Official Press Release
In 1961, Marvel Comics released the very first issue of FANTASTIC FOUR in a quiet storm of inspiration and creativity. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby took the comic book conventions and clichés of the time and turned them on their ear, lighting a fire under comics fans and co-creating a shared universe of characters and situations that continue to inspire creators to this day.
Numerous comic artists and writers unabashedly cite FANTASTIC FOUR as the genesis of a movement that literally formed the modern industry and in many cases their own careers. Literary writers from Jonathan Lethem to Michael Chabon have paid their tribute to the form. Now, there is Walter Mosley and MAXIMUM FANTASTIC FOUR, a new addition to the comic book format: comic book as art book.
The first coffee table art book that Marvel has produced on its own, MAXIMUM FANTASTIC FOUR presents the inaugural issue of comics' most famous family in a super-size, digitally re-mastered, panel-by panel format. Mosley's introduction and afterward to the large volume will be complimented with an essay by widely-recognized Kirby-expert Mark Evanier.
"Readers will witness a journey through a comic that, though reprinted many times before, has literally never been seen like this before," says Marvel Publisher Dan Buckley. "I fully realize that comic fans have heard statements like that many times in the past but I say it with the most sincerity I can muster: this is a book that belongs on the shelf of every single Kirby enthusiast, Fantastic Four follower, and comic book aficionado."
The entire project is the brainchild of Mosley, whose introduction to the FANTASTIC FOUR comic book was both an exciting and a very personal one. Growing up African American in the early Sixties and living with a father who disdained comics, Mosley saw certain truths and sanctuaries in the world of Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Girl, the Human Torch, and the Thing, and became enamored of the powerful, striking art of the King of Comics, Jack Kirby. As an adult he attempted to recapture that magic feeling, that moment he "learned that entertainment, education, and art could all coexist in one form" by blowing up each page of FF #1 and view its detail in a fresh fashion. Mosley presented this approach to the art of Jack Kirby as a mass-market book idea to Avi Arad at Marvel…and the result is MAXIMUM FANTASTIC FOUR.
"I wanted to capture the feeling I had as a child when I would bear down and examine each panel with the kind of scrutiny that opens up worlds. I found that when I blew up the image--each panel comprising its own page--I was able to recreate that same experience. As an adult I can also see the parallels between some of the greatest painters and Kirby's compositions--from Goya to the grotesques DaVinci drew, on to some of the most dynamic painters of our last century. Jack Kirby's unique sense of composition and narrative put him in a league along with these masters."
Mosley is the award-winning author of such books as LITTLE SCARLET, THE MAN IN MY BASEMENT, FEARLESS JONES, and the continuing adventures of his well-loved character Easy Rawlins. The entire world of Mosley's unique writings can be found at his website, www.WalterMosley.com.
MAXIMUM FANTASTIC FOUR is scheduled for release on November 2nd in comic shops and fine bookstores everywhere. It will feature a four-color dust jacket that unfolds into a giant full-color double-sided poster (25" X 36"); a matte laminated case with spot UV; and 224 interior pages composed mostly of high-resolution art.
Further news of this exciting new Marvel Comics venture into publishing can be found at Marvel.com.
Marvel Comics is a division of Marvel Entertainment, Inc., - formerly known as Marvel Enterprises, Inc. - a leading global character-based entertainment company that has developed and owns a library of more than 5,000 characters, which have entertained generations around the world for over 60 years. Marvel's operations are focused in entertainment and consumer product licensing and comic book publishing. Marvel Studios supports the development of feature films, DVD/video products and TV series. Marvel's creative team also supports the creation of video games and toy lines based on its characters as well as for a broad and growing range of consumer products and services including apparel, collectibles, foods and promotions. Marvel's comic book division is a leading publisher in the global marketplace while also serving as an invaluable source of intellectual property. Marvel's Toy Biz division is a recognized creative force and leader in toy design, sales and marketing, developing and overseeing both licensee and in-house toy lines. For additional information visit http://www.marvel.com.