- Reading level: 8 - 12 years
- Paperback: 248 pages
- Publisher: Hachette Book Group Us Agency (6 January 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 078514286X
- ISBN-13: 978-0785142867
- Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 1 x 25.7 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,62,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Marvels (Graphic Novel Pb) Paperback – 6 Jan 2010
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About the Author
Kurt Busiek has been writing comics professionally since three days before he graduated from college in 1982, when he sold a "Tales of the Green Lantern Corps" backup story that appeared in "Green Lantern #162." Since then, he's worked on just about everything from "Action Comics" to "Zot!," including runs on "Avengers," "Superman," "Conan" and others, and has co-created "Thunderbolts," "The Autumnlands," "Arrowsmith" and more. He's best known for his work on the multiple-award-winning "Marvels" and "Astro City."
Alex Ross first came to prominence as the illustrator of Marvels before producing the award-winning Kingdom come. With a graphic novel for Vertigo (Uncle Sam), several projects for Marvel Comics and six oversized graphic novels starring DC's iconic heroes (collected in The World's Greatest Heroes), he continues to bring comics to a broader audience. In 2003, Ross was the subject of a retrospective of his work for DC Comics, Mythology (Pantheon Books), written and designed by Chip Kidd.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Marvels is a success in two different aspects. The first being the extensive history, writer Kurt Busiek, takes on to bring all the right details in Marvel's events and actually make them fit. Be it sheer will or just luck, but he masterfully weaves a pattern that brings justice to Marvel's long abode that the company truly works on continuity and that a small even happening to one of the heroes will eventually affect another some other time. The art is something else. Alex Ross is amazing. Though he's not as crisp as he is in his later works like Kingdom Come, his work on Marvels takes on an evolutionary step in the visual rendition of comic books. The comic medium becomes not just restricted to pencil art, but full fledged painted art. Through it all, you can get a feel that his work gets better with each chapter. Chapter 3 and 4 being the most visually appealing.
Marvels is truly a gem of a work. It was a huge commercial success and racked some numerous awards too. It was interesting to look at the Marvel Universe through the eyes of your average joe. The same concept of the third party spawned the idea of the highly successful Spiderman's Tangled Web. This can only mean the comics are not just interested in stories about their favorite heroes, but also the people in which these heroes can affect their life. It is only through that do people can fully relate to and think that guy could very well be me. Marvels paved the way with a top notch story and over the top art.
In "Marvels," Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross took us through the life of photojournalist Phil Sheldon, an old-fashioned newspaperman with printer's ink in his veins and a camera to his eye. Phil, however, lives in a more fantastic universe than you or I, he lives in the Marvel Universe, home of Captain America, the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man and the X-Men. Through four issues, we watch how Phil and his world grew and changed, how people thought about the superheroes -- the Marvels, as Phil called them -- and how perceptions evolved along the way. It's a beautiful, poignant series about ordinary heroism, hero worship, and the heroic ideal. Ten years later, it's still one of the best comics I've ever read.
If you've already read the comics, though, there is still stuff here for you. This collection includes the four pitches Busiek and Ross went through to get the series made, the complete scripts for all four issues, character sketches, production and promotional artwork, a guide to "Easter Eggs" in the artwork, a section on Ross' technique of painting from photographed models and even the text of all the newspaper articles that only partially appeared throughout the series. It's packed, and that makes the reading all the more fun.
If you've never read "Marvels," you're missing out. If you read it and loved it, this book takes the story one step further. Kudos to Marvel for putting out such a great edition of such an important comic book.
Alex Ross's photorealistic painted artwork, rather than the pencil-ink-color process that is the norm, gives the book a 'real world' look. It's how the Marvel universe would look like were it shown 'live-action'. MARVELS marks Ross's big break into the comics scene, eventually making him one of the most in-demand talents in the medium today. This book was my first exposure to Ross' efforts, and I've been a big fan of his art ever since.
But there's also Kurt Busiek's story, which shows the man's reactions to the events as an outsider looking in. His story artistry gives you a glimpse, if you were able to, of how you'd experience the world of superheroes.
If there was ever an artist born for such a project it is Alex Ross. His paintings are clear, crisp and, most of all, convincing. He sacrifices excessive dynamics and flashiness for images that are utterly realistic. Only actual photographs of a shimmering extraterrestrial floating down from the heavens or a man in a red and blue costume swinging from building to building could possibly be a step up from his work. Mr. Ross' stunning artwork greatly enhances the feelings of awe and wonderment of a man looking-up at the sky and seeing human beings airborne.
Throughout the years of overused ideas, disregard for scientific realities and perspectives from behind the mask, the fantastic events of comicbooks lost their majesty. By viewing them from the eyes of someone no more spectacular than me or you, Mr. Busiek and Mr. Ross return that feeling of wonderment and exhilaration one may have felt in 1938 when Superman first flew or in 1941 when Captain America tackled the Axis Powers with just a shield and a side-kick with more lushness, deliberation and proficiency than ever before. Marvels will do nothing less than make a reader forever see the Marvel Universe in a new light.