Not that collections of comic book art are new. Once upon a time, however, such books were ramshackle affairs. They were often printed in black-and-white on stock maybe a cut above copier paper, and stapled together. If they were printed in hardcover color you could hear the spine glue crackle and complain the first time the books were cracked open. And the color was about as nuanced as that on a 1966 Philco floor-model color television.
But right now a quiet revolution is going on in comics art books. There are portfolio-size editions scanned directly from original artwork; artists successfully negotiating the worlds of fine, commercial and comics art; younger and less-well-known artists getting the full-color hardcover treatment; and the scholarship continues to deepen and the production values rise in books that study bedrock comic book artists like Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and Alex Toth.
These books are aimed at serious fans of the comic book as art form, but also at those who