Wow. Just - wow. - GordonD
This is not a book to carry around to read at odd moments. This is not a book to carry anywhere if you can avoid it - it weighs around seven kilograms (just checked it on the bathroom scales). Fortunately it comes in its own carrying case, which is itself the size of the average briefcase!
The book itself is beautiful, a fitting tribute to seventy-five years of DC's output. The text is divided into six chapters: pre-1938 (referred to as 'The Stone Age') plus the Golden, Silver, Bronze, Dark and Modern Ages. A nice touch is that each chapter is introduced by a two-page spread in metallic-effect paper of the appropriate colour. The other pages are on high-quality cartridge paper, which is why the book is so bulky. This brings out the gorgeous illustrations to their best effect - old covers and panels from stories, both classic and obscure, are reproduced, many larger than the originals so all the detail can be seen. In addition, there are numerous extracts from the records kept by the late, great Julius Schwartz - another long-time editor at DC - showing what was going on behind the scenes in the creation of the classic stories.
The text is by Paul Levitz, who has been with DC for over thirty-five years, as writer, editor and (from 2002 to 2009) president, so he knows the company inside-out and it shows here.
Also - the foldouts. Each chapter has one or more four-page foldouts showing the timeline of the period in question, chronicling events both within the company and in the outside world, showing how events influenced what appeared in the comics.
All in all, this is a book that will be of interest to anybody who loves comics. It's pricey, yes, but the quality cannot be faulted and as you leaf through its 700-odd pages you will be satisfied it's worth the money.