“75 years of DC Comics. The art of creating modern myths” is an impressive illustrated book. It has been published by the Kölner Taschen-Verlag. The book is a visual pleasure and it invites you to dive into the colourful world of comics.
At the end of July, it was that time again: Hundreds of thousands of lovers of the superheroes’ stories came together in California for the annual “San Diego Comic Con” exhibition. Amongst them were, once again, many stars such as illustrators and authors as well as famous Hollywood actors, who were promoting their new films. This is because the stories of the comic heroes have made it big on cinema screens, a far cry from the small “strips” they used to have in daily newspapers and the “read-and-throw away” comics books of the past. They now draw viewers in their millions, internationally. Through films in particular, comic-book heroes have become a permanent part of the global pop culture: Everybody knows Batman and Superman, even without having set foot in a comic shop even once! DC Comics, which was founded by Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson in 1934, along with Marvel are responsible for this success. From the time of the appearance of the first comic, “New Fun no. 1” in 1935, more than 40,000 comic titles have been published in the last more than 80 years.
A gigantic picture book about the history of DC Comics
The opulent book, “75 years of DC Comics. The art of creating modern myths” shows how important the publishing house was and is, in defining the style for the entire genre of comics. With its over 2,000 images, it is the most comprehensive book about DC Comics. In order to make this, the cover and interior pages, original illustrations, photographs, pictures of scenes from films and collectors’ items were re-photographed and presented in a well presented and vibrantly colourful layout. The focus is on the Superman figure, which is the star of the publishing company and of the entire genre and whose success is analysed in detail. Aside from the internationally well-known driving forces of the publishing company, comics such as “Strange Adventures” and the successful “Detective Comics” that have been published from 1937, are introduced to you as well. They too, are based on the “DC” brand. In addition to all the above, the timeline of the development of the genre is compiled precisely and offers all comics fans an indispensable overview of the various development phases: From its beginnings in the “Golden Age”, which Superman belongs to and through the “Silver Age” of the Justice League, the removal of the DC multiverse in the “Bronze Age” and up to the “Modern Age” and the return of the all-stars series.
A personal view of the history of the publishing house
The author of the book is Paul Levitz, who has been closely involved with the publishing house from the 1970s and who can look back upon 38 years of experience with it. He was first employed as an editor, then as Vice President and finally as President and head of the publication. As a well-known author of comics, he has also written over 300 stories for them. In the shoes of a fan of comics and an insider, Levitz tells us the history of the publishing house from its seedy beginnings to the highly modern digital publishing house that it has become, in a personal essay. During the course of the essay, he gives a precis of the development of comics in the USA and of the popular DC heroes. Levitz has made a decisive contribution to the present-day popularity of superheroes and to the continued excitement that the stories narrated in comics generate. He was also responsible, to a significant extent, in the adaptation of the stories for movies and for television.
Premium quality re-publication in a more compact format
“75 Jahre DC Comics” is a republication of the original “75 Years of DC Comics”, which was first published in 2011. The latter impressed you with its XL format and its price of Euro 150. As opposed to that, the new edition is designed in a smaller format (25 x 34.2 cm) und at Euro 50.00, it is also decidedly cheaper than the original edition. The durable cover and the premium quality paper of its 720 pages still manages to bring its weight up to a solid five kilograms. Besides the reduction in the size, the Kölner Taschen-Verlag has additionally decided to also enclose a 60-page accompanying booklet, in which the English texts can be read in their respective German, French or Spanish translations.
Posted on 02.08.2017