With comics being the visual medium that they are, there's no shortage of pictures of the characters. With the exception of media darling Stan Lee or commercial star Rob Liefeld, however, most comic book creators exist behind a much deeper veil of obscurity -- especially in the Golden Age, when their names were rarely attached to the comics they worked on. When you hear names like Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster or Jack Kirby, you think of the creations rather than the people.

Now, artist Drew Friedman is attempting to change that, at least a little, with Heroes of the Comics, a Fantagraphics hardcover book of portraits of the pioneers of the golden age, from the creators we all love like Siegel and Shuster, above, down to the villains like Bob Kane and Frederic Wertham. 

In addition to the portraits, Friedman has also included brief biographical information about the creators, including luminaries like Max Gaines (whose son William would take over Educational Comics and move them from illustrated Bible stories to lurid crime tales and slapstick parodies as Entertaining Comics) and Sheldon Mayer (the legendary creator credited with saving Superman from the slush pile in 1938). If nothing else, it's pretty cool to be able to put a face on these names that you've seen in the history of comics, and with Friedman's exaggerated, friendly art, it works really well.

And, of course, putting Kirby on the cover is always a plus.

For more about Heroes of the Comics including pre-order information, check out the Fantagraphics website.