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: The Essential Guide To World Comics
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Apr 16th 2008
Some time ago I asked the forum if anyone could suggest a good source of information about comics around the globe. I think I've just answered my own question. Just found The Essential Guide To World Comics by Tim Pilcher and Brad Brooks, with an introduction by Dave Gibbons, who like me does not appear to have read it yet, but is really looking forward to it. I'm not a shill, by the way: I just think self-respecting comic fans with an interest in a broader cultural perspective should know about this thing, because I didn't. On first perusal I'm disappointed to find that they reference the 'constantly struggling, but excellent' Israeli comics scene, then say that it, and the scenes of a great many other countries, don't get coverage in the book due to space limitations, which strikes me as a cop-out. If you're limited by page count, shorten the section on U.S. comics to the historical groundwork that set-off the worldwide spread of comics and tell me about what the Israelis are doing. But what they DO cover strikes me as immensely valuable, so what are you gonna do?
My very own comics pusher got me mine, but I see it's up on Amazon, too. Where they have this to say:
Recently, U.S. comics fans have been given new opportunities to broaden the geographic scope of their reading by the proliferation of translated manga titles from Japan, which all but dominate many bookstores' graphic-novel sections, and by the translation of European works in record numbers. Yet vast areas of the globe remain underrepresented on American shelves. Help in rectifying that situation comes from British comics experts Pilcher and Brooks, whose opening chapter here succinctly but thoroughly surveys nearly a century of comics publishing in the U.S., focusing on superheroes while touching on other genres. Similar surveys of the comics scenes of Britain, Japan, Southeast Asia, France, elsewhere in Europe, Latin America, Scandinavia, Australia and New Zealand, and the Middle East and South Asia follow. Each chapter contains copious color illustrations and a mini-biography of a prominent "World-Class Creator." The authors know their stuff, and their different tastes--one elevates the comics medium to fine art; the other believes it can be "just big, dumb fun"--ensure balance. A stunning eye-opener to the comics medium's variety.
A beautifully illustrated guide to the global comics phenomenon. Every American is familiar with comic book heroes like Superman, Batman and Spider Man--but what about Bomber Girl, Bob Fish, and Rogan Gosh? Images of these international heroes--along with hundreds of others--are featured in this authoritative guide to comics around the world. Tim Pilcher and Brad Brooks examine the cultural impact of comics in over 20 countries, from Japan--where popular titles sell 6.5 million copies per week--to France, where comics are considered an art from on par with music and poetry. A sweeping global survey of the history and evolution of the medium, this informative volume is packed with fascinating stories, enlightening statistics, and colorful illustrations, many never before seen in the United States.
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