Comics : The Art of Marvel (Vol. 1)

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: Book of the Month Club

This review was first published on: 2005.

Background...

First up, let's just clarify that this 2003 book here is indeed different from the 2000 Marvel Art collection entitled The Art of Marvel Comics. This one is "The Art of Marvel (Vol. 1)". It's actually slightly smaller in size then it's predecessor, being roughly 7.5" x 11" - bringing it in line with the standard sizing for Marvel's recent book publications, including the Encyclopedia books.

In Detail...

The Art of Marvel (Vol. 1)
Nov 2003 : SM Guest
Find ISBN 0785111638
Summary: Spider-Man Art
Editor:  Jeff Youngquist
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Review

It's hard to avoid comparing this volume with the earlier collection, The Art of Marvel Comics. Both are 128pp long, top-quality gloss paper. They both list for US$30. Apart from the slight smaller sizing of the recent version, there's little else to separate them. Perhaps the major difference is that the earlier collection was sorted by artist, while the chapters in this book are arranged by character: Spider-Man, X-Men, Daredevil/Elektra, Hulk, Marvel Heroes (mostly Captain America), Marvel Knights (Max line).

There's a few pieces of overlap between the two books. I spotted three with a quick scan, though a detailed analysis could identify a few more perhaps. Quite reasonably, however, this book focuses on art from the past few years - guys like Alex Maleev, Greg Horn, Bryan Hitch, Joe Quesada, Josh Middleton, Tim Sale, Jae Lee, J. Scott Campbell, David Mack, J.G. Jones, Kaare Andrews, etc. That's not to say that old favorites like Bill Sienkiewicz and Alex Ross are completely ignored. I'm just saying that the selection aims to be contemporary, rather than re-covering the ground of the 2000 collection.

In General...

There's really not much that needs saying here. Just look through the list of talent and you'll realise you can't go wrong here. The depth of talent is extraordinary, and this is a very high-quality collection of work by some of the best artists in the business. Thirty bucks is a decent price. It's cheaper on Amazon. So go on, you know you deserve it.

Overall Rating...

Top-shelf art - this is the best of the best of Marvel. How can I give less than the best rating? Five webs.