Again, here's a category from which we've excluded ourselves. Mickey and
the Gang - Classic Stories in Verse, The Official Price Guide To Disney
Collectibles, and The Official Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide
would all, in our humble opinion, be instant entries. This year we broadened
this category slightly to included documentary film and video
We'd like to take a moment here to single out our friends at
TwoMorrows Publishing, which racked up a solid number of entries this year.
They're continuing to turn out some fine publications.
compatriots at Wizard and F+W Publications, the creative people who put out
publications like Charlton Spotlight, the folks behind Comic Zone
and Fanboy Radio internet shows, and the collectors and historians who
develop publisher, character, genre or creator-centric websites should all be
congratulated for adding important depth to the discussion of the medium's
With all that in mind, here are Scoop's Best Publications About
Comics For 2005:
10. The Superhero Book
The Superhero Book: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Comic-Book
Icons and Hollywood Heroes bills itself as “the first comprehensive
work to profile mainstream and counterculture, famous and forgotten, best and
worst superheroes from all companies and in all media...” and it lives up
to the billing. Edited by Gina Misiroglu along with David Roach, the book
includes a wide array of characters, events and themes that have populated the
four-color world of superheroes. While it misses the Brownies (hey, they had
super powers!), it's got just about every other major and many minor character
or set of characters in it, along with plenty of interesting observations. This
is a great reference book and it's also fun for a casual read.
TwoMorrows Publishing; $5.95
A typical issue of this
magazine for aspiring comic book writers is packed with examples like script and
final comic page comparisons, insights into craft and the business, and other
“how to” features. As a for instance, one issue we surveyed this
year featured the work of Dwayne McDuffie (Static Shock), Dan Jurgens
(Thor), Gerry Conway (Law & Order: Criminal Intent), and Peter
Bagge (Hate), among others.
A counterpart to Write Now!, but for artists, Draw! is
edited by Mike Manley, who each issue includes traditional and modern
techniques, interviews with creators, and tutorials.
7. Wizard: How To
Wizard Entertainment; $29.99
Collecting many of the
different “Basic Training” for comic book creators from the pages of
Wizard, this book features “how to” tips from George
Pérez, Joe Kubert, Adam Hughes, Matt Haley, Jim Lee and many others.
Nicely designed and featuring tons of example illustrations, the book highlights
lettering, coloring, panel design, action, and more.
6. Alter Ego
Longtime comics scribe and former Marvel
Comics Editor-in-Chief Roy Thomas continues to produce one of the most
insightful regular publications about comics available.
5. The Art of
TwoMorrows Publishing; $14.95
comprehensive review of the comics career of artist George Tuska is a must-have
book for fans of Silver Age-era Marvel Comics (and comics in general). Tuska
worked on such characters as the X-Men, Hulk, Daredevil, the Justice League of
America, and more, but we'll always remember his version of Iron Man. Great
reading, with a foreword by Stan Lee.
TwoMorrows Publishing; $5.95
Automatically on our list of
“must read” publications every time it comes out, Back Issue
has an approach that is simultaneously enthusiastic and professional as it
examines some of the more recent eras of comics history.
3. Foul Play!
The Art and Artists of the Notorious 1950s E.C. Comics!
Author Grant Geissman is one of the most noted EC comics
fans around. His Tales of Terror! The EC Companion (co-published by
Gemstone Publishing and Fantagraphics), is widely recognized as the
authoritative work on the history of EC comics, and now he's switching the focus
to the creators themselves. Full of great examples, including previously
unpublished work, this book explores the creators behind the work as well as its
2. Spies, Vixens and Masters of Kung Fu: The Art of Paul
Vanguard Productions; multiple editions; HC $34.95
Gulacy's work on Master of Kung Fu, Six From Sirius, James Bond,
Star Wars, Sabre, Batman: Legend of the Dark Knight,
Catwoman, and other comic books has never been fully explored before. Now
it not has been researched and compiled, but it has been assembled and presented
in a way that will remind Gulacy's loyal fans of what they already have
experienced and at the same time make his work easily accessible to new
1. Tales From The Crypt: From Comic Books To
CS Films; $29.95 (+ $3.95 s&h)
The DVD version
of an already-superb documentary contains almost three hours of bonus material
with EC artists Jack Kamen, Al Williamson, Marie Severin, and an extended
interview with Jack Davis. Russ Cochran and Bob Overstreet, two of the most
influential EC fans, are interviewed, and extended segments from director Chip
Selby's interview with horror director George A. Romero (Night of the Living
Dead, Creepshow) also are included. There is also a 56-minute
roundtable discussion between legendary science fiction author Ray Bradbury and
EC/MAD editor-writer-artist Al Feldstein, among other features. This disc is a
“must have” item for serious EC collectors and comic book