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Independent Press Award

2024 Distinguished Favorite

Understanding Superhero Comic Books

Alex Grand

This work dissects the origin and growth of superhero comic books, their major influences, and the creators behind them. It demonstrates how Batman, Wonder Woman, Captain America and many more stand as time capsules of their eras, rising and falling with societal changes, and reflecting an amalgam of influences. The book covers in detail the iconic superhero comic book creators and their unique contributions in their quest for realism, including Julius Schwartz and the science-fiction origins of superheroes; the collaborative design of the Marvel Universe by Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, and Steve Ditko; Jim Starlin's incorporation of the death of superheroes in comic books; John Byrne and the revitalization of superheroes in the modern age; and Alan Moore's deconstruction of superheroes.

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