For the artwork, I'd give this book 5 stars. Many are printed with the pencils still showing, or in unaltered form. Some truly beautiful work here, including some gorgeous pieces from the pre-Marvel days. Thankfully, there's lots of art.
And the hard-back addition of Joe Sinnott's inked piece is very nice.
But I can only give about two stars for the text and art credits. Without looking too hard, I have counted 16 times where credits are wrong (eg - An FF# 113 page is not 'unpublished', they are uninked pencils for page 19.) or the inker is incorrectly credited. (How can the text talk of Buscema not liking deZuniga's inks on 'Oz', then print 3 pages of Oz crediting Buscema as the inker? How can Sal Buscema's inks for FF 298 be credited to Tom Palmer? How can the Palmer inks for the FOOM cover be credited to Buscema?)
Often the text is not dealing with Buscema's artistry at all, but is little more than fannish gushing about how the author liked certain story periods of a title. Yet there is no discussion on Buscema's working method, to enlighten a readers new to him as to why some pencils shown look really scratchy and rough, while others are clean and tight.
Conjecture is presented as fact.
"It was obvious that John liked drawing Belit..." Why? The rest of the paragraph virtually denies this statement, and since Buscema drew every character well, even Spiderman, why say such a thing without proof?
On one page, the author talks of John 'not liking drawing sword-wielding women like Red Sonja', then on another page it says, 'To John, the only interesting female character in comics was Red Sonja." What are we, the readers to believe?
There's a paragraph that talks of John's first Conan issue being what became Conan 27(which is true). But then we read about how the previous artist left early and 'Roy ended up wrapping up the story in Barry's last issue and it was released on schedule. John's story was then used in Conan # 25." What? This is nonsensical and plain wrong.
On the next page is a reference to the three part "Flame Winds, Tower of Blood with Red Sonja". How come no proof-reading picked up this obvious confusion between two totally separate story-lines?
And then there are lines like "in 1970, Jack (Kirby) departed from Marvel comics and Stan's first and only choice to replace him was John Buscema..." Sigh. If Adams and Romita, Kirby's first replacements, were ever only meant to be temporary, the author really should say how he knows this. But he doesn't know this at all - it's careless writing.
These are just a few examples of the sort of thing happens many times in this volume.
One last negative point - the placing of the credits are often very confusing. Some credits read in reverse order to how the pages appear, or are placed closer to the image they are not referring to than the correct credit. There are pages where unless the reader already knows how to identify inkers, there is no way to tell which credits refer to which pages.
This is all such a pity. It is a beautifully presented volume, but with far too many errors that the author could easily have avoided, considering his comics knowledge and the source material he used.
5 stars worth of art. Two stars for the writing. So over all, 3 stars only.