In an entry in the Media Workshop series, Pellowski shows young enthusiasts how to do it like the pros. It's not all superheroes either—Archie, the Simpsons, and animal figures put in appearances; romances, underground comix, humor magazines, and graphic novels receive nods, too. The book opens with a colorful, coherent history of comic books, from the Yellow Kid to Art Spiegelman's Maus and the Ninja Turtles, then charts the process of making a comic book: how writers and editors develop ideas; the roles of pencillers, inkers, and letterers in visual design; preparation of the art; creation of a cover. This is aimed at amateurs, so mass production and marketing techniques are barely mentioned, but the advice on fleshing out characters, arranging panels, creating continuity, etc., comes with specific examples; a light tone makes the whole enterprise less intimidating, more play than work. Aside from pointless full-color photos of teens drawing or reading, the illustrations are generally helpful examples of classic or newly created comic art. A sturdy, how-to companion to Elaine Scott's Funny Papers: Behind the Scenes of the Comics (1993). (glossary, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: Dec. 18, 1995

ISBN: 0-8225-2304-3

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Lerner

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1995

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A busy page design—artily superimposed text and photos, tinted portraits, and break-out boxes—and occasionally infelicitous writing (“Trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie became . . . bandleader of the quintet at the Onyx Club, from which bebop got its name”) give this quick history of jazz a slapdash air, but Lee delves relatively deeply into the music’s direct and indirect African roots, then goes beyond the usual tedious tally of names to present a coherent picture of specific influences and innovations associated with the biggest names in jazz. A highly selective discography will give readers who want to become listeners a jump start; those seeking more background will want to follow this up with James Lincoln Collier’s Jazz (1997). (glossary, further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8239-1852-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1999

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With an emphasis on Western “makers” of the millennium, and, perhaps inevitably, deep coverage of the last 200 years and fleeting coverage of the first few centuries, this volume offers brief biographical sketches of 1,000 people who had an impact on the last 1,000 years. Profusely illustrated and printed on heavy glossy stock, this is a coffee table book for children, meant to be dipped into rather than read from start to finish. Organized chronologically, with a chapter for each century, the parade of people is given context through a timeline of major events, with those of particular importance discussed in special boxes. As with any effort of this kind, there are surprising omissions (the publisher is creating a website for readers’ own suggestions) and inclusions, a Western predominance that grows more pronounced in the later centuries, and an emphasis on sports and celebrity that finishes off the last few decades. The selection can seem highly subjective and provocatively arbitrary, e.g., the US presidents from Nixon back to Teddy Roosevelt are all covered, but none after Nixon. Still, there is a clear effort to include a wide variety of countries and cultures, and this ambitious effort will be the starting point for many historical journeys. (chronology, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-7894-4709-6

Page Count: 256

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1999

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