- Series: Archie
- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: IDW Publishing (May 3, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1600107540
- ISBN-13: 978-1600107542
- Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 1.1 x 11.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,530,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Archie: A Celebration of America's Favorite Teenagers Hardcover – May 3, 2011
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Like Les Daniels' defining Marvel: Five Fabulous Decades of the World's Greatest Comics, the history of one of the longest-lasting edifices in comics gets put down on paper. Fans of the Riverdale gang would pick this up anyway, but all comic fans should take a peek through these pages. Because hey, history don't hurt.
The book takes everything into account. There's a handy guide to all the characters, many of which I wasn't aware of (Veronica has a mom?) There are bios on nearly all the folks behind the scripts and art (it's fair to say, the men behind the scripts and art because I don't remember seeing any women in there). There are original, uncolored art pages, sketches, and some nice reprints as well. And it's not just the comic adventures of Archie Andrews that get coverage: his radio, film, television, and musical versions are also covered.
When it comes to enduring comic legacies, there's Marvel, there's DC, and there's Archie. It's nice to see that legacy get a very piercing spotlight on it from time to time. --Ethan Kaye, Geekgirlonthestreet.com
About the Author
Vice magazine has called Criag Yoe the "Indiana Jones of comics historians." Publisher Weekly says he's the "archivist of the ridiculous and the sublime" and calls his work "brilliant." The Onion calls him "the celebrated designer," The Library Journal, "a comics guru. " BoingBoing hails him "a fine cartoonist and a comig book historian of the first water." Yoe was Creative Director/Vice President/ General Manager of Jim Henson's Muppets, and a Creative Director at Nickelodeon and Disney. Craig has won an Eisner Award and the Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Looking at the picture of "Archie: A Celebration of America's Favorite Teenagers," would you know that the book has a special die-cut cover? (It does.) Would you know that it has full-color custom endpapers? (It has those, too.) The product description lists the page count, but it doesn't tell you that the sturdy hardcover binding has fancy spot varnish on the front, back and spine. Nor does it say that the book has reproductions of rare and literally one-of-a-kind art in addition to the four-color comic book stories and covers reprinted. In short, the description and the picture simply don't do it justice. (Thank goodness Amazon provides the opportunity for consumer reviews like this one to help inform book shoppers.)
As with previous Yoe Books, this is a prime example of the book-maker's art. The book itself is a quality product, aside from its contents. This is not a book to read on a Kindle. I'm not opposed to technology and there's nothing wrong with reading an electronic mystery or romance novel. But with a book like this you want to own it as a physical object. If you don't have a coffee table, buy one - then put this book on it.
As far as the contents of the book are concerned, Craig Yoe did a great job, as usual. If you're an Archie fan, you'll want it.
Written by Craig Yoe
(IDW Books, 2011)
This heartily-constructed hardbound book is a good overview and celebration of the Archie Comics empire, profiling the main characters and real-life creators of Archie's comicbook world. Author Craig Yoe has established himself as one of the preeminent scholars of pop/comicbook culture, spearheading a number of excellent reissue series, most notably his work with the Archie brand, which has produced dozens of high-quality archival reprints, including several books that celebrate individual artists such as Dan DeCarlo, Harry Lucey and Samm Schwartz.
This book compliments those reprints, with essays about the Archie Comics company, its history and various writers, artists and editors who have shaped it over the years. Samples of their work are included, ranging from straight reprintings from vintage comics to unfinished pencil breakdowns, sketches and other unpublished materials. Yoe's own collection of Archie paraphernalia is pretty astounding and he proudly displays the finest examples here, including countless products with Archie images on them and various items with licensed images, even examples of product prototypes that were never actually developed. It's material that you or I will never see in real life, on display here as part of an elegant, concise presentation.
Other reviewers have slammed this book for its apparent shortcomings, but I think they're nitpicking. Sure, maybe if I had the connections and resources that Yoe has I might have done things differently -- but I don't have those resources, and I respect the work he's done reviving interest in classic comicbook art, and trust his judgement as a pop-culture curator. It's his book, and it's pretty cool. To be sure, there is room to criticize: many peripheral characters are omitted in favor of the core Archie cast, (though in the case of, say, a character like Katy Keene, maybe that's a good thing...) More glaring omissions include prominent Golden Age artists such as Bill Vigoda and George Freese, who are only mentioned in passing in other people's profiles, but whose prolific work in the '40s and '50s helped shape the look and tone of the series. Of course Yoe can't include everything, but these seem like big losses; some reviewers have slammed the book for placing too much emphasis on newer artists, and I suppose that's why there's no Freese or Vigoda artwork here, since something had to give. Still, even though like many old fogies I don't care for the new art styles and have no interest in pretty much anything "Archie" since the 1970s, that's the material that younger readers are familiar with, and its inclusion here is valid.
Overall, I think this is a stunning book, one that provides some historical info (but not enough to make it deathly dull) and plenty of archival photos and story reprints to make this a highly readable coffee-table book. Highly recommended! (DJ Joe Sixpack, ReadThatAgain childrens' media reviews)
Most recent customer reviews
I was expecting a much more serious attempt at the history of Archie Comics and what I got...Read more