Gentleman Jim Mooney: Early Reviews
Here's the first, from Bryan 'The Professor' Stroud, who runs the Silver Lantern web-site and who conducted one of the last ever interviews with Jim Mooney.
How do you encapsulate a life, particularly a long and rich one that touched many other lives, a life that lasted nearly nine decades and was gainfully employed across over six of those decades and indeed remained engaged to the end? And how do you do it in just over 100 pages? Well, Daniel Best has managed just that with his biography of “Gentleman Jim Mooney.”
As you’ll learn in this engaging effort, Jim Mooney began his career at a comic book artist right at the dawn of the industry in the 1940’s and never left it, though at times it left him. His “retirement” was anything but, and his freelance and commission work thrived until the unhappy day that he left this world in 2008. He worked for the minor and major publishers, never skipping a beat nor missing a deadline during a long and impressive career, leaving behind an amazing body of work, particularly considering his double threat status as penciller and inker.
Following Jim Mooney’s long and diverse career inevitably leads the reader to follow the evolution of comic books from the Golden Age through the successes of the Silver Age and on through the Bronze and Modern Ages. Jim was there through it all, doing superlative work that never wavered in quality.
This rich re-telling of Jim’s life is chock full of quotes and anecdotes from Jim himself and his many, many admirers among his peers in the ranks of professional comic book artists and writers, to include Mike Esposito, Joe Sinnott, Steve Gerber and Tony Isabella. A foreword by no less than Stan Lee and touching afterwards sandwich a well-researched and lovingly crafted look at a man who was a true force in the annals of comic book artistry, yet who was humble about his many achievements and who had time for friends and family, an area where the lines were much more blurry than those he produced at his ever busy drawing board.
Enhanced with wonderful and rare examples of original artwork, this biography is a treasure about a treasure, and one that gives an important overview of the comics medium at large. Read the book. You’ll find it to be time both well spent and satisfying.
Gentleman Jim Mooney will be available on the 31st of January, 2010, initially as a digital download, with a print version to be available towards the end of March 2010. As I work out the final details I'll post them as well.