In comics, the cover is king. Its sole purpose is to get a potential reader to pick up one book over all of the other books on a very busy shelf or wall. Walk into any comic book shop and there is a lot of competition for your eyeballs and a new book, out this week, celebrates some of the great covers from the Marvel archives.
Marvel Comics: 75 Years of Cover Art from DK Books commemorates three-quarters of cover art including some of the most rare and iconic covers. Inside, you’ll be treated to more than 500 covers by artists like Adi Granov, John Romita, Jr. and his dad, brothers John and Sal Buscema, Steve Ditko, John Byrne, and the groundbreaking work of Jack Kirby.
The book is broken up by the four eras of comics, with an emphasis on the bronze and modern ages. Some pages show variant covers, while others show a series of covers to help illustrate how the cover conveys the story as much as the panels found within. All the covers include a short paragraph by the book’s author, Alan Cowsill, with special notes about the intent of the artists, the process, and more.
There are even some in depth looks at certain cover artists, where individual styles are examined, and a couple of really great “cover development” sections that look at a cover from sketch to pencil to ink to color to the final cover. Those are really fantastic and I wish they had included more. To top it off, each book includes oversized framable prints of Amazing Fantasy #15 and Iron Man #1.
It’s a huge book, not just in size, but pages, as well. Measuring a shade over 10 1/4″ x 13 3/4″ and packing 320 pages into a heavily-bound hardcover that comes with a nice slipcover, this book will make any coffee table of book shelf look better — when you’re not poring through it yourself. Marvel Comics: 75 Years of Cover Art is available now.
Disclosure: GeekDad was sent a sample of this book.