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Lucia, Ant. The Art of DC Comics Bombshells. 2016.

I ordered this for both my libraries AGES ago, and have been waiting on tenterhooks for it to come in ever since.  The publication got pushed back a bit, which broke my heart, but once it came in, oh boy – I almost forgive every delayed minute.

It’s laid out into three sections: the statues, the covers, and the comic series. The statues section has concept sketches and notes by artist Ant Lucia and sculptor Tim Miller for pretty much everyone in the lineup.  The covers chapter lists all the alternate Bombshell covers that hit stores in August 2015. A full page is dedicated to sketches and notes, and the facing page shows the full cover. An essay by Ant Lucia describing his art background and how he came to be designing the Bombshells opens this chapter. The last chapter, the comic series chapter, opens with an essay by Marguerite Bennett recounting how she ended up writing the comic. This chapter is a little simpler, as it just shows the covers for all the issues. Concept art is included for some, but not all the covers.

It’s a beautiful book. Each and every photograph and comic cover is in color. It’s just under 12 inches high, but it’s not a weighty volume by any means: you can flip through all 200 pages quite easily. Ever a sucker for concept art, it was really fun for me to see how the looks changed – dramatically or not – for each character.

However, I would have liked to see more notes for the newer additions to the lineup, like Raven and Bumblebee. I was also a little disappointed with the comics section. It could have been greatly supplemented with notes from Marguerite about her writing and research process. For some reason, Vixen, the latest figurine to be announced, is showcased at the very end of the book – after the comics section, and way after the end of the statues section.

My biggest bone to pick is the lack of fun photographs for each figurine. Sprinkled throughout the book are photos of the statues in different environments: a peek of Supergirl out of a plane window, sunset light filtered through Hawkgirl’s bubblegum, Black Canary singing to an audience, her back to us. Why could they not have given us more of these??? The photos of the figurines in this book are all ones I can look at while shopping on Amazon. I’d kill for more photos of these ladies in their respective environments.

I’m happy I bought it for my libraries, and I may even buy it for myself for my collection (if no one gets it for me as a holiday gift =P ). It could have had much better photographs of the figurines and notes on how the story for the comic came together. But, importantly, it’s fun to flip through and see all your favorite Bombshells in one spot, and you get an idea of how the concept evolved into the beloved line.

– Kathleen

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