STEVE MCQUEEN FULL-THROTTLE COOL is the stellar graphic novel biography befitting an icon!

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Steve McQueen Full Throttle Cool

I don't really do comic reviews that often these days. It's not that I don't read comics, they're still a staple of my pop culture diet, but after writing regular weekly reviews for many years, I prefer to write about other forms of entertainment. When I heard about the graphic novel STEVE MCQUEEN: FULL THROTTLE COOL from Motor Books, well, I needed to read it and write a review. In all my years of online journalism, I've never had the chance to talk about my passion for the filmography of Mr. McQueen.

After requesting the review material, I was a little worried. What if the book was horrible? I mean, I own his movies, a replica of his jacket from THE GREAT ESCAPE, several McQueen dolls, figures, cars, you name it. It would be a shame to have to write a scathing review about the King of Cool. Or worse, what if it was a mediocre mess that couldn't inspire any emotion whatsoever? Writing one of those reviews is just not fun, at all.

I'm thrilled to add this book to my collection! Let me tell you why. STEVE MCQUEEN: FULL THROTTLE COOL is an impeccably crafted graphic novel. The close-to 90-pages are well written and amazingly illustrated. The narrative begins with a prologue spotlighting McQueen's iconic film BULLITT, but then flashes back to his humble beginnings. From there, we follow McQueen's rise to fame and through to his death. Most of the key moments in his life are explored and expounded upon. This is an excellent biography of a compellingly flawed, yet endearing American icon.

Dwight Jon Zimmerman has written an engaging script that covers Steve's life, loves, films, and takes special notice of his racing passion. Considering the publisher is Motor Books, obviously, it makes sense. I'm not a gearhead by any means, but the book has a fabulous balance of cars, bikes, films, and everything else. It allows a person like me--that loves to look at fast cars but is not a mechanic or racer--to marvel at McQueen's driving AND also follow his acting career. Really, anyone that likes film or cars can get into this book.

In any comic pursuit, whether it be a single issue or a graphic novel, the artwork is the key piece necessary to tie the whole enterprise together. Seriously, if the art is bad, you might as well read a book or watch a film or documentary. On the subject of Steve McQueen, I've read many books, seen every film he's ever done, most of his TV work, and any documentary I could get my hands on. I may not be an expert, but I'm a very knowledgable fan. Not only is the writing a faithful representation of McQueen, but the images are a vivid window to the wow of his life.

The greatest selling point for the book has got to be the art. It has to be! My goodness, Greg Scott has captured the mind, body, and soul of Steve McQueen with his elegant linework. In many places, he is clearly working from famous photos of the actor, but there are many instances that that is not the case. Either way, every panel, of every page, is a magnificent rendering that meshes perfectly with Mr. Zimmerman's words. You will amaze at Scott's use of shadow and texture to lend a strong contrast to the black & white pages. Simply, it is almost impossible to find a more beautifully rendered comic book anywhere!

It doesn't matter if you've only seen a few of Steve McQueen's film or every single one, FULL-THROTTLE COOL is a can't miss graphic novel event! Hell, if you're just a fan of fast machines and want to learn more of Steve's myriad skills, this is the book to read! One way or the other, grab a copy!

Here's a little more about the book:

4.5 / 5.0