According to Jack Kirby is a historical book written by Michael Hill examining the claims of Jack Kirby to the creation of several seminal Marvel Comics characters of the 1960s. In the wake of the immense popularity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), one key question emerges – who created the icons that underpin the MCU’s success viz. Iron Man, Thor, Hulk and the Avengers. What about the other characters that paved the way for the MCU e.g. the X-Men, the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man? Would it surprise you to discover that all these characters were created by one man? And not the one you might think – JACK KIRBY.
True Believer : The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee has been described as “the definitive, revelatory biography” of Stan Lee. Who exactly was Stan Lee? That depends on who you ask. Most movie-goers will recognise him from the numerous cameos Lee has made in popular MCU movies – the man who created those various superheroes featured in those films. Comic book geeks might also know Lee as the man who either created (or co-created) the Marvel Universe in the 1960s.
A frank memoir from the musician who was an integral part of two of the most influential bands ever viz. Joy Division and New Order. Sumner comes across as down-to-earth and amiable and tries to be as candid as possible about difficult issues – like the suicide of Ian Curtis and the break up with Peter Hook. Easy to read and an essential book for fans of these legendary bands.
“Fire and Fury” so named as a reference to Trump’s rant against North Korea, is a White House tell-all that is somewhat spoiled by the fact that most nobody reading it would be surprised by its revelations. Though it does confirm the fact that White House is a mess, populated by predatory ego-maniacs out to outdo each other in manner recalling Game of Thrones-like scenarios. Strangely enough, the main character of “Fire and Fury” does not seem to be Trump but Steve Bannon – with the book ending with an ominous characterisation of Bannon’s own Presidential ambitions.
But considering how events seem to have overtaken Bannon with his quick decline in fortunes since the book was written, Wolff seems less prescient and relevant. Still, a rollicking read that does nothing to dispel the common negative connotations about politics.
The biggest question when thinking of Billy Joel is – why hasn’t he released a new album in 20 over years? This biography does not seem to answer that question satisfactorily. This makes the final third rather difficult to get through as it covers the period where Joel becomes an oldies act basically – living off the glories of his past. But before that the book is riveting – providing details during Joel’s successful time as a singer-songwriter/recording artist. For fans only, though.