Jim McLauchlin, writing for Newsarama, has a great story on the importance of a book that came out in 1974—Origins of Marvel Comics by Stan Lee. Without this book and the marketing showmanship of Stan Lee going around and promoting it, the Marvel Comics of today might not have existed.
I had a similar experience as Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada.
“That book was so instrumental to me in understanding and building a love of Marvel as a kid,” Quesada says. “I started reading Marvel Comics in 1970, so I had already missed a decade of publishing. I had an appetite to learn more, so I went to a book store—like a book store book store!—to get a copy. I had no idea about the origins of these stories and Stan’s thought process behind them. It was an eye-opening experience.”
My father bought this book in hardcover and I devoured it growing up. When I was a kid, all his comics were in banker’s boxes in the attic and was not a place I could easily get to when I wanted some Silver Age DC to read. However, Origins was on the bookshelf. Soon, Bring on the Bad Guys was in my possession too.
These two books helped me become a much better reader when I was 7-years-old and allowed me to understand concepts other kids weren’t thinking about like not being popular, the importance of self-sacrifice, not being self-centered, and so much more.
Now, I’ve got to go find those books at home and crack them open again.