Marvel Comics: The Untold Story

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9780061992100: Marvel Comics: The Untold Story

“Sean Howe’s history of Marvel makes a compulsively readable, riotous and heartbreaking version of my favorite story, that of how a bunch of weirdoes changed the world…That it’s all true is just frosting on the cake.”
—Jonathan Lethem

“Exhaustively researched and artfully assembled, this book is a historical exploration, a labor of love, and a living illustration of how the weirdest corners of the counterculture can sometimes become the culture-at-large.”
— Chuck Klosterman

In the early 1960s, Marvel Comics introduced a series of bright-costumed superhero characters—including Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Daredevil, and the Amazing Spider-Man—that would evolve into a modern American mythology for millions of readers. Over the last half-century, these characters have been passed along among generations of brilliant editors, artists, and writers who struggled with commercial mandates, a fickle audience, and, over matters of credit and control, one another. Written by Sean Howe, former comic book reviewer and editor at Entertainment Weekly, Marvel Comics: The Untold Story is a gripping narrative of one of the most extraordinary, beloved, and beleaguered pop cultural entities in America’s history.

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From the Back Cover:

An unvarnished, unauthorized, behind-the-scenes account of one of the most dominant pop cultural forces in contemporary America

Operating out of a tiny office on Madison Avenue in the early 1960s, a struggling company called Marvel Comics presented a cast of brightly costumed characters distinguished by smart banter and compellingly human flaws. Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Captain America, the Incredible Hulk, the Avengers, Iron Man, Thor, the X-Men, Daredevil—these superheroes quickly won children's hearts and sparked the imaginations of pop artists, public intellectuals, and campus radicals. Over the course of a half century, Marvel's epic universe would become the most elaborate fictional narrative in history and serve as a modern American mythology for millions of readers.

Throughout this decades-long journey to becoming a multibillion-dollar enterprise, Marvel's identity has continually shifted, careening between scrappy underdog and corporate behemoth. As the company has weathered Wall Street machinations, Hollywood failures, and the collapse of the comic book market, its characters have been passed along among generations of editors, artists, and writers—also known as the celebrated Marvel "Bullpen." Entrusted to carry on tradition, Marvel's contributors—impoverished child prodigies, hallucinating peaceniks, and mercenary careerists among them—struggled with commercial mandates, a fickle audience, and, over matters of credit and control, one another.

For the first time, Marvel Comics reveals the outsized personalities behind the scenes, including Martin Goodman, the self-made publisher who forayed into comics after a get-rich-quick tip in 1939; Stan Lee, the energetic editor who would shepherd the company through thick and thin for decades; and Jack Kirby, the World War II veteran who'd co-created Captain America in 1940 and, twenty years later, developed with Lee the bulk of the company's marquee characters in a three-year frenzy of creativity that would be the grounds for future legal battles and endless debates.

Drawing on more than one hundred original interviews with Marvel insiders then and now, Marvel Comics is a story of fertile imaginations, lifelong friendships, action-packed fistfights, reformed criminals, unlikely alliances, and third-act betrayals— a narrative of one of the most extraordinary, beloved, and beleaguered pop cultural entities in America's history.

About the Author:

Sean Howe is the editor of Give Our Regards to the Atomsmashers!: Writers on Comics and the Deep Focus series of film books. He is a former editor and critic at Entertainment Weekly, and his writing has appeared in New York, The Los Angeles Times, Slate, Spin, and The Village Voice. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2013. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 226 x 150 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. From a tiny office on Madison Avenue in the early 1960s, a struggling company named Marvel Comics introduced a series of bright-costumed superhero characters distinguished by smart banter and compellingly human flaws. Spider-Man , The Fantastic Four , Captain America , The Incredible Hulk , The Avengers , Iron Man , Thor , The X-Men , Daredevil - these superheroes quickly won children s hearts and sparked the imagination of pop artists, public intellectuals, and campus radicals. Over the course of half a century, Marvel s epic universe would become the most elaborate fictional narrative in history and serve as a modern American mythology for millions of readers. Interweaving history, anecdotes, and analysis, Sean Howe traces Marvel s decades - long rise to a multi-billion-dollar enterprise, revealing how it weathered Wall Street machinations, Hollywood failures, legal battles, and the collapse of the comic book market. He shows how Marvel s identity has continually shifted, careening between scrappy underdog and corporate behemoth. He also introduces the men behind the magic, including self-made publisher Martin Goodman, energetic editor Stan Lee, and Jack Kirby, the WWII veteran and co-creator of many of the company s marquee characters. A story of fertile imaginations, lifelong friendships, action-packed fistfights, reformed criminals, unlikely alliances, and third-act betrayals that incorporates more than one hundred original interviews with Marvel insiders then and now, Marvel Comics: The Untold Story is a gripping narrative of one of the most dominant pop cultural forces in contemporary America. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780061992100

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2013. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 226 x 150 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. From a tiny office on Madison Avenue in the early 1960s, a struggling company named Marvel Comics introduced a series of bright-costumed superhero characters distinguished by smart banter and compellingly human flaws. Spider-Man , The Fantastic Four , Captain America , The Incredible Hulk , The Avengers , Iron Man , Thor , The X-Men , Daredevil - these superheroes quickly won children s hearts and sparked the imagination of pop artists, public intellectuals, and campus radicals. Over the course of half a century, Marvel s epic universe would become the most elaborate fictional narrative in history and serve as a modern American mythology for millions of readers. Interweaving history, anecdotes, and analysis, Sean Howe traces Marvel s decades - long rise to a multi-billion-dollar enterprise, revealing how it weathered Wall Street machinations, Hollywood failures, legal battles, and the collapse of the comic book market. He shows how Marvel s identity has continually shifted, careening between scrappy underdog and corporate behemoth. He also introduces the men behind the magic, including self-made publisher Martin Goodman, energetic editor Stan Lee, and Jack Kirby, the WWII veteran and co-creator of many of the company s marquee characters. A story of fertile imaginations, lifelong friendships, action-packed fistfights, reformed criminals, unlikely alliances, and third-act betrayals that incorporates more than one hundred original interviews with Marvel insiders then and now, Marvel Comics: The Untold Story is a gripping narrative of one of the most dominant pop cultural forces in contemporary America. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780061992100

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Book Description Harper. Book Condition: New. 2012. First Edition. Hardcover. Shows how Marvel's identity has continually shifted, careening between scrappy underdog and corporate behemoth. The author also introduces the men behind the magic, including self-made publisher Martin Goodman, energetic editor Stan Lee, and Jack Kirby, the WWII veteran and co-creator of many of the company's marquee characters. Num Pages: 496 pages, Two Black and White Images. BIC Classification: 1KBB; KNTP. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 234 x 167 x 40. Weight in Grams: 728. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780061992100

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