|the cover featuring a contemplative Jack Kirby, designed by Jesse Marinoff Reyes.|
the book was designed by Keeli McCarthy and edited by Eric Reynolds.
The oversize hardcover published by Fantagraphics features portraits of early comic book artists, writers, editors and publishers, all of who played an integral role in the dawning years of the comic book industry, from the mid-thirties to the mid-fifties.
The book features 84 full color portraits of the legends of American comic books, from the industry's birth in the mid-thirties, through the EC comics and the enforcement of the strict industry "Comics Code" in the mid-fifties. Featuring the famous and in some cases obscure. I wrote a short biographical essay on each subject. I grew up meeting and later getting to know a number of the legends included, as the son of the author and former Magazine Management editor, (the company that ran Marvel comics), Bruce Jay Friedman and later as a student at New York's School of Visual Arts and contributer to Mad, among them: Stan Lee, Martin Goodman, Al Hollingsworth, Irwin Hasen, and later Harvey Kurtzman, Will Eisner, Mort Drucker, Dave Berg, Al Jaffee, Will Elder and William M. Gaines.
My piece written for The Comics Journal on how I chose who qualified as a "Hero of the Comics":
More names you may, (or may not), recognize include Max Gaines, Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, Lev Gleason, Joe Simon, Carl Barks, Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Jerry Robinson, Charles Biro, Wally Wood, Woody Gelman, Basil Wolverton, Frank Frazetta, Marie Severin, Johnny Craig, Mort Meskin, Gardner Fox, Jack Cole, Steve Ditko, Ramona Fradon, John Stanley, Dr. Fredric Wertham and many more. It's a visual who's who/hall of fame of comic book history.
|the full illustration of cover subject Jack ("King") Kirby|