Behind the scenes in the comic industry?
June 7, 2009 10:34 PM   Subscribe

Are there any good comic book industry tell-alls, or behind-the-scenes books?

Not so much interested in the Wertham-era fun with congress, but more who was a dick, what arguments were had over story arcs between writers and editors, what happened at story meetings that led to major events, etc. etc.

The type of thing you see all the time by high-level campaign staff after presidential elections. Just, you know, about people in capes.

Feel free to point me to blogs or columns if you have them too, but actual books are my main interest.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I read Tales to Astonish, which covers a lot of Marvel's shameful treatment of Jack Kirby.
posted by lore at 12:16 AM on June 8, 2009

Superman vs Hollywood - The trials and tribulations of bringing Superman from the comics to the radio, silver screen, and small screen.

Comic Book Wars - The story of Marvel's almost failure in the 90s.

The Life of Reilly - A series of blog entries looking at what was going on behind the scenes during the Clone Saga.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:08 AM on June 8, 2009

Keep an eye on Rich Johnston's Bleeding Cool or look through his old Lying in the Gutters columns, they're both very good for this sort of thing - there's a what it's like on a big DC book story in this one, for instance.
posted by permafrost at 3:49 AM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

Was Superman a Spy?: And Other Comic Book Legends Revealed contains lots of anecdotes and trivia. In blog form here.
posted by martinrebas at 4:16 AM on June 8, 2009

A really good fictional take on all of this, from 1939 onward, would be Michael Chabon's brilliant The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. It's just such a great read.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 6:38 AM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

There was an interesting interview with Craig Yoe on Fresh Air a few months ago discussing how Superman's co-creator, Joe Schuster, became disillusioned and started creating fetish art. More information on here.
posted by *s at 8:20 AM on June 8, 2009

Just about everything published by Twomorrows Publishing is about this kind of stuff, especially the magazine Alter Ego. Many of them have been compiled into books, loaded with fascinating interviews of comics artists, writers, and editors from the Golden and Silver Age. They go more recent, too.
posted by interrobang at 8:27 AM on June 8, 2009

Their collections of Comic Book Artist are also full of delicious anecdotes. Looks like they have some stuff on Google Books, so you can see if it's the sort of thing you're looking for.
posted by interrobang at 8:32 AM on June 8, 2009

Kirby: King of Comics is a coffee-table-ish book by Mark Evanier that covers Kirby's entire career; it doesn't go into huge depth, but at the very least it gives you an idea of some of the other personalities that Kirby had dealings with besides Stan Lee.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:29 AM on June 8, 2009

Colleen Doran's blog has some great "inside comics" stories.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:58 AM on June 8, 2009

Not sure I fully understand your question but you may be interested this book about the history of U.S. comics:
">Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book
posted by canoehead at 10:52 AM on June 8, 2009

Sorry, correct link: Men of Tomorrow
posted by canoehead at 3:48 PM on June 8, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks, all! I look forward to checking these out.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 9:05 AM on June 9, 2009

Chuck Rozanski's column from Comics Buyer's Guide, Tales from the Database, is riveting reading. Not much about writers and artists, but lots about the publishing business, and the comic specialty shop business. Perhaps the best starting place is the MetaFilter thread about it.
posted by Chuckles at 10:20 PM on June 10, 2009

Naked Artist: The Comic Book Legends

"Comic Book Legends" is an outrageous collection of the unreported exploits of comic creators, the stories only usually told late at night between the hallowed walls of convention pro bars!

posted by martinrebas at 9:32 AM on June 11, 2009

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