics as works of fiction, this volume concentrates on Spider-Man as a pop culture phenomenon and commercial exercise. As such, equal emphasis is placed on TV and film adaptations and in particular ancillary merchandise as on the comics themselves.
The book is lavishly illustrated with quality reproductions of a wide range of comicbook covers and interior pages as well as screen grabs from animation and movies and photographs of various (often amusingly incongruous or shoddily made) Spider-Man products from across the decades.
Sadly the book is let down by the text. Contrary to the reviews above, the author does assume familiarity with Spidey as well as with Marvel Comics in general. For example, in his opening chapter he offers no definite summary of the character's fictional origin, making it neither explicit that Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider nor that he later neglects to halt a criminal who goes on to murder his uncle. Other characters, titles and story-lines are tossed into the prose casually ("...Cap's shooting...") with no supporting explanation.
Worse, the author was on Marvel's pay roll in the past and as such certain passages come across as trade puff. Saffel is unwilling to engage critically with his subject.
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