Two different pals recently recommended two different books to me. I ended up really enjoying both recommendations and strangely, reading them both at the same time made the experience all the better.
Professor Laurence Maslon recommended Fantastic Four No. 1 Panel by Panel to me, and I’m glad he did. The Professor is not only a Broadway expert (check out his recent NYTimes story here) but a comic expert too. You may have enjoyed his Superheroes! A Never-Ending Battle Documentary, which ran on PBS a few years ago.
This is an engaging coffee table book, celebrating the first issue The Fantastic Four and the birth, in many ways, of Marvel Comics.
As you could infer from the title, this book showcases each individual panel of the 1961 comic. But Chip Kidd, one of my favorites, and Geoff Spear, add in a little zing to it all. No panel is pristine. Each one is a little off kilter. Some in the cropping, some in the colors, some in other ways. Kind of just like the original comic was first presented, and read, all those years ago.
Several smart comic folks, including Mark Evanier, provide additional thoughts and focus on this important comic. It’s an enjoyable package. Continue reading “With Further Ado #192: A Fantastic Mystery”