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Independent Comic Spotlight: Book Book Edition

Figure Fantasy

So every now and then, indy creators send me neat stuff.  And it just so happens that my stack is so high with actual books right now, that I couldn’t resist throwing together an actual book book edition of Independent Comic Spotlight.  So here you go, book readers!  Enjoy!


The Avengers Face their Dark Sides: Mastering the Myth-Making behind the Marvel Superheroes

Author: Valerie Estelle Frankel

Brief Synopsis: An expansive look into various aspects of the Marvel cinematic universe, ranging from its inception (in Iron Man) all the way up to the near-conclusion of phase two (season two of Agents of S. H. I. E. L. D.), this book shows an immense knowledge of the movie and TV world of our favorite heroes and villains.  Part textbook and part psychoanalysis of fictional characters and their world, this is a fun read for die hard fans.  But I personally found the final segment on all of the Easter eggs hidden in each film and show to be the most enjoyable aspect of the book.  A must have for any Marvel fanboy or fangirl.

My Rating: 3/5

Empowered: They Symbolism, Feminism, and Superheroism of Wonder Woman

Author: Valerie Estelle Frankel

Brief Synopsis: A fantastic look into the mythology and various implications of the Amazing Amazon’s various incarnations, this textbook is divided into historical runs of all of the most notable creators who have handled DC’s leading lady.  It was nice to see the research put into the study of symbols and feminist ideals, and I could really see this being used as a segmented or possibly in its entirety for a study on pop culture, women’s literature, comic books, or even just for a fun nonfiction piece in any classroom.  I found it to be more appropriate for higher levels such as college, but it would be a fun read for a young DC fan or even a high schooler who wanted to impress his or her teacher with his or her own love of the medium.  I thought this was the stronger of the two Frankel books I read this year.

My Rating: 4/5

100 Things Avengers Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die

Author: Dan Casey

Brief Synopsis: A great fan guide to everything Avengers there is to know and do in the fictional and the real world.

My Rating: 3/5

How to Survive Anything: A Visual Guide to Laughing in the Face of Adversity

Authors: Robin Barton, Ed Chipperfield, Amy Grier, Jonathan Thompson, and Will Cockrell

Illustrator: Rob Dabi

Brief Synopsis: A hilarious (and potentially somewhat useful) illustrated guide to surviving everyday things like awkward dates to end of the world situations to fighting bears.  This book is as amusing as it is well-researched, walking the fine line between really creative and really dumb.  It would make a great coffee table book for any home, especially those who have a sense of humor about life’s little (and big) absurdities.

My Rating: 3/5

Lois Lane: Fallout

Author: Gwenda Bond

Brief Synopsis: Great new young adult novel based on the legendary DC Comics characters, essentially taking the CW-centric readership of these days and making a fun read that is very much a Smallville meets Gossip Girl creation with a few twists and turns along the way.

My Rating: 4/5

Figure Fantasy: The Pop Culture Photography of Daniel Picard

Authors: Daniel Picard, Simon Pegg, and Kevin Smith

Photographer: Daniel Picard

Brief Synopsis: By far, this was the most enjoyable thing that has been sent to me that was not a comic book.  In fact, this might be my favorite book that I have ever received as a review copy in my years working for Comic Booked.  Photographer Daniel Picard has taken things from my childhood and put them into everyday situations and ridiculous ones alike, upping the ante with each and every picture.  This is a really fun book that makes Robot Chicken and MAD! look like child’s play.  This is a must for, really, anyone.

My Rating: 5/5

Iron Man Ocarina

…there were also some great products sent to me that were comic-related, but not exactly comics/books, such as:

* Iron Man Ocarina

* Superman Insight Editions Hardcover Ruled Journal

* Batman Insight Editions Hardcover Ruled Journal

* Wonder Woman Insight Editions Hardcover Ruled Journal

* The Walking Dead Insight Editions Hardcover Ruled Journal

* The Joker Schleich Figurine

Superman Insight Editions Journal

…and a whole bunch of other prose novels that were great, such as:

* Flight by Charlene Moncrief

* Into the Darkness by A. M. Rycroft

* The Rainbow Option by Michael McCarthy

* Hump Pilot: Defying Death Flying the Himalayas During World War II by Nedda R. Thomas

* Escape from Netherworld by David Kuklis

So there you have it!  Lots of great reading material that you should all take a look at when you get the chance.  Thanks for all of the creators who continue to send me things to review and thanks to all of the readers who bare with me as I get to do the best job in the world and read other people’s worlds and bring them to you!  See you all for the next Independent Comic Spotlight!  And if you yourself are a creator (or know one) please email me at to inquire on how to get featured in your own edition… who knows – I might even do a full feature on your work!

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