The
Art of the Comic Book: An Aesthetic History


By Robert C. Harvey

(author of The Art of the Funnies)


The Art of the Comic Book is a fascinating demonstration of how comics work--how the medium functions as dramatic narrative and how it achieves its special effects. Author R. C. Harvey
deploys again the methods of analysis and discussion that made his earlier work, The Art of the
Funnies
, a best seller about newspaper comic strips. In this sequel, he shows how the comic
book grew out of the comic strip and developed its own aesthetic at the hands of such creative
cartooning giants as--

. Jack Kirby (Captain America, the Fantastic Four)

. Will Eisner (The Spirit, Contract with God)

. Harvey Kurtzman (Two Fisted Tales, Mad)

. Robert Crumb (Zap Comix, Mr. Natural, Fritz the Cat)

. Frank Miller (Batman: The Dark Knight, Sin City)

Packed with scores of illustrations that provide vivid examples of each work discussed, The Art
of the Comic Book
concludes its historical examination by proclaiming the dawn of a new
golden age of comics, citing as evidence the creations of such contemporary cartoonists as Art
Spiegelman (Pulitzer award-winning Maus), Scott McCloud (the insightful Understanding
Comics
), Harvey Pekar (Our Cancer Year), and others. A cartoonist himself (that's his self-
portrait above), Harvey brings the insights of the craft to his analysis.


As he shows how comic books can be discussed and evaluated, Harvey answers many of the
industry's tantalyzing questions:

. Who created the Silver Age Marvel Universe--Stan Lee or Jack Kirby?

. What rejected newspaper comic strip virtually created the comic book
industry?

. Why are superheroes so prevalent in comic books?

. How did the financial realities of comic book publication derive from
newspaper comic strip syndicate reprint policies?

. In what way does Art Spiegelman's Maus tread on dangerously ambiguous
ground?

. Why doesn't the aesthetic for movies apply to comics?

. What was the first underground comic book and who published it?

If you liked The Art of the Funnies, you'll want to get the rest of the story in The Art of the Comic Book. And if you haven't ordered The Art of the Funnies yet, you'll want to order it at the same time as you order The Art of the Comic Book so you can get the whole story in one two-volume set.


Both volumes are available from the University Press of Mississippi (singly or in quantity for
discount): 3825 Ridgewood Rd., Jackson, MS 39211-6492; or Toll Free 1-800-737-7788

The Art of the Comic Book
Hardback ISBN 0-87805-575-9: $45.00
Paperback ISBN 0-87805-578-7: $22.00
The Art of the Funnies
Hardback ISBN 0-87805-612-2: $42.50
Paperback ISBN 0-87805-674-2: $19.95

Autographed copies of the paperback editions of both are available from the author for $25 (which includes 1st Class postage!); 2701 Maplewood Dr., Champaign, IL 61821.

For more about The Art of the Comic Book, click here
For more about The Art of the Funnies, click here


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