Review of BLACK PANTHER: VISIONS OF WAKANDA
From my photo album on Facebook:
“I knew the book was being released this month (for Black History month, probably) but I didn’t expect to have a comped copy appear in the mail through Diamond Distributions. I’m hoping my pals Sal Velluto, Don McGregor and Priest got one each. I’m guessing maybe it was sent by Marvel Special Projects editor Mark D. Beazley as the office may’ve connected us with author Jess Harrold for an interview. It was a while ago so the memory is certainly hazy. Thank you to any who were involved.
I was at first a bit surprised at the small size of the HC book (6.25″ X 8.25”) since art books usually are BIG so that the art can be truly appreciated, but as I flipped through it I was seriously impressed because there were a LOT of images spanning from the Black Panther’s first appearance in FF by Lee/Kirby/Sinnott all the way to contemporary material from the Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda by Coates/Acuna! (And it’ll fit perfectly on my shortage of shelf space!!)The reproduction is excellent! (I should give props to Rodolfo Muraguchi for the book design.) Every incarnation of T’Challa over the years is broken down into chapters and from interviews we had there are numerous quotes printed in-between and around the images from creators like Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, Don McGregor, Jonathan Maberry, Dwayne McDuffie, Steve Epting, Joe Jusko, Priest (who also writes the intro), Mark Texeira, Reginald Hudlin, Sal Velluto and myself (pages 148-175 is mostly a showcase for our art as the longest-running art team and various statements we make pertaining to the art, collaboration together with Priest and our mindset on the creative process), John Romita Jr., David Liss, Jonathan Hickman, Brian Stelfreeze, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Chris Sprouse, Jason Aaron, Daniel Acuna, Alex Ross, Ryan Coogler and so many more!
The selection of artists’ work, like in the gallery, is overflowing with eclectic variety and inspiration. Every significant BP cover and interior artist, and then some, were included: Kirby, John Buscema, Denys Cowan & Sam Dela Rosa, Ken Lashley & Paul Neary, Simone Bianchi, Stelfreeze, Francesco Francavilla, Rich Buckler & Klaus Janson, Billy Graham, Bob McLeod, Jerry Bingham, John Byrne, Dwayne Turner, Gene Colan & Tom Palmer, Texeira, Jusko, Mike Manley, Norm Breyfogle, Andy Kubert, Jim Calafiore, Kyle Hotz & Eric Powell, Joe Quesada & Jimmy Palmiotti, JRJr & Janson, Frank Cho, Ross, Scott Eaton, Alan Davis & Mark Farmer, Jason Pearson, Michael Turner, J. Scott Campbell, Epting, Tom Raney, Mike Deodato Jr., Sprouse & Karl Story, Walden Wong, Dexter Vines, Mark Morales, Alitha Martinez, Butch Guice & Mack Chater, Acuna, Art Adams, Sal & myself, and so many more including a celebration of variant Panther covers, too! While there are a few errors when credited is attributed for each image, they get it correct most of the time and credit the penciler, inker and the colorist, artists all! (Thankfully, my pal Mark McKenna was not erroneously credited this for those Velluto covers with “MM” in Sal’s signature which was Latin for the year 2000 as it was in the 2018 book Black Panther: The Illustrated History of a King.)
Highly Recommended! 352 pages, $29.99″