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Mars Attacks (Topps)

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Mars Attacks, this comprehensive book is the first-ever compilation of the infamous science-fiction trading card series produced by Topps in 1962. Edgy, subversive, and darkly comedic, this over-the-top series depicting a Martian invasion of Earth has a loyal following and continues to win new generations of fans. For the first time, this book brings together high-quality reproductions of the entire original series, as well as the hard-to-find sequel from 1994, rare and never-before-seen sketches, concept art, and test market materials. Also included are an introduction by series co-creator Len Brown and an afterword by Zina Saunders, daughter of the original artist, providing an insider’s behind-the-scenes view of the bizarre and compelling world of Mars Attacks.Includes four Mars Attacks trading cards.Includes preliminary sketches and artwork, including a facsimile of the original trading card mechanical on the inside back cover, with reproduction of the 1962 handwriting from the original Topps production department.Praise for Mars Attacks:“The best thing about this 50th-anniversary book is that it frees Mars Attacks from rose-tinted memory.” —“The work produced by writer Len Brown and artist Norm Saunders, collected now in the anthology Mars Attacks: 50th Anniversary Collection . . . continues to pass muster as a lurid snapshot of sci-fi paranoia at its most pulp-fictiony.” —“It’s like a mini-museum of alien grotesquerie between two solid covers, depicting all the iterations of the series, with further treatments by modern illustrators, and sketchbook reproductions, and names, dates, and times. Oh, and? And there are four bonus trading cards included with each copy of this graphic and texty artifact.” —“It’s a true gem of American pop culture history that should be a centerpiece on any true geek’s coffee table.” —The Houston Press Art Attack blog

Series: Topps

Hardcover: 224 pages

Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; Includes four Mars Attacks trading cards edition (October 1, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1419704095

ISBN-13: 978-1419704093

Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 7.1 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #163,986 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #7 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Antiques & Collectibles > Paper Ephemera & Cards > Non-Sports Cards #41 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Antiques & Collectibles > Popular Culture #599 in Books > Comics & Graphic Novels > Graphic Novels > Science Fiction

Can you smell the Bazooka Joe bubble gum?? I swear, Abrams somehow permeated this book with Eau-de-Bazooka Joe! Fantastic!This is one amazing book! In every way! The dust wrapper is lovingly made with a semi-transparent paper that mimics the original Mars Attacks pack wrapper. The text, mostly by Len Brown who is well-known to us card, comic and monster-mag fans, presents the most in-depth portrait of Woody Gelman (of Topps and Nostalgia Press) that I've ever read. Zina Saunders, the daughter of the painter Norm Saunders who painted most of the finished cards over Bob Powell's pencils, also contributes an excellent and touching account of the "Mars Attacks" days with her dad. And the cards... these are the finest reproductions I've ever seen. Even better than the originals. I'm a big fan of Topps' 1994 reissue set, but this book's repros are the best. The original (and 1994 reissue) cards were about 2.5" x 3.5". The repros in this book are about 3" x 4.25". Needless to say, gorgeous repros of all 55 original cards, full page, with the back of the card on the facing page, are included. The card images are crystal clear. The reason? The book's repros are shot from the ORIGINAL TRANSPARENCIES! This is the ultimate Mars Attacks book!Also included are the 11 cards from the extended 1994 set, as well as various other random magazine premiums and Screemin' cards.The book is a treasure. I sold my set of Mars Attacks cards in 1965 for $1, and have regretted it ever since, but this book makes up for it. Thank you, Abrams!!

In 1962 I was 8 years old and my downstairs neighbor (a wise and wizened 10 yr old) showed me this cool thing he had gotten-Mars Attacks cards! I was riveted and bought em up at every opportunity. They horrified me and I loved it-I laid awake at night convinced that passing traffic was the beginning of the invasion. Burning flesh, giant bugs, ice rays too much! "Burning Flesh" was the most popular card on Ocean Parkway.At any rate when the internet was born my first search brought me to Zina Saunders Mars Attacks page. How cool was that-but still I wondered how come no coffee table book?Well this aint a coffee table sized tome but it sure is grand-nostalgia pangs aside its a loving production that does justice to my inner 8 yr old still terrified of impending invasions from outer space-still mightily in love with Mars Attacks! Many thanks to all concerned.(Now its time for a respectful movie-that includes giant bugs!)

Everything about this book oozes production value and attention to detail, from the semi-translucent paper stock chosen for the dust jacket, to the quality of reproductions inside. Has to be seen to be believed, much like the Mars Attacks series itself! A fitting tribute to the original cards and the artwork of Norman Saunders. Obviously a labor of love by someone at Abrams Books.

Loved the cards then, love the book now. I love it all the more because, seeing the cards presented this way, in sequence, one to a page, I noticed something I had not noticed before, something I might not have noticed in any other way. Back around 500 years ago, a popular subject for picture books was The Dance of Death. This was a series of vignettes of men and women from all walks of life, farmers, mechants, princes, beggars, encountering and being led away by the skeletal figure of Death. In effect it was a pictoral sermon on the topic of human mortality. Now come forward 500 years and look at Mars Attacks, a series of pictures of men and women from all walks of life being incinerated, crushed or otherwise done to death by skull-faced, big-brained aliens! Surely it is the same sermon all over again, re-imagined for the mid-twentieth century, infused with less piety, more violence and a hellofalot more giant bugs!

Dying Breath: 5.0 out of 5This book is perfection, I can not sum it up any better than that. Collecting the original trading card series, the second series and some more amazing artwork, this book preserves a fantastic piece of horror history. A huge plus on why this book is so good, is because not only do you get to read the original trading card set, but you also get some commentary about what was going on when the series was created. That commentary had to be my favorite part of this book. Learning about what was allowed to go on this GORE-Geous card set and what wasn't is often time silly to read by today's standards. As a designer myself I have to talk about the layout of this book as well. The interiors are clean and crisp. The cards, if scanned, are perfect. The dust jacket is possibly the coolest I have ever seen. Mimicking a pack of the cards, I honestly tried to open it from the back, I thought it was real. Also there is a secret surprise I won't ruin printed on the book itself under the dust jacket. Overall I can not recommend this book more. Collecting everything Topps put out with the original card set and more, this book has it all. So glad to have this in my collection, it is just what I needed.Artwork: 5.0 out of 5 * Story: 5.0 out of 5

The Mars Attacks card set featured artwork portraying a Martian invasion of Earth and all the horrors it would entail. This book is perfectly formatted to portray the collector cards, with the "front" artwork on the right and the "back"descriptions on the left. Interesting, but the producers made too much of the over-the-top science fiction themes of the 1950s (giant bugs, shrink rays, etc.) and not enough portrayal of the invasion as a global one. The book also includes info on the background of the series, which was considered very gory when it came out (1962). Also includes newer cards produced for the 1994 re-release in conjunction with the movie and some more cards attached to the inside cover of the book.

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