Most helpful critical review
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Fun Read But Still Needs Some Technical Editing
on August 11, 2011
Overall, I thought this was a fine book and an enjoyable read. Scalera provides a number of interviews with a creators from all backgrounds and periods: Stan Lee, Joe Quesada, Mark Waid, and others. If you're looking for a solid overview of the comic production process, this book will certainly give you a number of insights into how our funny books are made.... and that's a good thing considering the title of the book!-)
There were a few reasons why I kept this book from a solid 5-star rating.
One star was strictly due to the Kindle format (which is how I got the book). There were numerous instances of spacings in the middle of words for no reason at all. I found one of the sections of the final chapters totally unreadable due to a number of missing words and misplaced phrases. We all make mistakes, and I don't normally care about a few here there (I probably made one or two already!); however, I really did think that a book that pushes polish and presentation really should have caught this number of errors.
The second star came off because at one point (and I'm paraphrasing here), Scalera states that one of the problems with fanzine writers is they tend to praise and support the industry and don't take as critical a viewpoint in their writing as journalists do--which he reiterates that is his personal background. My complaint might be a slight one, but I felt as though Scalera was exceptionally praiseworthy of every person he interviewed (only briefly glossing the controversy surrounding Marvel's CCO and past EIC, Joe Quesada). While I realize the point of the book was the process of creating comics, I did feel like he could have taken a more critical and less laudatory tone with his interviews. Further, it wasn't mentioned until much later in the novel (if memory serves--which I could be wrong) that he was a friend and collaborator with Chris Eliopoulos--whom he previously interviewed and heaped much praise upon (not undeservedly). So, I did deduct a star here as well.
The overall content is definitely worth 3.5 stars but Amazon doesn't allow 1/2 marks. I really appreciated the way Scalera walks the reader through many different roles of comic creation: retail, distribution, editing, writing, penciling, inking, coloring, lettering--the works! While there are some techniques that he does provide, I do believe this book gives you more a conceptual understanding of the whole process as opposed to the nuts and bolts of each individual position. But that didn't bother me at all as it gave me the ability to better appreciate what each does without bogging me down in the details.
Overall though, if you are looking to get some ground-level insights into a writer or artist's experience breaking into the business, this book is for you, and the few criticisms I've brought forward really shouldn't hinder your enjoyment of this book.