The Art and Making of The Boys–An unabashed exposé on the dark and violent superhero series

Review by C.J. Bunce

Most books that look behind the scenes of a TV series seem to step back from the material.  That’s not the case for The Art and Making of The Boys, the latest dive into a recent streaming series.  Neither writer Peter Aperlo nor the creators and cast of The Boys interviewed apologize for their crude, rude, gory, gratuitous, and violent television adaptation of the brash string of comic book series by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson.  In fact Aperlo leans into it, along with reflecting the over-the-top look at superheroes, he’s created the first making-of book that probably deserves its own content warning.  George Carlin’s famed “seven dirty words” are sprawled across the pages, along with violent and bloody imagery.  For starters.

For anyone who has watched any of the episodes of the series, with three seasons available now on Prime Video, they shouldn’t be surprised the producers are just as mouthy about their material as the characters on the screen.  The book itself feels more like an account detailing the making of a horror movie than a superhero series–it has much in common with the horror movie chronicle Army of the Dead: The Making of the Film (reviewed here).  That also makes sense, as The Boys is not a series for everyone.

Here are some of the few tame pages from inside The Art and Making of The Boys:

As a making-of book, it’s more about the behind the scenes photographs and interviews than concept artwork you may find in other art books, although it has some of that, too.  It includes the interviews readers would expect to find with showrunners, costume designers, and other production staff.  It’s also cringey on the self-congratulatory side.  But if you like the show, you’d probably expect no less.  It all purports to be parody, but the creators sure seem to revel in and get their own cheap thrills from the gratuitous nature of the violence and sex.

Irreverent?  Check.  Exploitative?  Check.  Disturbing?  Check.  All the elements of shock-jock radio, plus images of nudity and other questionable content?  Check.

For adults only, and for those adults who are die-hard fans of the series only, The Art and Making of The Boys is now available here at Amazon.

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