Three recently released books have caught my eye, and are worth a look, or even a buy:
The Art and Making of the The Dark Knight Trilogy
Fans of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy will drool over this 300-page look back at each film.
It contains a ton of behind-the-scene photos (thus the title), and plenty more. This coffee-table sized book has the backing of the big players involved. The foreword is written by Nolan and the introduction Michael Caine, who plays Bruce Wayne's trusty butler Alfred in the three films.
Three sections - pre-production, production and post-production - leave no stone unturned about how each film came to life on the big screen. Did I mention photos? There's also storyboards and production artwork.
If there's Nolan-Batman fan in your life, this book won't disappoint.
Totally MAD: 60 years of Humor, Satire, Stupidity and Stupidity
Eat your heart out Alfred E. Neuman.
The kings of satire - MAD Magazine - are celebrating 60 years of "high-quality idiocy," as described in the book's press release. Right on. The book is a celebration of spoof covers throughout the years, cartoon strips, those ridiculous MAD back-page fold-ins, and of course there's sprinkling of Alfred E. Neuman on just about every page.
Spy vs. Spy (my personal favorite) fans need not worry. There's a few tributes to the black and white characters. There's also five essays about MAD's cultural impact, the best being the origin of Alfred E. Neuman.
Totally MAD hits bookstores Oct. 30.
Parker: The Score
If you've seen Mel Gibson in "Payback" then author Richard Stark's and illustrator Darwyn Cooke's third graphic novel installment about Parker, a professional criminal who joins 11 others to rob a small town, is must-read.
The Score is preceded by "The Hunter," the story Gibson's "Payback" was based on, and the sequel, "The Outfit." In the first graphic novel, Parker is hell-bent on revenge. In the second, he's watching his back. In "The Score," Parker is intrigued by the most challenging "job" of his criminal life. Each story is set in the 1960s, giving the artwork a stylish look.
The character of Parker is a classy criminal, which makes it's difficult not to like the character, but the book presents more. Cooke, a marvelous illustrator, is at his best in "The Score." He uses two colors throughout the graphic novel: black and orange. It works well.
Parker fans can rejoice: He'll return with a fourth graphic novel in 2013. Surely, he'll be hell-bent about something.