Summer Book Club Review: Deadpool: Drawing the Merc with a Mouth

Welcome to VGBlogger’s Summer Book Club! All summer long, we will be providing weekly book reviews across a wide range of geek favorite categories, including art, comics/graphic novels, fantasy, gaming, and sci-fi, and welcoming you to join in on book discussions in the comments. So whether you’re heading out for a road trip, going on vacation, lounging beach/poolside on a nice sunny day, relaxing inside away from the summer heat, or simply searching for a good read to fill your free time, follow our Summer Book Club for our top picks of what you should be reading during these hot summertime doldrums. Please enjoy!

From cult favorite villain to crazy anti-hero icon, Deadpool is, perhaps, Marvel’s unlikeliest star ever. But after Ryan Reynolds’ born-for-the-role performance in bringing the Merc with a Mouth to the Hollywood big screen, the character has proven capable of being a mainstream solo act alongside the likes of Wolverine and Spider-Man and Iron Man, as well as Batman and Super-Man if you want to compare outside the Marvel family, to the DC Universe. That was never a certainty throughout the character’s suitably erratic history rising through the Marvel Comics ranks, as you can discover more about in Deadpool: Drawing the Merc with a Mouth from Insight Editions.

Drawing the Merc with a Mouth is an oversized hardcover art book. And when I say oversized I do mean oversized. At a little more than 11″ x 14″, it’s at least a good inch or two larger in both dimensions than most, if not all, art books for gaming or pop culture subjects. It’s by far the largest book in my collection, and I have dozens of art books to compare it to. So let me just warn ahead of time that you better have a large book shelf or coffee table to hold this bad boy.

Each copy also comes with a print of the dust jacket art by Reilly Brown, which is found stuck on the inside of the back cover. It’s an awesome piece of art, though the quality of the print is a little disappointing compared to the book itself. It’s the size of a regular piece of paper and is printed on a fairly thin and flimsy stock, lighter even than a poster. A nice bonus? Sure. But it isn’t high enough quality to be worth framing or hanging or removing from the book to display in any other way.

Inside, the book features over 180 pages of artwork and extensive creator commentary detailing Deadpool’s arduous climb up the Marvel Comics ladder over the past three decades. The seven chapters guide you through an expounded chronological timeline of Deadpool’s origins, from his debut in The New Mutants #98 and growth from villain to anti-hero to the classic team-up with Cable and his ongoing solo series, spin-offs, cameos, and guest star appearances chronicled all the way up to 2016. Each chapter focuses on a specific era, showing the character’s evolution under the pen and creative control of such a vast stable of artists and writers throughout the years, starting, of course, with his original creators Rob Liefeld, who illustrated and plotted the backstory, and Fabian Nicieza, who gave the merc his infamous mouth.

This is an art book first and foremost, and it’s packed with pristine quality art pulled straight from the covers, panels, and pages of the comics. Personally, my favorite part was seeing all of the cover parodies of famous movie posters, music album covers, and other superheroes. Deadpool being such a humorous and versatile character has led to countless artistic interpretations, which equates to a diverse compilation of cover illustrations, splash pages, and cells of key story beats and encounters from his past. Like the man himself, every turn of the page leads to something unexpected yet captivating to look at. Oh you’ll be touching yourself tonight after laying eyes on this book alright.

As visually stimulating as it is to flip through, the book is equally informative to actually read and digest, the artwork complemented by substantive bodies of text containing interviews with many of the inkers and writers that have been brave enough to venture into Wade Wilson’s effed-up world. It’s pretty amazing to learn just how often Deadpool needed to be reinvented and saved from threats of cancellation, especially now that the character’s sarcastic, wise-cracking, fourth-wall-shattering, bizarrely loveable persona has exploded as a pop culture phenomenon.

Supersized to faithfully capture Deadpool’s massive personality and as scrumptious as a whole pile of chimichangas, Drawing the Merc with a Mouth is an easy recommendation for anyone who just can’t get enough of the deadly chatterbox’s goofball insanity, as well as for comic buffs curious about the creative and scripting process that goes on behind the scenes during the shifting career of a comic legend.

Buy From: Amazon or Insight Editions for $45.

Disclosure: A copy of Deadpool: Drawing the Merc with a Mouth was provided to VGBlogger.com for review by Insight Editions.

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles.

Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere.

Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn’t mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!