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Iron Man Manual by Daniel Wallace

Iron Man ManualA review by Nalini Haynes

Styled like a cross between a scrapbook and an art-of-the-movie book, the Iron Man Manual takes movie art books to a whole new level.

Imagine Pepper Potts created a scrapbook crossed with a publicity profile of Stark Industries that delves into all the movies, including the Avengers.

Then imagine Tony Stark got hold of the beautiful finished product but not for long. If he’d had it for a week or two, it’d be stuffed so full of notes and post-its with coffee rings that the scrapbook would be two to four times the thickness. Tony has only had it for a few hours to a day so the scrapbook only has several post-its stuck to the pages, one scrap of paper with a note from Tony inscribed over a coffee-ring, a few sketches, expo memorabilia and blue prints stuck to the pages (LITERALLY, LIFT-AND-LOOK AT IMAGES BENEATH).

Each of the post-its was ‘written’ by the character, with consistent handwriting for each character. Tony uses a scrap of paper but Happy and Pepper used actual Stark Industries post-its. Pepper comments that she could get used to wearing an Iron Man suit. Happy expresses his dissatisfaction with the boxing ring in Tony’s Malibu home, offering to help design a better one for the rebuild project. Other comments, even conversations, take place via these notes.

The formal pages display a record of Robert Downey Jnr’s Iron Man while the post-its and memorabilia add literal and figurative layers, developing a new story while adding a sense of authenticity to this scrapbook.

The production value of the Iron Man Manual is amazing. If you’re into pop culture art books in any way, regardless of whether you like the movie franchise, this book is a must-have.

A certain reviewer came to visit recently; upon seeing the Iron Man Manual, she commented that she had to buy one before she went home.

Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


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