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Stan Lee and the Rise and Fall of the American Comic Book [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Jordan Raphael

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Kurzbeschreibung

1. September 2004
Based on interviews with Stan Lee and dozens of his colleagues and contemporaries, as well as extensive archival research, this book provides a professional history, an appreciation, and a critical exploration of the face of Marvel Comics. Recognised as a dazzling writer, a skilled editor, a relentless self-promoter, a credit hog, and a huckster, Stan Lee rose from his humble beginnings to ride the wave of the 1940s comic books boom and witness the current motion picture madness and comic industry woes. Included is a complete examination of the rise of Marvel Comics, Lees work in the years of post-war prosperity, and his efforts in the 1960s to revitalise the medium after it had grown stale.

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""Stan Lee and the Rise and Fall of American Comic Book is an insightful examination of a publishing phenomenon that has become an integral part of pop culture. It offers keen insights on how the industry has risen, fallen, survived, and teetered on the edge of extinction. And it illuminates the role Lee played in a long-running drama every bit as compelling as those depicted between the garish covers of Marvel Comics." --L.D. Meagher, "CNN.com

Synopsis

Based on interviews with Stan Lee and dozens of his colleagues and contemporaries, as well as extensive archival research, this book provides a professional history, an appreciation, and a critical exploration of the face of Marvel Comics. Recognised as a dazzling writer, a skilled editor, a relentless self-promoter, a credit hog, and a huckster, Stan Lee rose from his humble beginnings to ride the wave of the 1940s comic books boom and witness the current motion picture madness and comic industry woes. Included is a complete examination of the rise of Marvel Comics, Lee's work in the years of post-war prosperity, and his efforts in the 1960s to revitalise the medium after it had grown stale.

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Amazon.com: 4.5 von 5 Sternen  22 Rezensionen
26 von 28 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Good On Older History Of The Industry, Apologists For Mr. Lee? 9. Oktober 2007
Von SUPPORT THE ASPCA. - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
This is an intruiging narrative of Stan Lee's career & his influence on the American comic book industry. The title is a bit of an oversimplification, the industry went through many business cycles of highs & lows over the twentieth century. Marvel went from an IPO, bankruptcy, & than an unexpected resurgence in the past decade or two.

The author gives you a not so surprisingly "Marvel centric view," which is fine up to a point. I did find his describing the creation of Spiderman & the X-men very good. The former remains my favorite character. Had there been more on DC Comics Superman, European, & Japanese influences I might have given it 5 stars? But, Stan Lee & his cocreators at Marvel provides the reader with a deep & vivid life at the prolific & hectic early years with Lee presiding as editor & writer over many artists who worked slavishly for low pay.

I can see why so much bitterness & controversy erupted over the decades about Mr. Lee's putting his name on most Marvel productions was certainly shameless self promotion. On the whole, the writing is fairly measured to impart a balanced account. Noting that in the old system where work-for-hire was not well defined & comic book artists had little profile in the limelight. Tod McFarlane & Frank Miller appear to be the exceptions. as you get deeper into the book, you get the sense that Sstan Lee sided with the corporate side over the petitions by the artists out of necessity rather than malice on his part. Perhaps, Mr. Lee's convivial nature hid his own insecurities about his own talents?

I got the feeling that some points were discarded & the book is only a half history. Nonetheless, it fills the void in an industry that never got the respect it deserved & I give it four stars. Perhaps, someday someone will write a complete history of this fascinating topic?
15 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen quick, concise, informative, objective, and entertaining 7. Dezember 2003
Von B. Capossere - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
As the review's title says, this is a quick and effectively concise look at Stan Lee and Marvel comics. The book moves quickly through Stan's early biography, slows down through the years leading up to Marvel, then takes it time with a detailed look at his work in the Marvel Universe. One of the strengths of the book is that it doesn't do all of this in a vacuum; it also takes some space to fill in some of the context. It does a good job with some backhistory of comics in general, with DC comics, and with the social/legislative response to comic books during the time they were regarded as a "threat to our youth". The authors fill in the context skillfully and quickly, giving you enough information for a more full picture of what was happening and why at Marvel but without bogging the main story down in digressions.
The main story is the growth and decline and regrowth of Marvel as seen through the lens of Stan Lee's career and if not covered in exhaustive detail, it certainly is covered in enough for all but the most obsessive of fans I would guess. While Lee is the obvious focus, the authors also spend, as they should, quite a lot of space on the two main artists of Marvel's glory years--Kirby and Ditko, placing their work in a wider context than just their time at Marvel. And while clearly fans of all three men, the authors, rather than act as fawning bio artists, reveal their flaws (both professional and personal) as well as their qualities, as well as going into some of the more ugly aspects of their working (or not working as the case may be) relationships.
The "origin" stories of many of the classic comics are here, with some fair warning to the reader that the origins are more mysterious than previous tellings would relate. And the authors do a good job of conveying the actual creating/writing/publishing process, giving the reader a true feel for the work on a personal level rather than in dry, encyclopedic terms. One gets a true feel for the hectic nature of the work, the rewards and the frustrations.
I have only a few complaints. In discussing such a visual craft, there are far too few actual visuals in the book. Especially in discussing the work of Kirby and Ditko--the vivid descriptions of their own drawing as well as the comparisons to other contemporary or earlier artists--the text cries out for some visual support. And the book is a bit skimpy on more recent history with regard to Marvel and the movies, though that could be defended on the grounds that as the book states, Stan Lee had become a peripheal figure by then and so the shift into film is somewhat off the book's focus. And finally, as a long-time fan of comics, I could have used more on the stories themselves though obviously the authors were aiming at conciseness here and to be honest, I probably would have said the same thing had they another 50 or more pages on the stories.
Overall it's a quick, well-researched book that conveys the necesary facts but even better the interesting stories and the even more interesting personalities involved. Highly recommended.
12 von 13 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Balanced, readable and fun - for comic and pop culture buffs 23. September 2003
Von William Meurer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
As a fan of comics since the late 60s who "grew up" with Stan Lee, as well as someone who didn't know a lot about the details of the industry, I found this book hard to put down. It was entertaining on two fronts; first, as a detailed and objective look at Lee's career in comics, and second, as a history of the comics biz and Lee's / Marvel's impact on the industry for better (in the 60's) and worse (the 80's to the present).
While the authors clearly admire Lee (the book is dedicated to him), they are objective, balanced and frank about Lee's career, motivations, impact on American pop culture and missteps. While celebrating Lee, it also takes some wind out of the sails of Lee's persona and track record. The book also delves into the backgrounds and significance of key artists like Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko (and others) who are so intimately linked to Lee's creative output and legacy.
I particularly liked the chapter that recreates in text the entire first issue of the Fantastic Four. Believe it or not, it works!
The book is also somewhat bittersweet, even depressing, for a comics fan like me. Given the impact, fun and cultural relevancy of Marvel comics in their heyday it is sad to see how, in large part due to the industry itself, the comics industry today is shrunken, derivative and culturally irrelevant.
9 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Well-researched, even-handed, and hugely entertaining. 18. Oktober 2003
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Ignore the rather pitiful review from the writer who takes rather a lot on themself by claiming that all comic fans (and "Star Trek" fans as well) want is to hide from the awful attentions of the "mainstream" (i.e.; the real world), and be left alone. Having spent much of my life as a comics/SF/fantasy enthusiast,I can testify that many of them take great comfort in the idea that they are special, persecuted, and somewhat beyond the comprehension of non-fans, the "mainstream", and other people they conceive of as "outsiders". Well, they're not. This book is in no way, shape, or form "tabloid journalism" as claimed, but an excellent and thought-provoking examination of a pivotal, highly creative, yet slightly ambiguous figure in pop-culture. Lee's talent and influence are nowhere denied by the authors, and yet it's hard not to be a little uncomfortable with the efficiency with which he wound up assuming virtually all credit for creating a lot of hugely profitable superheroes that were, pretty clearly, co-created and plotted by Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. I've never really thought that Stan deliberately hogged the glory; It's just that he was so effusive, so outgoing and personable, whereas Kirby and the extremely private Ditko were not, that fans just sort of gravitated toward the idea that Stan was the mastermind. He could certainly have done more to dispel this notion, but it was good for business, and having seen Stan give a lecture once in the early 70's, I can bear witness to the fact that the audience regarded him as almost a holy object. It can be awfully hard to make yourself contradict complete adulation. The result was that Kirby and Ditko were, for years, relegated to the status of simple illustrators, drawing the pictures that brought to life what we all presumed were Lee's great imaginative visions, rather than as the indispensible creative forces that they were.Read Jack Kirby's immediate pre-Marvel CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN stories, compare them to the early FANTASTIC FOUR, then tell me who you think deserves the most credit for the FF.This very readable book does a very fine job of covering the life of the man,without either worshipping or denigrating him unfairly, but using Lee as a prism through which the history of the "silver age" of comics is viewed. And it's a lot of fun, as well. Far from crawling into a hole and asking to be "let alone", I say, "more please".
Incidentally, if you're interested in the subject of the history of the modern comic book, I can highly recommend THE COMIC BOOK HEROES, by Jones and Jacobs, a terrifically readable behind-the-scenes history of above-ground comics from the beginnings of the silver age. But, be careful to pick up the large,revised and updated version; it's almost completely rewritten from the original 80's version, which pulls most of its punches. The revised edition is the one with the behind-the-scenes coverage; you know: the stuff that the publishers like to publicly pretend never happened.
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen History of Marvel Comics 25. August 2003
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Excellent concise but thorough history of Marvel comics from the very earliest days to the present, with a ballanced assessment of Stan Lee's pivital role. Well researched and fair evaluation of the many controversies about Stan's creative role and partnerships with Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. Contains many fascinating details about the inner workings of the House of Ideas thru the years with appropriate emphasis on the Silver Age creative explosion resulting in Marvel's iconic line of superheroes and groups. This book really makes the reader understand how magical the partnership with Kirby and Lee was, resulting in a creative fervor unmatched since the launch of Superman in 1938. A great read for anyone wishing to know the backstory to the recent Hollywood superhero craze.
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