Astro City: Family Album

astro city family album cover trade paperback tpb
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Art: 8/10

Solid storytelling, good art


Comic Info

Comic Name:  Astro City (Volume 1)

Publisher:  WildStorm/DC Comics

Writer:  Kurt Busiek

Artist:  Brent Eric Anderson

# of Issues:  7

Release Date:  1998


Astro City (1) #1

Reprints Astro City (1) #1-3 and #10-13 (September 1996-February 1998).  Astro City is full of stories and inhabitants living in a world of superheroes.  You have Astra of the Furst Family who just wants to know what it is like to be a normal kid, the Junkman who isn’t satisfied with the perfect crime, heroes like Jack-in-the-Box who learn a legacy of crime fighting can have consequences, and Loony Lee…a cartoon trying to live in the real world.  Everyone has a story in Astro City and like Vegas, it never closes.

Written by Kurt Busiek and illustrated by Brent Eric Anderson, Astro City:  Family Album collects the first three issues of the first series and four issues following the storyline presented in Astro City:  Confession (this collection is sometimes considered Astro City Volume 3).  The volume was preceded by Astro City:  Life in the Big City which introduced Busiek’s creation in a six issue mini-series.  The comic received Eisner Awards for Best Cover Artist (for Alex Ross’s work) and Best Single Issue awards for both Astro City #1 and Astro City #10.

I started reading Astro City just after the limited series ended.  The comic was part of the subdivision of Wildstorm’s comics called Homage that also featured other great series like Leave It to Chance and Strangers in Paradise.  All three series were great, but there is something about Astro City’s staying power that has kept it fresh.

The idea of superheroes in the real world was a new concept when Busiek began writing about it.  Marvel revolutionized comics in the ’60s by creating “real superheroes” with problems, but Busiek took it a step forward with this series by not only giving them real lives, but looking at how their lives would actually affect the people around them.


Astro City (1) #3

The series was great because it managed to tell rounded stories in a few issues that many comics took six issue arcs to tell.  This volume features three stand-alone stories that are all rich and different (Astro City #1, Astro City #10, and Astro City #13).  Busiek writes them as compelling and interesting.  You get the full story but he leaves enough room open that you want to know even more about the featured characters…that you may or may not get sometime down the road.

Behind the great Alex Ross covers (his style of art really works for the imagination of this series), you have nice, solid comic book art by Brent Eric Anderson.  I use the term “comic book art” because Anderson isn’t flashy about his art and he’s not trying to recreate the wheel in his story like someone like Todd McFarland or many of the artists who launched Image.  He is just drawing compelling, solid art that helps tell the story.

Astro City:  Family Album is a good read (like most of the Astro City volumes).  It is also a nice flashback to a time when I was finding a ton of great titles that were different and frankly better than most of what DC and Marvel was putting out.  Sometime after this volume, the series did start having slight production issues and the publication became a bit erratic making it harder to follow.  The next collection Astro City:  Confession collects the issues missing in this volume which formed a long storyline for the series.  The issues following the second half of this volume were collected as Astro City:  The Tarnished Angel.

Related Links:

Astro City:  Life in the Big City

Astro City:  Confession

Astro City:  The Tarnished Angel

Astro City:  Local Heroes

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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