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American Comic Book Chronicles: The 1950s (Anglais) Relié – 3 septembre 2013

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The American Comic Book Chronicles continues its ambitious series of full-color hardcovers where TwoMorrows' top authors document every decade of comic book history from the 1940s to today! Bill Schelly authors the volume on the 1950s era of Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley, with a year-by-year account of the most significant publications, notable creators, and impactful trends, including: the rise of the great EC "New Trend" titles (Tales of the Crypt, Weird Science), Harvey Kurtzman's Mad, and Carl Barks' classic work on Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge! Plus, read about the publication of Dr. Fredric Wertham's notorious anti-comics book, Seduction of the Innocent, and the Senate hearings on juvenile delinquency that led to the creation of the Comics Code, changing the face of comics for decades to come!

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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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14 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Comics' crisis decade 3 septembre 2013
Par David J. Hogan - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
As part of the publisher's ambitious, multi-volume history of American comic books, historian Bill Schelly has written an incisive account of industry activity, 1950-59. Roughly, the story goes like this: 1950-54, comic book sales fly high, with multitudinous publishers and a boggling array of titles. Crime, western, horror, and funny animal titles sell well. Superheros are in remission, carrying on most noticeably at DC-National.

1955-59: Excesses of the first five years of the decade, particularly sexual innuendo and depictions of violence, encourage opportunistic politicians and a shrewdly self-promoting NYC psychiatrist to attack comic books as unwholesome, squalid, and dangerous. An ostensibly self-imposed Comics Code allows the industry to survive, but helps destroy the legendary EC Comics, as well as many other publishers. During the last half of the decade, comics writers and artists scramble for work at reduced rates, or leave the industry altogether. Atlas/Marvel loses its distributor and becomes essentially irrelevant, as least insofar as industry leaders DC and Dell are concerned. Comic books grow blandly inoffensive, ignoring the older readers that had sustained them during the war and into the '50s, and concentrating instead on the grade-school crowd. But then, unexpectedly, the superhero genre is reborn.

Summed up like this, the tale of comics in the 1950s seems tidy enough, but it's actually complex, tangled, and fascinating. Written by Schelly with lively directness and clarity, and scrupulously researched, the book reveals how culture, technology, media, politics, and business--as well as newsstand product that was variously awful and sublime--drove the industry to great heights, and then nearly destroyed it.

Each year is covered in a discrete chapter, with clearly organized sections devoted to each publisher's activities for the year. DC, Atlas, Dell, Fawcett, and other major players are well covered, and so are more modestly sized outfits (EC, St. John), as well as numerous fringe players that made impacts. Schelly has acute critical insights--praising, for example, the striking EC output, the exciting late-decade evolution of DC artist Carmine Infantino, and the vital, often ingenious contributions of such writers as John Stanley, Otto Binder, Jerry Siegel, Harvey Kurtzman, and Richard E. Hughes. Editors, too, from Stan Lee to Mort Weisinger, are smartly discussed. Because Schelly understands that comics are a business, his unsentimental portraits of Harry Donenfeld, Martin Goodman, Bill Gaines, and other publishers give the book the dimension it needs to transcend mere aesthetic history, and become a broader and hugely intriguing account of business strategies and alliances, moves and countermoves, profit and loss, ambition and hubris.

Printed on glossy stock and abundantly illustrated with vintage covers, interior pages and panels, original art, and photos of key players, the book is a visual feast. Toth, Gil Kane, Maneely, Barks, Sprang, Kirby, Ingels, Heath, Kubert, Boring, Baker, Cole (L. B. and Jack), Wood, Dillin & Cuidera--all the heavy hitters are here, plus lesser lights that deserve your attention. Nicely designed timelines put each year's comics activity into a somewhat larger context, referencing, for example, Sputnik and teen movies. Extended, illustrated sidebars cover a nifty range of topics that includes blacks in comics, women in the business, atomic anxiety reflected in comics, the birth of Sgt. Rock, and more.

What may be most pleasing is that Schelly, who has already written splendid histories of comics fandom, as well as fine books about Joe Kubert, "gets" something that eludes many non-academic cultural historians: the decade of the '50s was no Happy Days idyll, but a period of enormous cultural and political tension, with developing battles over the responsibilities of media, evolving sexual mores, clashing philosophies of child-rearing, the nascent teen culture, and postwar consumerism. This fine book encompasses all of that, to explain and illustrate how and why comic books were unique parts of this American quilt.
11 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Great content in an awful package 5 février 2014
Par Taylor A. Ramsey - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I first bought the vol 1 of the 1960s book and it was amazing.
Then the 80s one, and content wise it was every bit as good. Unfortunately the book was falling apart as soon as I opened it. It took two returns to get one that was intact.
Now the 50s volume is here and has the same issues. The last signature (each group of bound pages is called a signature) is falling out of the book. I'm have just gotten the second one and it is only a marginal improvement.
If the outstanding content is more important to you than havering a book that will last, buy this. But if, like me you are likely to read it more than once and would like it to last, this is not worth the money.
I am seriously debating if I want the next volumes or if I am just going to give the rest of these a miss. And that is a bummer. Books like this deserve a better quality of printing.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Great history book! 9 octobre 2013
Par Bill Wormstedt - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
What a great book!

I've read a lot of comic book histories in my life, but pretty much stopped a decade or so because I was getting tired of reading the same old details over and over. This is not the case with "American Comic Book Chronicles: The 1950s" by Bill Schelly.

Bill has gone a lot farther into the details than I've seen in a long time. Each chapter details one year, and talks about all the publishers, not just the few at the top. He shows the ups and downs of the industry as time goes on, and the hows and whys certain publishers did things.

Of course, the book is filled with illustrations, and given the high quality printing, they're all in color (even though not for a dime!)

I especially liked Bill's analysis of the first Silver Age Flash Story, "Mystery of the Human Thunderbolt". Bill illustrates his sidebar with the appropriate panels from the story to show exactly how Kanigher and Infantino made this such a great story.

This book is definitely up there in the listing of the top comic book histories, and well worth the read.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Excellent and Entertaining! 12 septembre 2013
Par HB Fan - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
All of comics historian Bill Schelly's books are great reads, but he has really pulled off quite a coup here: this book is both exhaustively researched and thoroughly entertaining to read - no easy feat. He brings the crazy, topsy-turvy era of the '50s to vibrant life, and makes it easy to understand the ups and downs of the industry during that time. Even the events you think you've read about so often before (EC comics, Wertham, the congressional hearings, the birth of the Comics Code and the Silver Age, etc.) are all given a fresh perspective thanks to Schelly's research and knowledge. The book is lavishly illustrated with hand-picked art, all in color, including some unseen, rare original art reproductions. And the yearly Timeline is worth the book's price in itself. This is a must-have for any true comics historian. Recommended highly and unreservedly!
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Well researched and entertaining book about an important decade in the history of comic books 18 octobre 2013
Par Jim Korkis - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Bill Schelly's writing has always been knowledgeable and entertaining, with some surprises that don't appear anywhere else when it comes to facts, quotes and insight.

His latest book is probably his best work yet. It covers a convoluted topic with seamless ease making it accessible to a casual reader with little or no background in the subject and yet enthralling for the "expert" in the field as well with its plethora of new information. It is a difficult balancing act but Schelly accomplishes it in this clear and colorful package. It is easy to find the information which is something that is especially important for me.

Every page has some new treasure that Schelly shares accompanied by stunning artwork that supports the text. This will be a valuable source for future researchers and writers.

I am amazed at how much information Schelly was able to include on the "secondary" publishers of this decade as well as his new insights into the product of the big publishers like DC comics.

Schelly has set a pretty high standard for the rest of the series to try to match.

If you love comic books, if you love well-written and accurate historical material, if you grew up in the Sixties or Seventies when comic books of the Fifties were an intriguing mystery, then this is a book that needs to be added to your library.
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