Heroes of the Comics (Fantagraphics)

CREDIT: Fantagraphics Comics

Rating: 5/5 – Fabulous Portraits and Bios of Legendary Comics Creators.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.

Drew Friedman is a veteran artist, having been published in seminal underground comics like Raw and Weirdo. Magazines like Heavy Metal, National Lampoon, and Mad.  He has also been drawing fabulous portraits of celebrities for a looong time.  If you’re unfamiliar with his work, check out his web-site.  Friedman draws movie stars, sports figures, comedians, politicians, musicians, and more.  And in this book we find collected the work where he chose to turn his able pen to comics creators.  And not just any creators, these are the giants of the fields.  The title of the book does not lie, these are the Heroes of the Comics.

In addition to 83 wonderfully rendered full-page color portraits we are treated to capsule biographies of each on the opposing page.  You may know some of these creators, but most people will not be familiar with them all.  I’ve read a lot of comics and a lot of comics history and I discovered a few names in here that I was unfamiliar with, but I know them now.  And how cool is it to see the faces of the men behind the comics you know and love?  Or, in some cases, the creators behind the comics that inspired the comics that inspired the comics that you know and love…  Check out the Fantagraphics web-site where you can download a 21-page preview of this fabulous 9″x12″ hardcover tome.

Check out portraits of people you likely know: Jack Kirby, Will Eisner, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko.  And what about Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Carmine Infantino, Ramona Fradon?  Frank Frazetta, Joe Kubert, Alex Toth, Russ Heath, and many many more.  If you love comics and you care about the creators behind those comics you love, you owe it to yourself to check this book out.  It’s a visual treat and a learning experience wrapped into a single hardcover.  Thank you, Drew Friedman.  Thank you, Fantagraphics.

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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