Of Comics and Men: A Cultural History of American Comic Books

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Overview


An analysis of the production, content, and techniques of comic books and graphic novels
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781604732672
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
  • Publication date: 11/19/2009
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author


Jean-Paul Gabilliet is professor of American studies at the University of Bordeaux, France.

Bart Beaty is associate professor of communication and culture at the University of Calgary. He is the author of Unpopular Culture: Transforming the European Comic Book in the 1990s and Fredric Wortham and the Critique of Mass Culture. He is also the translator (with Nick Nguyen) of The System of Comics by Thierry Groensteen.

Nick Nguyen is an archivist at Library and Archives Canada, in Ottawa, Ontario. He is also the translator (with Bart Beaty) of The System of Comics by Thierry Groensteen.

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  • Posted September 30, 2014

    Finally, a book I¿ve been waiting for my whole life. An engaging

    Finally, a book I’ve been waiting for my whole life. An engaging and comprehensive history of comicbooks, OF COMICS AND MEN by Jean-Paul Gabilliet has been published in english and it deserves to anchor any aficionados’ library.

    The first part of the book presents the history and context of comicbooks in America from 1842 - 2003, describing every landmark and innovation, its’ market, competitors, and detractors.

    The second part is broken into four chapters. The publishers and printing history, the wholesaling and retail evolution, a history of the creators and their production methods, and then the readers and collectors and fan scene.

    The third part of the book discusses the censorship movements in some detail, the attitude of those in the business toward comics as an artform, and the arts and entertainment fields’ attitudes toward legitimizing comics as art.

    Even the index is amazingly complete, including rich resources for further study, as well as copies of the various comic code regulations that influenced the market.

    The lack of illustration worried me at first but it works here in that Gabilliet makes no value-judgements on what is “good” comics. The story is kept brief (and well wrote) while including enough detail that I was happily satisfied to discover what actually happened behind scenes that I’ve lived through (having worked at the edges all my life.) Friends were named, idols vindicated, trends explained, bookstores explored, and rumors examined.

    I heartily recommend this one to all my cartoonist peers and expect it to become a standard in the classroom. The books’ lack of visual dazzle may keep it off holiday gift lists but its’ facts and figures will soon be working its’ way through every serious discussion on the state of the art.

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