Review: The Great Comic Book Heroes

The Great Comic Book Heroes
The Great Comic Book Heroes by Jules Feiffer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The first real comic book trade paperback that reprinted old stories for fans features some good reprints of some old stories. The Spirit tale is a little soft in terms of reproduction, but there are some fun stories here. Make sure you buy the the hardcover from 1965 or the paperback from the seventies, as they have the reprints. The new edition and e-book does NOT have the comic book stories.

Without the reprints, this is not the best book of reminiscences about the industry, which is surprising considering Jules Feiffer is normally one of my favorite comic creators and a veritable legend in many industries. His commentary comes off as droll, boring, and almost confrontational at times. The “art” of comics (particularly other peoples’ comics) appears to have been lost on him as he grew older and the industry went through changes that forced him to adapt the juvenile outlook he had at the start. There’s no real joy through most of the book; just a lot of whingeing.

If you want proper Feiffer, pick up his novel Ackroyd (one of my favorite books) or a collection of his comic strips. If you want a good beginning collection of Golden Age comic book feature reprints, pick up an older edition of this book – just don’t bother reading the commentary.

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