Posted: 05/10/2006


Comic Creators on X-Men


by Tom DeFalco

Reviewed by Gary Schultz

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Just in time for the third X-Men movie, out this summer, Titan Books brings you a history of the X-Men comics through the creators that wrote and drew them. Comics Creators on X-Men is a book of interviews written by one of Marvel Comics’ most infamous Editors In-Chief, Tom DeFalco. This book focuses mostly on the early days of X-Men and their origin, but it also covers some of the modern contributors. It goes into great detail about several artists’ and writers’ legendary runs on one of the most celebrated and controversial comics, X-Men. This is the comic that tackled heavy issues such as mutations, prejudice, war, government agendas, foreign relations, as well as more personal issues like love, loss and just being a “normal” teenager. This book is the voice of the artists and writers talking about their influences what went into making the comics and what really happened behind the scenes with the Marvel Company.

Comic Creators on X-men is a must-have for comic-book geeks and fans of X-Men. Even for the people who are only familiar with the X-Men through their films, this book, through its concise and interesting interviews, gives you a very deep history of the X-Men, how they came about, how the book survived its cancellation in the late ’60s and how it was groundbreaking in reinventing itself, expanding its character universe and telling stories of maverick mutants fighting to protect the very planet that has often sought to betray and kill them. This book starts off with an interview with one of the single greatest modern writers, Stan Lee, and that’s just where it begins. Tom DeFalco also interviews some of X-Men’s greatest artists, Roy Thomas, Neal Adams, John Byrne and Marc Silvestri to name a few. My favorite chapter was on Chris Claremont who wrote the X-Men stories for nearly 30 years. The book is dedicated to Claremont, who has contributed more to the X-Men anthology than probably any other person on the planet. Pick up a copy, learn up on the X-Men history from the people that wrote and drew it. You, too, can then see how the films compare and contrast the original material and how the X-Men can be interpreted many ways. Pick up a copy today, true believer, from Titan Books.

Here’s the bottom line: I used to be a hardcore comic geek when I was a kid. As a teen I discovered music, girls and eventually movies so I grew out of the comic book world. I would like to think that even today my stories and writing is influenced greatly by comic books. I even once as a kid wrote a letter to Tom DeFalco, Editor In-Chief at Marvel Comics and author of this book. I asked him how to get into comics drawing and writing. He actually took the time out of his day and wrote me back a nice letter giving me some tips, and even autographed a copy of Moon Knight for me, which he said was strange because nobody ever requested the editor’s autograph.

Gary Schultz is an independent filmmaker in Chicago.

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