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Fire and Water: Bill Everett, the Sub-Mariner, and the Birth of Marvel Comics
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Fire and Water: Bill Everett, the Sub-Mariner, and the Birth of Marvel Comics

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  25 ratings  ·  5 reviews
70 years ago, a new publishing company named Marvel Comics stuck its toeinto the first waters of the comic book industry. Before they became a pop culture powerhouse publishing famous superheroes like Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, and Iron Man, Marvel s first ever comic book featured a daring newanti-hero named the Sub-Mariner, created by legendary artist Bill Everett. ...more
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published October 18th 2010 by Fantagraphics (first published July 30th 2009)
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This oversized book examines the life of one of the overlooked pioneers of the comics field. And though it never quite convinces the reader in its attempt to place Bill Everett as one of the giants in comics history, it presents a lively case for a reevaluation of this skilled--albeit uneven--artist.

Blake Bell's writing is a bit over the top and repetitive. After a painful introduction comparing Everett to Peter Pan, the text settles down to a concise overview of the artist's life and career. Fo
A long overdue book examining the life and art of Bill Everett, comic book writer artist who virtually invented Marvel Comics with his character the Sub-Mariner. Interesting fact, Peter Pan is mentioned as an influence on the Sub-Mariner's look. He was also influenced by the book A Dweller on Two Planets , supposedly written by an Atlantean via psychic medium Frederick S. Oliver.

Everett's early work at Centaur Comics is briefly discussed, as is his post-war work doing horror comics and ultimate
An interesting and well-done bio of Everett, all told.

Still, it was heavily padded-out by full page reprints of artwork and graphics to almost double its word-related page counts. As it's a book about an artist, that's to be expected (and actually added a star to its rank for me). The fact that much of the art hasn't been seen in good reproductions in 40+ years also adds to its relevance in the book.

My primary gripe about the book is its graphic design--NEVER print white on black unless you're
Jon Holt
This is a dud of a book. Eventually I did my own research and realized I wanted to read Everett's 1950s Subby from Atlas. This book could, at the very least, offer an annotated bibliography, but it doesn't. I guess Blake Bell doesn't want us to enjoy the comics he reads and writes about.
William J. Meyer
Just a gorgeous book about Everett.
Pete R.
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Writer of multiple books on comic-book creators. Books include "Fire & Water: Bill Everett, The Sub-Mariner & The Birth of Marvel Comics"; "Strange & Stranger: The World Of Steve Ditko", "I Have To Live With This Guy!", plus multiple introductions and forewords for Marvel and DC Comics. Also, editor of "The Steve Ditko Archives" volumes for Fantagraphics.
More about Blake Bell...
Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko The Secret History of Marvel Comics: Jack Kirby and the Moonlighting Artists at Martin Goodman's Empire I Have to Live with This Guy! Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man, Vol. 1 The Steve Ditko Archives, Volume 1: Strange Suspense

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