Maximum Fantastic Four

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Overview

Ushering in momentous change in comic-book illustration and ingenuity, Jack Kirby's immense artistic contribution to Fantastic Four #1 revolutionized visual storytelling and brought the art of reality to the extraordinary lives of super-heroes. The ripple effects of that single issue continue to influence comic-book art to this day. As a tribute to Kirby's rendering of Marvel's First Family and their first adventure, Maximum Fantastic Four re-presents Fantastic Four #1 as you've never seen it before - highlighted...

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Overview

Ushering in momentous change in comic-book illustration and ingenuity, Jack Kirby's immense artistic contribution to Fantastic Four #1 revolutionized visual storytelling and brought the art of reality to the extraordinary lives of super-heroes. The ripple effects of that single issue continue to influence comic-book art to this day. As a tribute to Kirby's rendering of Marvel's First Family and their first adventure, Maximum Fantastic Four re-presents Fantastic Four #1 as you've never seen it before - highlighted by a super-size, digitally remastered, panel-by-panel exploration of the entire issue that captures every single detail and nuance of Kirby's groundbreaking artwork. The book also contains a substantial introduction and afterword by bestselling author and comic-book enthusiast Walter Mosley; art commentary by Kirby expert Mark Evanier; the stunning design of Paul Sahre; and a scale-sized, high-resolution reproduction of FF #1.This immaculately packaged coffee-table masterpiece is must-have for any Jack Kirby enthusiast, Fantastic Four fanatic, or sequential art fan!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In August 1961, the first issue of a new comic book serial created by the team of Jack Kirby and Stan Lee hit the newsstands-and changed the superhero genre forever. The Fantastic Four-Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic), Sue Storm (the Invisible Girl), Johnny Storm (the Human Torch) and Ben Grimm (the Thing)-were born, and soon after, so was Marvel Comics as we know it today. This groundbreaking super team also had a profound effect on an 11-year-old Walter Mosley, stoking his young imagination with the intoxicating power of Kirby and Lee's visual storytelling. "I learned that entertainment, education, and art could all coexist in one form," writes Mosley in his introduction. Mosley's notion was to enlarge every one of Kirby's panels in FF #1, giving each panel an entire page and transforming a 32-page pulp comic into a 224-page hardcover art book. The result offers something like Roy Lichtenstein's early comic panel paintings-one's attention is focused on the brilliant composition and detail of Kirby's now-enlarged panels, even while Lee's narrative remains intact. This lavish book is both an impressive tribute to Kirby and Lee and a labor of love by Mosley, better known as a novelist than as a comics nerd. More important, the book is a thoughtful visual deconstruction of Kirby's dynamic visual syntax. Comics expert Mark Evanier contributes an essay on the early days of Marvel. Beautiful and contemplative, this book will be indispensable to fans of the modern superhero comic book. 'Nuff said! (Nov.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780785117926
  • Publisher: Marvel
  • Publication date: 11/16/2005
  • Series: Fantastic Four Series
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 8.36 (w) x 12.26 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Interviews & Essays

An Interview with Walter Mosley Barnes & Noble.com: You've written the intro for Maximum Fantastic Four, a coffee table–style reproduction of the legendary comic's first issue. Is it true the book was your idea?Walter Mosley: Yes, it was. I have always loved the Fantastic Four and especially the first 15 issues. When I bought FF #1 a few years ago, I tried to reconnect to my passion to that issue by scanning it into my computer and blowing up the individual frames. After that, Maximum FF was a no-brainer.B&N.com: Which FF team member do you most relate to?WM: My favorite character in comic books has always been the Thing. His power. His ugliness. His language. He's my kinda kick-ass.B&N.com: What do you find most appealing about the Marvel style? WM: The fact that they give most of their characters reasonable amounts of power and that those characters are so human. When a hero has to take a taxi to the battle and then doesn't have the fare…that's the world I live in.B&N.com: Most of your readers probably wouldn't necessarily associate you with comic books. Have you ever considered writing one -- maybe even the FF itself?WM: Never wanted to. Comic books to me are part of a sacred system of symbol and metaphor. I've always thought that if I broke the code I might lose part of my soul. That being said, I still may write one someday.B&N.com: How would you feel about an Easy Rawlins graphic novel? WM: I wouldn't mind seeing Easy in a comic book. It'd have to be X-rated, and I'd never be the one to write it.B&N.com: Do you think that the American perception of comic books as "juvenile" is now history?WM: No. Comic books in America have always been geared to adolescent passions. That hasn't changed all that much. Today, however, Americans may realize how potent and potentially dangerous those passions are.B&N.com: You cite Jack Kirby's amazing artwork in your introduction; do you think he's finally getting the credit he deserves as Stan Lee's "co-creator?"WM: Anyone who knows comic books knows, and has always known, that Jack Kirby is king. When the king died, there was no royalty to replace him.B&N.com: What did you think of the Fantastic Four movie?WM: Before I saw it, I didn't think it was possible to make. I was wrong. It was a comic book in filmic form. I'm sure many people didn't get it. But I was amazed at how close it got.B&N.com: Do you still read and collect comics? What are your favorites?WM: Marvel still rules the roost for me. From the Mighty Thor to the Fantastic Four, I'll probably have one on my nightstand when I give up the ghost and head off to meet the king.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    30 Minutes of My Life Gone

    From dictionary.com: ex·e·ge·sis (ek's?-je'sis) n. pl. ex·e·ge·ses (-sez)
    Critical explanation or analysis, especially of a text.



    Just wanted to point that out. I don't know what you call this book, but I think exegesis is a pretty lofty term for what is contained within.



    For one thing, most of it is just the reproduced story presented in the original Fantastic Four #1. And not very good reproduction either. Many of the frames of the comic are cut off at the top, making you have to decipher what the character in the frame is saying.



    Added to this is a reminiscence by author Walter Mosely which doesn't really reveal anything except his fascination for comics stemming from an early encounter with a box of cast off comics in a mom and pop store. Not much there to interest any one except maybe a Walter Mosely fan.



    Finally, about three quarters of the way through the book is a history of how Fantastic Four came about as a phenomenon. Included in the essay are the original plot line drawn up by Lee, and a reproduction of the original cover of Fantastic Four #1. What is not here is a "critical explanation or analysis, especially of a text." I guess you could call it an analysis of the history, to put a stretch on it. But the essay, reminiscence and text of the comic took all of 30 minutes out of my life, and I'd really like to have them back.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2005

    Maximum FF

    This book has amazing art and captures of the mood of the comic very well. The only trouble is that some of the pictures are too greatly enlarged.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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