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The New Smithsonian Book of Comic Book Stories: From Crumb to Clowes
by Bob Callahan
A panorama of some of the most creative and subversive art of our times, this one-of-a-kind anthology celebrates the artistry and insight of comic book art, graphic novels, and graphic journalism from the 1960s to the present. Classics such as R. Crumb's I Remember the Sixties, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko's Spider-Man saga “The Final Chapter,” and Dan Clowes's Caricature are ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published October 17th 2004 by Smithsonian Books
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Unlike the “Best American Comics” series, the Smithsonian did a much better job at separating the wheat from the chaff. I for one was very pleased to see Jim Woodring’s “Frank” featured prominently here. Not being a follower of the superhero genre, I skimmed over much of that section—although a very interesting early-60’s adventure of the Fantastic Four depicted a way in which comics could crusade for social betterment, as the crew battles a hooded bigot named “The Hatemonger.”
This book had such potential but I felt it fell short in a few important ways. The Crumb piece was a reflection on the underground comix movement rather than a piece from the underground comix movement. That The Sandman: A Midsummer Night's Dream was reproduced in black and white was a huge letdown as that issue was so important and Vess' artwork was so beautiful.