Books about Marvel

| Filed under: Books, Comic Books

This list combines two of my favorite types of books—big, coffee-table-sized books and historical narratives. I've been picking up more of the big picture books lately because I can share them with my kids. I put them on the lower shelves in my office, and it's where I send them when they complain about being bored. Just the other day, my 6-year-old spent close to an hour looking at a book about Back to the Future.

With that said, I've decided to write more posts about books. I love discovering new finds - and my Amazon wish list has gotten to the point where it would take several lifetimes to get through. So I figured the next best thing would be to share them. As usual, hit me up with any good ones I missed.

  • Marvel Comics: The Untold Story

    Sean Howe

    Probably the most definitive, well-researched history of Marvel out there (I had no idea that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the bulk of Marvel's characters in just three years). Bonus points for the cover lettering, done by the gang over at Young Jerks.

    Buy on Amazon

  • Marvelocity: The Marvel Comics Art of Alex Ross

    Alex Ross & Chip Kidd

    I'm relatively new to the world of comics, and my first exposure to Alex Ross was Marvels. He's touched just about every major superhero, and this art book is a fantastic retrospective.

    Buy on Amazon

  • Excelsior!: The Amazing Life of Stan Lee

    Stan Lee & George Mair

    Reading this book felt like Stan Lee was my grandpa, and we were sitting down next to the fire as he told me all his crazy stories. You can't help but have a smile on your face as you hear Stan's voice jumping off the page.

    Buy on Amazon

  • Kirby: King of Comics

    Mark Evanier

    Evanier was a former assistant of Kirby's in the late 60s and went on the write for TV (he wrote almost every episode of Garfield and Friends). This Eisner Award-winning biography also features tons of Kirby's artwork and sketches.

    Buy on Amazon

  • Jack Kirby: The Epic Life of the King of Comics

    Tom Scioli

    Another recent biography of Jack Kirby, but in graphic novel form. Scioli does an admirable job of telling a colorful and complicated story, and his artwork is modeled after Kirby's.

    Buy on Amazon

  • Marvel: The Hip-Hop Covers Vol. 1

    Marvel Comics

    There's nothing more American than Hip-Hop and Comic Books. Marvel asked a bunch of talented artists to re-imagine comic book covers in the style of famous album covers. You can't go wrong with a Wolverine/DMX crossover.

    Buy on Amazon

  • Marvel Greatest Comics: 100 Comics that Built a Universe

    Melanie Scott & Stephen Wiacek

    This is a great starting point for the casual comic fan and is one of those books that you can read for hours or casually skim. It has pretty cool spreads that talk about the history of each issue, along with a bunch of visuals.

    Buy on Amazon

  • Marvel Encyclopedia

    Stephen Wiacek

    My kids love books from DK Publishing. They do all the encyclopedia-type books that cover just about every subject imaginable, and this one is almost 500 pages. Also check out The Marvel Book by Wiacek.

    Buy on Amazon

  • Comic Book Lettering: The Comicraft Way

    Richard Starkings & John Roshell

    This is more of a how-to book but is enjoyable for anyone who appreciates good lettering. Founded by former Marvel letterer Richard Starkings, Comicraft would go on to produce the first commercial comic book fonts in the 90s.

    Buy on Amazon

  • The League of Regrettable Superheroes: Half-Baked Heroes from Comic Book History

    Jon Morris

    Doctor Hormone? Maggott? Lady Satan? I'm a sucker for these irreverent retrospectives. This book is the first in a 3 part series from Morris, which also covers supervillains and sidekicks.

    Buy on Amazon

  • Super Graphic: A Visual Guide to the Comic Book Universe

    Tim Leong

    While not specifically about Marvel, it includes almost 200 pages of charts, graphs, and Venn diagrams about comic books. Tim Leong is a former art director for Wired magazine and did a similar book on Star Wars.

    Buy on Amazon