The Comic Book History of Comics

The Comic Book History of Comics

Book - 2012
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The history of American comics in comics form.
Publisher: San Diego, CA : IDW, 2012
ISBN: 9781613771976
Characteristics: 224 pages : illustrations, maps ; 26 cm
Additional Contributors: Dunlavey, Ryan


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May 24, 2017

Easy to read ,but dense book.
Even handed treatment of major players, government & good intention parent groups.
Man, writers must have tough time getting copyright permissions of said fiction characters.

Mark_Daly Jun 19, 2013

Provides a remarkably complete history of the comic book business, with side trips into Pop Art, Francophone comics, Japanese comics and even online piracy. The wealth of anecdotal detail and succinct analysis makes this a useful text for curious readers. However, the book is harmed, not helped, by Dunlavey's art. His lines remain unwaveringly, boringly thick, his figures ever angular. Panels are frequently over-stuffed with visual gags, sometimes referencing pop culture obscura that younger readers might not recognize, and the jokes are occasionally crude, ill-advised, or inappropriate. He appears incapable of subsuming his style in aping another artist's work or drawing a lifelike caricature. In sections he seems to be reaching for a Larry Gonick-style interplay between text-heavy narration and jokey illustrations, but his work lacks Gonick's subtlety. Granted, it's a monumental achievement in itself to illustrate over 200 pages of international comics history, with walk-on appearances by scores of historical figures and comics characters. But given the wealth of visually stimulating images available in the source material, one wishes he had checked his own predilections at the door, or at least dialed it back a little.

Apr 30, 2013

Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey, creators of the unexpected and exceptional Action Philosophers, return to the nonfiction comics realm with this hilarious and insightful history of their chosen medium. Much like in Philosophers, the duo effectively use exaggeration and humor. Van Lente employs asides and one-liners. Dunlavey relies on the best techniques from his cartoonist forebearers. Perhaps nothing benefits more from this style than the events involving EC. They manage to display M.C. Gaines as a visionary, victim, and buffoon, often all at the same time. Though not as thorough as other similar prose histories, The Comic Book History of Comics covers the highlights in an energetic and exciting fashion of the convoluted, chaotic, and often tortured history in a unique and informative manner.

Sep 21, 2012

A well researched, rich, detailed history of the comic book industry.

This is not something you can rush through. Each section forces to slowly absorb the facts.

Even though I thought knew most of this stuff still found a lot of new information I did not know.

Highly recommended.


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