What better way to celebrate seventy-five years of DC Comics than this massive, stunning Taschen book. With 720 pages, two thousand plus images and probably over a hundred thousand words. It all adds up to treat for comic fans that will last and last.
Where to start? I preferred to dip into the five fold-out timelines (each forty-four inches wide) with about a thousand dated items spelling out the activities of DC, the comic industry in the context of the times and the seven pages at the back of the book with comprehensive biographies of all the creative folk was useful with the timelines.
The seven chapters are divided into Ages, starting with the Stone Age (nicely called Prehistory - 1938) and ending with the Modern Age: 1998 - 2010. An Afterword brings everything up-to-date with a section on the Digital Age. A feature that I particularly liked and it runs throughout the pages, are the artist portfolios, for example, Bernie Wrightson gets eight illustrations, Curt Swan seventeen, including a lovely whole page of Superman heads with various expressions. Another interesting feature is the inclusion of titles other than DC because they in some way influenced comic art or writing, a quick scan of the index (it's huge) reveals: Fawcett Publications; Jack Kirby; Mad; Marvel comics; Spider-man and Zap comix.
As usual Taschen spoil their readers by turning out an impressive looking book. Hundreds and hundreds of covers (many page size) original artwork, movie stills, ads and other graphics are all in color and each with comprehensive captions. Oh yes and a gold colored bookmark completes the package.
Expensive? Yes but you won't see something like this again for a long time (unless Taschen are planning a Marvel special!)