This is the latest in a series of stand-alone reference books
by insider Tom DeFalco which delves into the writing and artwork
of comics. The emphasis seems to be very much on Marvel and
has continuity in mind as it follows a title from its conception
through to recent events. With Comics
Creators on Spider-Man
Creators on Fantastic Four (both also published
by Titan Books) having already been handled, it was perhaps
inevitable that the popular X-Men would be next.
format used to tell the history and developments of storylines
and individual approaches to artwork is a collection of interviews
with similar questions surrounding background and new ones
explaining plot and characterisation.
we kick-off with Stan Lee, creator of a multitude of loveable
superheroes which many of us grew-up reading. Other writers
covered who have worked on the comic series include Roy Thomas
(the creator of Wolverine and Banshee), Chris Claremont (who
devised the Jean Grey "Dark Phoenix" saga), and Grant Morrison.
Artists include John Byrne, Marc Silvestri, Neal Adams, Dave
Cockrum and others. All interviews are pretty informal and
punctuated with insets explaining story arcs and some nice
examples of sketched artwork. There are also monochrome representations
of groundbreaking covers.
like the festive season, you reap what you sow as far as these
books are concerned. Personally, I enjoyed the Spider-Man
one best, but only because I read the comics as a kid and
could relate to many of the twists and turns that the character
endured. I know much less about the X-Men and consequently
couldn't really get caught-up in the enthusiasm of those involved.
I found it interesting only from the writing angle (the most
talented seem to be those who are not afraid to put their
protagonists through hell and have them permanently affected
If you're a long-time X-Men enthusiast you'll lap this
up. If you're a fan of the films or animated shows and want
to find out about the origins of the comics, you could do
worse than start here. Otherwise, Comics Creators on X-Men
will be of only casual interest. Stand by for Comics Creators
on The Hulk; it must surely be next.
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