There’s art in them thar comics! Dana Jennings surveys the current boom in comics-related art books, with an essay:

But right now a quiet revolution is going on in comics art books. There are portfolio-size editions scanned directly from original artwork; artists successfully negotiating the worlds of fine, commercial and comics art; younger and less-well-known artists getting the full-color hardcover treatment; and the scholarship continues to deepen and the production values rise in books that study bedrock comic book artists like Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and Alex Toth.

A James Jean slideshow , and a survey of books called Comics Canonization fetauring Alex Toth, Walter Simonson, Mike Deodato Jr., James Jean, and Jim Lee. Hm, not quite the five I would have picked but it’s still a very nice feature.


  1. Jacob, that might because the field of so-called art-comics features boring, less compelling art and focuses on the writing and originality of concept. There really aren’t that many art-cartoonist that have had major art books. All I can think of off the top of my head is the Jaime Hernandez art book, and the plethora of Robert Crumb art books…

    Thanks, Beat for sharing this great article!

  2. Nobrow comes closest to “art comics”. (I prefer the term “literary comics”, with a focus on storytelling instead of the artwork.) But, yeah, attending the curated Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival last December, there wasn’t much which interested me.

    Of the “canonization” list, only two seem to have complete stories inside. The rest are surveys.

    Great publicity for IDW. Too bad the Thor book isn’t widely available (no data in Books In Print, Amazon is using associate retailers for fulfillment).

  3. I have to say I was kind of appalled by the writer’s constant emphasis on canonicity and the notion of a comics “canon.” Canon formation is so passe, isn’t it?