Item description for Silver Age: The Second Generation of Comic Artists by Daniel Herman...
This book takes an inside look at the artists who created the Silver Age of comics. Based on dozens of interviews, this book carefully shows the development of the art of comic book storytelling from its roots in comic strips and the first generation of comic book artists in the Golden Age. Hundreds of pieces of original artwork illustrate the lengthy text.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 11.9" Width: 8.8" Height: 0.5" Weight: 1.85 lbs.
Release Date Mar 9, 2005
Publisher Hermes Press
ISBN 1932563644 ISBN13 9781932563641
Reviews - What do customers think about Silver Age: The Second Generation of Comic Artists?
Good Addition to a Comics History Library May 4, 2006
What makes this book are the reproductions of the original artwork, with all their smudges, whiteouts, and blue-pencilled corrections. In this way, "Silver Age" is reminiscent of an absolutely wonderful book on the history of comic strips called "Children of the Yellow Kid."
As another reviewer has remarked, Herman spends too much time singing the praises of Gil Kane. I suspect it's because Herman could find more original art of Kane than anyone else. I also disagree with Herman's assessments of some of the artists--for example, ho-humming the beautiful inks of Murphy Anderson. To me, Infantino and Anderson were the Lennon and McCartney of the Silver Age. Their work complemented each other perfectly, although you wouldn't guess that from what the artists had to say about each other.
But then this is MY opinion, no more valid than Herman's. And I don't reject a book because I disagree with it. The reason for my star rating is that I feel the book should have dealt a little less with Kane and with the history preceding the Silver Age and shown us more of the original artwork of the time.
Still, "Silver Age" is a valuable book to have around.
Thorough and interesting history of the Silver Age artist Nov 9, 2005
This book has been generating an interesting buzz in the comic book world. Author Daniel Herman, who has written a biography of artist Gil Kane and edited a book of interviews about Kane is a well known authority on the art of the comics. His opinions though are not always politically correct with die hard comic book fans. This comes through in the book which is a fascinating and thorough history of the development of art and artists of comic books. The book traces the development of comic book art from the strips, through the Golden Age, to and through the Silver Age. The book coherently and rather entertainingly disucsses every artist of importance, and many who were peripheral. The list is extremely long and includes, in no particular order, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Don Heck, Marie and John Severin, Wally Wood, Bill Everett, Gene Colan, John Romita, Russ Manning, Dan Speigle, Jerry Grandenetti, Irv Novick, Ross Andru, Gil Kane, Carmine Infantino, Joe Kurbert, Dan Barry, Alex Toth, Lee Elias, and a whole lot more. The design of the book is excellant, most of the art used is from the originals and is beautifully reproduced. The art was pulled from a number of large collections and contains a number of real gems. All and all this is required reading for an fan of the artists of comics and belongs in every library.
A controversial history which really got me thinking Nov 4, 2005
I just got through reading Silver Age and while I did not agree with all of the author's conclusions, the book was interesting, good reading, and very thoughtful. I read the last reviewer's comments and he couldn't be more wrong. The author of the book (Herman) finally explains how the great Silver Age artists were influenced by the great comic strip artists and that almost all of them apprenticed in the Golden Age shops. The book explains the developent of the art of comic books and shows great examples as well. The last reviewer, who is obviously just a "fanboy" just doesn't appreciate that this book, for the first time that I am aware of, explaints the history of the development of the art of comic books. The art is great, the book covers just about every artist in the fleld and gives us examples of their work. It is simply great to see the original artwork of many of these artists, and in color as well. One cavaet though, you have to read the book to enjoy it, something the last reviewer didn't do (by the way Herman does mention the Atomic Age on page 11 of the book and comments it is not a very descriptive or widely used). Highly recommended.
Barely scratches the Silver Age surface Oct 17, 2005
For a book purporting to be about Silver Age art, this volume is fatally incomplete. This is essentially a vanity press publication, the author, Daniel Herman, being a comics fan publishing under his own "Hermes Press" imprint.
This in itself is not necessarily a bad thing, but Herman's own predilections and interests seem to be responsible for the omissions, and inappropriate emphasis on non-Silver Age and trivial material found in this book.
A huge chunk of the book -- the first three chapters, almost 100 pages -- is given over to discussion and illustrations of pre-Silver Age strips and comics. Why? Hasn't this period been amply covered elsewhere?
Once we actually get into the Silver Age, we get some very nice examples of original art (some never before published, as far as I know) but again, the author's bias badly distorts the coverage.
Gil Kane, a wonderful artist and gifted storyteller, is given far too much coverage. Though his contribution to DC (Green Lantern, Atom) and to several Marvel titles in the '60s and '70s is genuinely significant, his work receives inordinate emphasis. In fact, the entire final chapter of the book is devoted to a little-known one-off black and white magazine Kane created in the late '60s called "His Name is Savage." It was a commercial flop, even as it attempted to broaden the audience for more "adult" (i.e., explicitly violent, non-Comics Code approved) comics, and it is barely a footnote in most comics histories.
I appreciate Herman's championing of Kane, but this is not the place for such blatant hagiography. Contrast the extensive coverage Kane receives with the paltry few pages given over to Steve Ditko, co-creator of Spider-Man, and one of the absolute giants of the Silver Age. Other important Marvel artists of the period, like John Romita, John Buscema, Jim Steranko, Barry Smith, John and Marie Severin, and Dick Ayers, are mentioned only in passing, with little or none of their art represented, save as small cover thumbnails.
It appears Herman's personal preferences (and the pieces in his personal collection of original art) are the real organizing principles of this books, not, as suggested in the title, any sort of overview of Silver Age art.
There are some puzzling minor errors. For example, Herman says inker George Roussos used the name "John Bell" at Marvel. Roussos inked under the name George Bell, not John Bell. Herman also claims the period between 1945 and 1956 has not been "named" by comics historians. Actually, the appellation "Atom Age" is pretty commonly used by comics fans, dealers and others. It seems odd that Herman would not know this.
Herman's coverage of the DC Silver Age is again horribly incomplete, but better than his coverage of Marvel. The original art examples by Carmine Infantino, Gil Kane, Mike Sekowsky et al almost make up for it. There are some wonderful pages and covers from DC's heyday that are a joy to view, and savor.
Of the other companies mentioned in the book, there is one glaring oversight: ACG, the American Comics Group, is entirely absent. This small company published over a score of titles in the late '50s and early '60s, and are avidly collected today. "Adventures into the Unknown" and "Forbidden Worlds" both ran well over 100 issues before cancellation, and artists like Kurt Schaffenberger, Pete Constanza, Ogden Whitney and Chic Stone were favored contributors.
This book will be appreciated by hardcore comics fans, but it is too flawed and incomplete to be recommended as a general overview of Silver Age art.
Finally a definitive book about the Silver Age artists Apr 14, 2005
I just got through reading Silver Age and it is a wonderful, in-depth history of how my favorite period in comic book history, the Silver Age, came about. For a long time I have been looking for a book that discussed all the artists and all the publishers of the Silver Age and this book does just that. This book also uses the original artwork so I can really get a look at what the artwork of Jack Kirby, Joe Kubert, Gil Kane, Carmine Infantino, Steve Ditko, John Romita, and many usually neglected artists like Don Heck, Bill Everett, Ramona Fradon, and Bruno Premiani, really looked like. Just a great book!