Sunday, January 15, 2017

Comic Book Fever, by George Khoury

 1976-1986...when everything was awesome.

 Reading this book was like getting in a time machine and going back to relive my childhood. Every time I opened its oversized pages, I was transported back to The Bronx, haunting the local "candy stores" (Known to the rest of the world as newsstands...) for the latest issues, scouring the local stores for the occasional back issue that would mysteriously appear out of nowhere in a stack of magazines and newspapers, wishing that I could order some of the mysterious goods that were advertised in their pages....Author George Khoury made me remember things like The Intruder ("The Enemy of G.I. Joe!"), Bulletman, The Human Bullet, those hilarious Hostess Cupcake ads featuring your favorite Marvel and DC heroes, the staggering excitement of finding a copy of the oversized MUHAMMAD ALI VS. SUPERMAN, the thrill of seeing Superman meet Spider-Man for the first time. Khoury has packed this book with page after page of amazing artwork and covers, panels bursting with power and energy, and fun, informative text that brought all of these emotions rushing back to me. I truly had a blast reading this book. I was so sad to turn the last page....I stopped reading a few times, just so I could savor the book more.

 That said, you'll be wondering why I only gave COMIC BOOK FEVER nine out of ten devil heads:

 I had a little problem with the importance that Khoury attached to certain subjects. Some are glossed over with a half-page or so, while a few others (LOVE & ROCKETS, ELFQUEST, and TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES alone take up nearly 40 pages of the book.) are given, in my opinion, far too much space. Important works of art, to be sure, but Alan Moore only gets a handful of pages in comparison. Also, and this is a pet peeve of mine, the book is rife with spelling and grammatical errors, and, most troubling for a book like this, errors relating to characters and title. This is, to comic book fans, a historical document...there's no excuse for repeatedly calling Raphael (Of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) "Rafael", or mistakenly using the word "Directive" in the text referring to WHO'S WHO: THE DEFINITIVE DIRECTORY OF THE DC UNIVERSE, especially when there's a picture of a house ad right next to the error, showing the correct title. Things like this DRIVE...ME...NUTS. TwoMorrows does some great work...Their BACK ISSUE magazine is a must-read, and I've enjoyed many of their other magazines and books, but errors like this abound in their publications. They really need to invest in a proofreader. If they already have one, they need to fire them and get someone who can actually do the job. (I proofread professionally, me!)

 Those less anal-retentive children of the '70's and '80's will doubtlessly enjoy this book a tiny bit more than me. Nearly perfect. Here's hoping Mr. Khoury has more books like this in him, and that TwoMorrows hires him a better proofreader.

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