Fantagraphics is proud to publish Jules Feiffer’s long out-of-print and seminal essay of comics criticism, The Great Comic Book Heroes, in a compact and affordable format. In 1965, Feiffer wrote what is arguably the first critical history of the comic book super-heroes of the late ’30s and early ’40s, including Plastic Man, Batman, Superman, The Spirit, and others. In the book, Feiffer writes about the unique place of comics in the space between high and low art and the power that this space offers both the creator and reader. The Great Comic Book Heroes is widely acknowledged to be the first book to analyze the juvenile medium of superhero comics in a critical manner, but without denying the iconic hold such works have over readers of all ages. Out of print for over 30 years, Feiffer discusses the role that the patriotic superhero played during World War II in shaping the public spirit of civilians and soldiers, as well as the escapist power these stories held over the zeitgeist of America.