Spider Man Vol. 1 1962-1964, Marvel Comics Library
Birth of a Legend: The origins of the teenager who broke the superhero mold.
Amazing Spider-Man, which debuted seven months later, broke the comics mold. Peter Parker lived in uncool Queens, was always broke, continually worried about his Aunt May, was unlucky in love, and was constantly getting yelled at by his boss, Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson. Spider-Man had the quips and confidence that Parker lacked, but learning to use his powers wasn’t always easy. He often seemed on the verge of defeat against the rogue’s gallery of classic foes that debuted in the first couple of years: Vulture, Doctor Octopus, Sandman, Lizard, Electro, Kraven the Hunter, Mysterio, and the Green Goblin. Much of the credit for Spider-Man’s greatness goes to co-creator and artist Steve Ditko, who had a knack for portraying teenagers and their problems. His artwork infused Spider-Man with a loose-limbed energy, and, while maybe everyone was scared of spiders, Ditko made swinging through New York seem like the coolest adventure ever.
This XXL-sized collector’s dream, close in size to the original artworks, features the first 21 stories of the world’s favorite web slinger from 1962–1964. Rather than recolor the original artwork (as has been done in previous decades’ reprints of classic comics), TASCHEN has attempted to create an ideal representation of these books as they were produced at the time of publication. The most pristine pedigreed comics have been cracked open and photographed for reproduction in close collaboration with Marvel and the Certified Guaranty Company. Each page has been photographed as printed more than half a century ago, then digitally remastered using modern retouching techniques to correct problems with the era’s inexpensive, imperfect printing—as if hot off of a world-class 1960s printing press. Three different paper stocks, including an uncoated and woodfree paper, were exclusively developed for this series to simulate the feel of the original comics.
With an in-depth historical essay by Marvel editor Ralph Macchio, an introduction by uber-collector David Mandel, and original art, rare photographs, and other gems, these 698 pages of wall-crawling wonder will make anyone’s spider-sense tingle with anticipation.
Stan Lee (1922–2018) is known to millions as the man whose super heroes propelled Marvel to its preeminent position in the comic book industry. His co-creations include Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, X-Men, The Fantastic Four, Iron Man, and hundreds of others. While the Chairman Emeritus of Marvel, he was also the Chief Creative Officer of POW! Entertainment, where he created numerous new characters and stories in areas including publishing, film, TV reality, stage, documentary, and multimedia.
Steve Ditko (1927–2018) was a comics artist whose innovative designs and consummate storytelling are legendary. Instrumental in launching the Marvel Age, he cocreated Spider-Man and Doctor Strange with Stan Lee.
Ralph Macchio is a longtime Marvel Comics writer and editor. He has written stories for The Avengers, Doctor Strange, and Marvel Two-in-One. As editor, he presided over many series, including Marvel's Ultimate line and the Stephen King properties Dark Tower and The Stand.
The contributing author
David Mandel is the Emmy-winning showrunner of Veep. His credits include Saturday Night Live, Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Clerks: The Animated Series, and Eurotrip. He coauthored Star Wars Art: Ralph McQuarrie and collects original comic book art and Star Wars movie props if you have any to sell.