Fantagraphics is proud to publish Jules Feiffer's long out-of-print and seminal essay of comics criticism, The Great Comic Book Heroes, in a compact and affordable size. In 1965, Feiffer wrote what is arguably the first critical history of the comic book superheroes of the late 1930s and early 1940s, including Plastic Man, Batman, Superman, The Spirit and others. In the book, Feiffer writes about the unique place of comics in the space between high and low art and the power that this space offers both the creator and the reader. Out of print for over 30 years, The Great Comic Book Heroes is widely acknowledged to be the first book to analyze the juvenile medium of superhero comics in a critical manner, but without denying the iconic hold such works have over readers of all ages. Feiffer discusses the role that the patriotic superhero played during World War II in shaping the public spirit of civilians and soldiers, as well as the escapist power these stories held over the zeitgeist of America. New cover by R. Sikoryak.
"Today's cartoonists owe huge debts of gratitude to Jules Feiffer. He opened up the world for them when, in the early 1950s, he took what was, until then, the harmless fun of 'funnies' and injected into the bite of the editorial pages." – Los Angeles READER
"The first book to discuss Comics seriously, this illustrated edition eschews story reprints, but as a study of the medium from the inside — and by an icon of social commentary, serious literature, cinema, and Comics — it is fascinating." – Atomic