DC COMICS YEAR BY YEAR (NEW EDITION): A VISUAL CHRONICLE / AUTHOR: ALAN COWSILL & OTHERS / PUBLISHER: DK / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Packing eighty five years of colourful comic book history into a single volume is quite a feat, even if it only features titles published by DC Comics, but this latest edition of DC Comics Year By Year manages it with style and a brevity that invites further investigation.
Alan Cowsill, ably assisted by Alex Irvine, Matthew K Manning, Michael McAvennie, Melanie Scott, and Daniel Wallace, moves through the DC Comics timeline from the 1934 inception of the company as National Allied Publications and their first title, New Fun, the first comic book to feature all-new material rather than reprints of syndicated strips. Along the way we take in the Golden Age with its proliferation of Nazi-smashing costumed heroes, the Silver Age when superheroes made a comeback after a decade in the doldrums, and into the Bronze Age, Modern Age and beyond.
Each year is broken down into bite-sized chunks detailing the most important comic book releases. 1938 brings us Action Comics #1 and the first appearance of Superman, while 1963 looks at My Greatest Adventure #80 and the debut of the Doom Patrol, now TV stars in their own right. Each year has something both familiar and surprising to the casual reader, with even the most hardcore DC fan occasionally being caught off guard by something they may not have known or long-since forgotten.
Lavishly illustrated with cover shots, interior art and pin-ups, the book is beautifully put together and will look good strewn across your coffee table to impress any geek-curious visitors. The new edition comes in a slipcase and includes two exclusive prints by Guillem March and Frank Cho.
While it’s by no means encyclopaedic, DC Comics Year By Year: A Visual Chronicle is a wonderful tome, and a perfect for the comic fan in your life (or yourself!). DC has such a rich history that it's equally-rewarding whether you progress through the months and years or just choose to dip in and out, and it’s a book you’ll spend a lot of time with over the coming years.