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Spider-Man The Icon: The Life and Times of a Pop Culture Phenomenon [Hardcover]

Steve Saffel , Stan Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Oct. 23 2007

From his modest 1962 debut in Amazing Fantasy #15, Peter Parker — better known to readers as the web-spinning Spider-Man — has evolved from underdog to international icon. Along the way he’s thrilled entire generations through the comics, cartoons, movies, and tons of spectacular toys.

Spider-Man: The Icon traces that unlikely evolution. A lavishly illustrated chronicle, it charts the wall-crawler’s career from counter-culture figure to motion picture superstar, visually portraying every aspect of the web-spinning phenomenon. This deluxe celebration of the ultimate super hero includes insights from key comic book writers and artists, photos of rare, vintage collectibles, and a vast array of scintillating imagery from the comics, cartoons, television series, and movies.

In doing so, it also traces the history of popular culture over the last five decades. Renowned Spider-Man expert Steve Saffel combines a wealth of arcane knowledge and incredibly rare archival material to create the essential book for every Spider-fan!

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Product Description

About the Author

While on staff at Marvel Entertainment, Steve Saffel developed behind-the-scenes magazines that revealed the secrets of the comics and introduced readers to the worlds of film, animation, toys, video games, and much more. He also spearheaded Marvel’s promotional efforts in the comic book specialty market.

His career as a professional editor has included tie-ins with the first two Spider-Man movies, and allowed him to work with many astonishingly talented people, including fantasists David Gemmell and Greg Keyes, authors Greg Bear, Eric Nylund and Peter David, science fiction legend Robert Silverberg, Star Wars icon Steve Sansweet, thriller writer John Birmingham, actress Amber Benson, and pop culture maven Mark Cotta Vaz.

Currently he’s a writer, an editorial and marketing consultant, and a multi-platform project developer. He's also a long-standing Spidey fan, and many of the rarer items of memorabilia showcased in Spider-Man: The Icon come from his personal collection.

Coincidentally, he lives in Spider-Man’s hometown of Forest Hills.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars everything about spiderman in one huge Tome April 7 2014
By Kan
I am amazed...how come this book is still available for such a low price..it should have been sold out long before. or not many people know about this book. forget all the other guides encyclopedias etc..this is the ultimate book that packs everything..art history..information .. on toys....games...animated series..events.. the book is in oversized format..really thick..good quality paper.
get this while its still available.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything about Spidey and much, much more! Oct. 25 2007
By Michael L. Pasqua - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is both for the novice fan and for the individual who (erroneously) thought that everything about Spider-Man was available in other books. This is a meticulously researched project and an obvious labor of love by Steve Saffel. Going beyond comics and exploring cartoons (including the lyrics for the Spider-Man Theme Song), newspaper strips, toys and films, this is a comprehensive treatise on the web-slinger that should satisfy everyone who even has a marginal interest in Spider-Man. The author probably has information that even Stan Lee is probably unaware of (if that's possible). An excellent volume that sets the bar for similar books. What next, Fantastic Four? Steve Saffel has the credentials to make further volumes equally great!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Behind the mask of Spider-Man Nov. 2 2007
By Mark Vaz - Published on Amazon.com
In the classic "Spider-Man" comics, Peter Parker, and his Spidey alter ego never seemed to get respect. Nowadays, Aunt May's favorite nephew is a certified movie star and there's finally a book that celebrates Spider-Man's history with the grandeur, and sense of fun, the character deserves. Author Steve Saffel comes out of the Marvel universe and had a long and successful run as an editor with the Random House Publishing Group, so it's a treat to see him put that experience to work on behalf of the 'ol webslinger. A tip of the hat to Titan Books as well for producing the kind of beautiful, high-class volume that this pop culture phenomenon deserves (those who saw the recent book on Stan Winston know that Titan pulls out all the stops). It's a class act, one that I hope will attract not just the legion of comics fans, but those who only know Spider-Man from the movies. Gazing into my crystal ball, I see a lot of "Spider-Man: The Icon" books wrapped up and waiting under many a Christmas tree.
Mark Cotta Vaz
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spider-Man the Icon Rocks! Oct. 31 2007
By Gina R. Misiroglu - Published on Amazon.com
As a fan of the Web-slinger and a pop-culturalist, I am amazed with Steve Saffel's book. It is beautifully produced, bursting with rare art, filled with cool factoids, and historically and factually sound. What an effort! It speaks to both the comic-book novice and the longtime Spidey fan, making it the perfect giftbook for just about anyone on your list this holiday season.
--Gina Misiroglu, co-author of The Superhero Book: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Comic-Book Icons and Hollywood Heroes
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Along came a Spider... Oct. 31 2007
By James - Published on Amazon.com
Great compilation of all things Spidey. A must for every collector and fan. This book is not just of Spiderman but for anyone interested in the creation and evolution of an "icon." From the first incarnation to the latest movies, the history is both a fantastic homage to a hero and a thrilling tale of creation, art, and how an icon changes over times. Thoughtful, respectful, funny, and in all ways entertaining.
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the Spider-man Book I wanted to write! Nov. 28 2007
By The Perfessor - Published on Amazon.com
I'm one of those guys who started reading Spider-Man back in 1962 with his first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15. I've kept up with Spidey's adventures all these years through all sorts of titles, and episodes. I even worked for Marvel as a freelancer during the `80s & `90s (a little bit of that time for author Steve Saffel while he was an editor over there), so it is entirely possible that I'm a tad biased when it comes to this subject.

I believe that one of the reasons that I became a professional writer was because of my love for this character. When I spotted this book at a local bookstore, I knew I had to have it. Having Steve's name on the cover clinched it for me.

Now as I read the book, rediscovering all of the things that made me a Marvel Zombie, and Spidey fan as a teen came flooding back. This is a terrific book, and if I, who not only knew much -- if not all -- of this stuff already still finds it fascinating, think how engrossing it will be to someone who doesn't have my history with the character. Going through the book I see snippets of conversations I had with Steve about the history of both Marvel and Spider-Man, as see that he has taken the care necessary for dealing with a subject that is near and dear to the author's heart.

Yes, this is a great coffee table book that is a great research tool as well as a wonderful trip down memory lane for any fan of May Parker's beloved nephew. All of which brings up an interesting point.

As much of the early accolades for Spidey (as reported in the book) revolved around the degree of realism that Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, and John Romita, Sr. put into the series (Spidey lived in New York, not "Metropolis" or "Gotham City," He suffered from real-world problems (school bullies, an ailing aunt, death of close friends), and that he was allowed to grow up and age (Peter went from a 15-year-old High School student to a young adult attending and then graduating college).

Thus, given this early ground-breaking work by Lee and those that followed, one has to wonder why the current editorial management team has decreed that Spidey's clock be reset to an earlier time via a magical "solution" (to a problem that wasn't there)? Ah well, perhaps Steve will be able to explain that in his follow-up tome.
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