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Shazam!: The Golden Age of the World's Mightiest Mortal Hardcover – December 1, 2010
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About the Author
Chip Kidd is an award-winning graphic designer and writer, and an editor-at-large for Pantheon Books. His books on comics include Bat-Manga!, Peanuts: The Art of Charles M. Schulz, and Mythology: The DC Comics Art of Alex Ross. He lives in New York City.
Geoff Spear is an award-winning photographer whose work has appeared on numerous book covers. He lives in New York City.
Top Customer Reviews
A word of warning: If you're looking for yet another recounting of the history of the original Captain Marvel, look elsewhere--this is not the book for you. There are plenty of excellent histories to be had, and a subscription to PC Hamerlinck's FCA is a great way to supplement them.
However, if you're looking for a gorgeous collection of photos of the incredible range of Captain Marvel and Marvel Family ephemera that Fawcett and its partners produced during the 13 golden years those characters were in print, stop wasting time reading this review and place your order NOW. This is a must-have.
I've long been fascinated by the incredible range of merchandising that Fawcett did for these characters--an idea decades ahead of its time--and here are stunningly detailed photos of the best of it, including some of the rarest stuff, repros of original designs for some pieces, and even side-by-side comparisons of original art pages and published comics.
This is what I'd hoped the DC Vault and Marvel Vault books would be. While Shazam!: The Golden Age of the World's Mightiest Mortal doesn't include facsimile reproductions like the Vault books, it shows so much more of the Marvel Family and Fawcett merchandise than either of the former does of their subjects that it just blows them away.
This is a book I'll be returning to it again and again, a visual feast. Heck, the quality of the photos and the amount of detail has me thinking about attempting my own facsimiles or reproductions of some of the items, since that's probably the only way I'm ever going to have examples of the really rare and really cool stuff. I'm already trying to decide whether to use Sculpey or Play-Doh to try my hand at one of those Cap syroco figurines...
So what do you get? Images from a Captain Marvel collection owned by a fellow named Harry Matetsky. This includes pins expanded to full page size, patches, box covers, chipped up figurines, advertisements, fan club letters, single panels blown up like a Roy Lichtenstein painting. I also discovered that in the 1940's Captain Marvel was a shameless corporate shill who pushed possibly hundreds of products. The images are presented in a way that one might present artwork. For instance there is a photo of the original costume from the 1941 Captain Marvel serial that focuses on just the lightning bolt and chest button. If you consider images of unassembled paper toys and roughly drawn film posters to be artwork this might be the book for you and I'm not saying that many aren't lovely. The photography is superb but many of the images are of cheap 70 year old toys with a bit of wear and tear.Read more ›
As a Captain Marvel fan, this is a MUST OWN. If you enjoy 1940s or 50s comics, toys, memorabilia, or just cool stuff about that era of superheroes then buy it as well.
The price is right on the money for this hardcover. The book design is superb. It's fantastically photographed with a lot of good concise info about the world's mightiest mortal. This book gives a great glimpse into what it must have been like to be a kid in the 40s wishing you could say "SHAZAM!" to become our favorite big red cheese but settling instead for the many different novelties and toys one could find in the corner five and dime. There are a lot of rare vintage items that I've never seen before, some only having a couple known examples. My only wish would have been to include a complete list of all the items in the book for us collectors to use as a reference. Chip, take note for the next book.
Overall, this book excels as a reference for vintage Captain Marvel merchandise. There are some examples of the comic stories and art but that isn't the focus. I hope Chip Kidd does many more books like this one. I think I'll go back and buy his "Batman Collected" book after thoroughly enjoying this one.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Nice! Well made and was pleasantly surprised by the quality.Published 14 months ago by jolie egilske
It was a well done history of Capt Marvel I was not really thinking about the quality so I should have given it a better review I've changed it to 4 stars. Read morePublished 22 months ago by victor berra
My son loved it! I originally put on wish list and by the time I went back to purchase the price came down significantly. Hard Cover quality pics.Published on February 1, 2013 by Amazon Customer
If you are a fan of vintage Captain Marvel art, then this will not disappoint. Chip Kidd does and outstanding job in making bold choices to create visually striking layouts for... Read morePublished on November 20, 2012 by VASS
This lovely book covers the Golden Age history of the original Captain Marvel. This book is lavishly illustrated with not only panels from the classic days of this character, but... Read morePublished on October 13, 2012 by Amazon Customer
The original Captain Marvel is a wonderful and vital piece of Americana.He and his Marvel Family were the stuff kids and servicemen of WWII resorted to for whimsy and patriotic... Read morePublished on May 28, 2012 by Outerlimit
Another terrific book by Chip Kidd. Although this is more of an art coffee table book than a collection of comics,
it has such a wide variety of great images of rare Captain... Read more