‘Marvel’-ous collection has comic book fans covered

“Marvel Comics: 75 years of Cover Art” by Alan Cowsil. DK Publishing, 2014. $50.

This is a magnificent collection covering 75 years of Marvel comic book covers.

The book is divided into four different chapters: The Golden Age (1938-1956); The Silver Age (1956-1970); The Bronze Age (1970-1986); and The Modern Age (1986 -). The reader can see how the cover art that Marvel has produced changed throughout the years.

This wonderful collection takes in great covers that depict not only wonderful art, but meaningful stories. Some of the covers that are included are: Incredible Hulk #1, illustrated by Jack Kirby; The Amazing Spider-Man #50, illustrated by John Romita Sr.; and The Avengers #201, illustrated by George Perez.

Some of the more meaningful covers tackle such issues as alcoholism (Iron Man #128, illustrated by Bob Layton) or the death of a hero (Captain America #25, illustrated by Ed McGuiness).

This book shows how the artistry of the comic book cover has come a long way from simple advertisement of the story to framable pop art. This book is a must for any comic book fan, comic illustrator or pop art enthusiast.

— Phillip Dequeant, pdequeant@theadvocate.com

“My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peace of Mind” by Scott Stossel. Knopf, 2014. $27.95.

Through Scott Stossel’s apparent continuing problems with anxiety, the reader is exposed to the difficulties anxiety brings to those who suffer from it. Drawing on his own long-standing battle, Stossel combines a wealth of research with his own insight on the subject. His book gives us a straightforward, sympathetic and funny account of anxiety both as it affects society in general and himself in particular.

It’s important to note that it isn’t specifically intended to be a self-help book and there isn’t necessarily any overt advice or solutions for anxiety in this book. This book is great for those who are interested in the details of anxiety: the history, the drugs, the interpretations of it throughout history. It also goes through his personal history of anxiety, which is informative for those who haven’t experienced it. However, there isn’t much in the way of answers for those who do have anxiety.

— Anna Guerra,

Denham Springs

“Chained to the Land: Voices from Cotton & Cane Plantations From Interviews of Former Slaves,” edited by Lynette Ater Tanner. John F. Blair Publishers, 2014. $9.95.

Editor Lynette Ater Tanner is the co-owner of Frogmore Plantation. It is there that Tanner spent 15 years researching and interpreting the slave narratives that were collected as part of The Federal Writer’s Project in the late 1930’s. These interviews were collected from slaves who lived and worked all over Louisiana. Many of the interviews came after they had moved from Louisiana, but were about the time they spent as slaves in this state.

Tanner introduces the book with a brief history about Le Code Noir. Le Code Noir was enacted in 1724 to establish various protective standards for slaves in Louisiana. It remained in effect until the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was enacted in 1865.

The book contains over 40 interviews with former slaves and their recollections of their masters, their own families, punishments, and activities of their time. The book is a powerful collection of firsthand testimony. It can be difficult to read at times, but it’s filled with great information and history.

— Anna Guerra, Denham Springs