Saturday, January 12, 2019

The Comic Book History of Comics

Van Lente, Fred and Dunlavey, Ryan. The Comic Book History of Comics 2012 by Idea & Design Works Llc
Actually can't remember where this came from!

This lengthy (over 200 pages) comic book style history gives a very complete overview of the comic strip going back even before The Yellow Kid. Not only are strips and creators named and explained, but information about publishers, trends, and controversies are covered. The format does limit the amount of information that can be presented, but this is certainly an excellent starting place for fans who might like to later find out more about certain aspects of this art form. While there were lots of controversies and problems covered, this never felt one-sided, even when the later chapters address the thorny issue of comics distribution.

This is a great read for anyone who wants to have a brief understanding of the entire comics universe. There was a ton of information, and I came away feeling that my background knowledge was definitely increased. I have to admit to skimming a bit-- who knew that Wonder Woman was so fraught with complications? The most interesting part of this for me was the discussion about how educators in the 1950s decided that comics were morally corrupting children. I don't remember there really being any discussion involving comics in my childhood-- my brother and I had a few Harvey World comics, probably picked up at gas stations on car trips, and there was even a Wonder Woman comic. We treated these more or less like books, rereading on occasion, and no one ever told us they were bad for us!

This is a great book for high school libraries who have a large fan base who enjoy illustrated works. There are a few references to sex in comics, but it's not bad. I just think it is a LOT of information for middle school students.

No comments:

Post a Comment