8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Fantastic art book,
This review is from: The Art of Betty & Veronica (The Art of Archie) (Hardcover)
OK, I must confess... I actually read Archie comics as a kid. They were like a breath of fresh air from reading all those other comics with superheroes bashing their brains in. Also, with Betty and Veronica they had the sexiest, prettiest girls ever! No other comic book series has surpassed these two cuties, so much that you always get the sempiternal question of which one do you prefer, Betty or Veronica? Which, come to think of, was the same question you got back in the 60's with Gilligan's Island; which one do you prefer Mary Ann or Ginger? But Archie got there first.
I must say that I bought this book on a whim, as I don't read Archie comics anymore, and from as far back as the seventies -- once I saw the male characters wearing bell-bottoms and platform shoes, and later on disco dancing, that did it for me. Jeez, what where they thinking of? And as a matter of fact, I didn't even know the comics still existed... So, as I was saying, I bought this book on a whim, as I usually like what Craig Yoe does, and Betts and Ronnie were my favorite teenage fantasies. Well, was I in for a surprise, as this book is absolutely gorgeous -- from the absolutely beautiful and elegant cover with the silver lettering to the content inside, not to mention the astounding graphic design of the whole book. I mean, this is something lots of other book publishers should take notice of, as many of them think that by simply slapping in a couple of badly scanned artwork and sticking them together with no thought of order or design, they are putting out a book that any fan will buy no matter what. Well guess again, because the fellows who put out this book gave it a lot of thought, and made it one of the most beautiful publications I've seen in a while.
Please bear in mind that this is more of an artbook than a simple collection of Betty and Veronica stories. Most of the art is scanned from the original brush and ink artwork, and presented in black and white (though scanned in color so you can see all the blemishes that such pages had: pencil marks, white-outs, paste-overs, etc.). So this is the closest you'll get to seeing the real art this side of owning some of them, or seeing them hung up in an art gallery or museum. It also includes various B&V stories from the very beginning (the 40's) up until now. Some is scanned from the original artboards, as I've mentioned before, and other from the old comic books, and haven't been tampered with. That is to say, there's been no digital recoloring or restoration done on such scans. Remember, this is sort of a presentation for an art showing, so don't expect this book to be only a reprint of restored Betty and Veronica stories. With the accompanying text you get the background on these stories, a who's who gallery of the various artists and writers involved in creating them (with their pictures too), and the origin of the Archie comics.
As I mentioned earlier, special kudos go to the people who designed this book, as it's clear, precise, and absolutely pleasant to the eye. It's also larger in size than your average comic book, and printed on heavy stock glossy paper. There's a lesson here that other publishers should take notice of, as this book is done by the same people who publish the Archie comics, and just shows how much they really care for their product.
All in all a real winner, and highly recommended to any Betty and Veronica fan from the Archie comics.