Plume Books 2012
288 pages–About $15
I really enjoyed Brian Cronin’s last book Was Superman a Spy? And I was looking forward to this in a big way. Well, so much for that.
I generally have had good luck with books about comics. Some of them have been outstanding (Between the Panels) and others almost as good. But when I got this one in my Amazon order, I had been looking forward to it for a while, and had high hopes. They were immediately dashed as I leafed through this and found little more than a book of lists. While some of the lists are fleshed out with brief passages of information on the topic or specific items on the list, that is as informative as this book gets. Some of the lists are in no way comprehensive. Many are by creators in the industry. While the opinion of a popular and successful colorist in the industry on who he thinks the great colorists out there are is interesting, it is hardly worth the price of admission.
Some of these lists are the “Top something of something” type lists, others are just arbitrary and kind of stupid. The list of other heroes Wolverine has popped his claws into is not worth the effort to write, let alone to read it.
The text has some accompanying cover shots and other pictures, but the low-ish quality of the printing makes these unsatisfying. While the contributions of some of today’s top creators are an interesting selling point, I’m sorry to say that this is as far as my interest went. Once I read this, I felt a little ripped off, especially given Cronin’s previous book.
I don’t like being negative on this kind of thing, but I found this very disappointing. If you like his contributions over at CBR, I can still heartily recommend the previous book, but give this one a miss.