History of Comics

So, after listening to the Jack Kirby episodes, I have a hankering to read more about the history of comics. I may have posted this before on the previous version of the forums, so please forgive me if this has come around before. I read Sean Howe's book on Marvel a few years ago and the Comic Book History of Comics, but what are some other suggestions? Evanier's bio of Kirby? The Power of Comics by Randy Duncan and Matthew Smith? Men of Tomorrow by Gerard Jones, if it's okay to separate the man and his work. I tried a few issues of Alter Ego about Otto Binder and the DC/Fawcett lawsuit, but was disappointed. What are some of your favorite comic book books?

Thanks

Comments

  • mwhitt80mwhitt80 Posts: 3,199
    edited September 20
    Are you looking for specifically Marvel?

    If you want to read an interesting history of DC twomorrows did a three part article on Major Malcolm Wheeler. He was one of the original National/DC founders. It was great, and you can get it digitally for $3.95

    Twomorrows Marvel comics in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s in the book section.

    Twomorrows Image the Road to Independence is a great book of interviews by a lot of from a lot of the early Image creators. @nweathington it's been a few years can you put some pressure on the higher-ups to get a part 2?

    I would also recommend The 10¢ Plague by David Hajdu.

  • mwhitt80mwhitt80 Posts: 3,199
    I forgot, if you want to read a fun bunch of interviews from the early comic podcasters try The Comic Book Podcast Companion from twomorrows
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,216
    mwhitt80 said:

    @nweathington it's been a few years can you put some pressure on the higher-ups to get a part 2?

    So noted, though I know George isn’t interested in doing it himself.
  • mwhitt80mwhitt80 Posts: 3,199
    There are some very interesting interviews to be had with guys like Kirkman (RtI was pre-tv show and becoming partner), Greg Rucka, Brian K Vaughn, Jason Aaron, Kelly Sue, Hickman, Zub, , Remender, Millar. That's just a handful of the writers.
  • mwhitt80 said:

    Are you looking for specifically Marvel?

    If you want to read an interesting history of DC twomorrows did a three part article on Major Malcolm Wheeler. He was one of the original National/DC founders. It was great, and you can get it digitally for $3.95

    Twomorrows Marvel comics in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s in the book section.

    Twomorrows Image the Road to Independence is a great book of interviews by a lot of from a lot of the early Image creators. @nweathington it's been a few years can you put some pressure on the higher-ups to get a part 2?

    I would also recommend The 10¢ Plague by David Hajdu.

    I cosign on 10 cent Plague. It's been awhile since I read it but it was a good read as I remember.
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,216
    mwhitt80 said:

    There are some very interesting interviews to be had with guys like Kirkman (RtI was pre-tv show and becoming partner), Greg Rucka, Brian K Vaughn, Jason Aaron, Kelly Sue, Hickman, Zub, , Remender, Millar. That's just a handful of the writers.

    Oh, I know. It’s not a question of potential material.
  • TorchsongTorchsong Posts: 2,659
    I'm addicted to the fun stuff coming from Quirk Books of late:

    http://www.quirkbooks.com/book/league-regrettable-superheroes

    http://www.quirkbooks.com/book/legion-regrettable-supervillains

    http://www.quirkbooks.com/book/spectacular-sisterhood-superwomen

    The first two are fun looks at some of the lesser known and perhaps not so heroic (or villainous) characters throughout the history of comics. The third book (which I'm reading now) don't look at also-rans but more the forgotten influences that female characters have had for decades now.

    All excellent reads.
  • mwhitt80mwhitt80 Posts: 3,199
    edited September 20
    There are number of good histories on Wonder Woman (those are bat poop crazy)
    Les Daniels - Complete History of Wonder Woman is very good and Les was a great golden age specialist.

    Seth Kushner - Leaping Tall Buildings This is a fantastic book of interviews and photographs that were originally found on Graphic NYC website (no longer available).

    Will Eisner - Eisner/Miller An older book of conversations between two comic masters.
  • Thanks everyone. Since I enjoyed Sean Howe's book, I thought something similar about DC's history would be interesting.
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,216
    edited September 20
    mwhitt80 said:

    Seth Kushner - Leaping Tall Buildings This is a fantastic book of interviews and photographs that were originally found on Graphic NYC website (no longer available).

    Seth is the photographer—really talented guy who unfortunately passed away a couple of years ago. Chris Irving, who worked with me on one of my Modern Masters books, conducted the interviews.
  • mwhitt80mwhitt80 Posts: 3,199

    mwhitt80 said:

    Seth Kushner - Leaping Tall Buildings This is a fantastic book of interviews and photographs that were originally found on Graphic NYC website (no longer available).

    Seth is the photographer—really talented guy who unfortunately passed away a couple of years ago. Chris Irving conducted the interviews.
    That's right. I always associate graphic NYC and leaping tall buildings with Seth . His photos are great, and I really recommend that book. I really didn't mean to short credit to Chris Irving.

  • mwhitt80mwhitt80 Posts: 3,199
    Here's a few more books.
    Superheroes by Maslow & Kantor - this is the companion book to the PBS documentary ( which is also good) on the creation of Superheroe Comics.

    Marvel Chronicles ( DC has a version too) - which is a year by year of Marvel publishing.
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,216
    edited September 20
    mwhitt80 said:

    Superheroes by Maslow & Kantor - this is the companion book to the PBS documentary ( which is also good) on the creation of Superheroe Comics.

    I've got a review copy of this. Haven't read it yet, but a skim through felt pretty much like it was just the bare-bone basics.
  • mwhitt80mwhitt80 Posts: 3,199
    It is, but it's not a bad place to start when you are getting into comics history. I would not recommend it for someone who has an extensive knowledge, but for an introduction and place to jump off it's a great start. It also has lots of pictures.

    I would also like to point you to the WordBalloon podcast.
  • David_DDavid_D Posts: 3,443
    I want to add myself to those recommending The Ten Cent Plague. And, of course I read it years before the more recent news on Gerard Jones, so I didn't have to separate the writer from the material, but I also found Men of Tomorrow very informative.
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,216
    To be honest, I have not read either The Ten-Cent Plague or Men of Tomorrow, so I can’t really comment on them.
  • HexHex Posts: 903
    edited September 20
    I found Brad Ricca's Super Boys: The Amazing Adventures of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster to be a great read about the men behind the "Man of Steel", as well as the comic book industry at the time.
  • David_DDavid_D Posts: 3,443

    To be honest, I have not read either The Ten-Cent Plague or Men of Tomorrow, so I can’t really comment on them.

    I don't know that I would recommend them to you, as I don't think you'd need them. A lot of it is a primer on the history of comics and publishers, including (more emphasis on the Men of Tomorrow) the gangsters at the start and (more on the 10 Cent Plague) the history and fallout of Wertham. As someone who grew up immersed in comics as content, but who was short on the history of the medium prior to my time as a consumer, I found these books to be useful. But I don't know that you would.
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,216
    David_D said:

    To be honest, I have not read either The Ten-Cent Plague or Men of Tomorrow, so I can’t really comment on them.

    I don't know that I would recommend them to you, as I don't think you'd need them. A lot of it is a primer on the history of comics and publishers, including (more emphasis on the Men of Tomorrow) the gangsters at the start and (more on the 10 Cent Plague) the history and fallout of Wertham. As someone who grew up immersed in comics as content, but who was short on the history of the medium prior to my time as a consumer, I found these books to be useful. But I don't know that you would.
    Yeah, I've looked through the bibliographies, and for the most part I've either read their source material, or read the source material for their source material. I know, or am at least acquainted with, most of the people in the acknowledgements of Ten-Cent Plague.
  • phansfordphansford Posts: 209
    Hands down the best I've ever read....

    Stop what you are doing and BUY THIS BOOK!

    Comic Book Nation: The Transformation of Youth Culture in America by Bradford Wright.

    Wright does an excellent job explaining how comics are tied to our culture.
  • BrackBrack Posts: 533
    Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics by Frederik L. Schodt is still a good history of the origins of manga even 34 years on.

    His Dreamland Japan provided a companion piece in the 90s.
  • Thanks to everyone for your suggestions; I'll definitely peruse these. I'd kinda hoped for a post by @wildpigcomics. I'd love to know what's on Chris' bookshelf.
  • ToneboneTonebone Posts: 698

    So, after listening to the Jack Kirby episodes, I have a hankering to read more about the history of comics. I may have posted this before on the previous version of the forums, so please forgive me if this has come around before. I read Sean Howe's book on Marvel a few years ago and the Comic Book History of Comics, but what are some other suggestions? Evanier's bio of Kirby? The Power of Comics by Randy Duncan and Matthew Smith? Men of Tomorrow by Gerard Jones, if it's okay to separate the man and his work. I tried a few issues of Alter Ego about Otto Binder and the DC/Fawcett lawsuit, but was disappointed. What are some of your favorite comic book books?

    Thanks

    Don't give up on Alter Ego... I have about 50 issues and there's some TERRIFIC stuff, there... particularly if you love transcribed interview with guys who have seen it all. I would say pick issues that feature characters or creators you are interested in. Also, the magazine quite often delves into the silver age, not always the golden age.

    Also, Comic Book Artist is a fantastic magazine with mostly more contemporary artists and writers... maybe 70's to 90's... Twomorrows still has back issues of that one.

  • ToneboneTonebone Posts: 698
    Comic Book Fever, also by Twomorrows, is excellent, if you're into the 70's and 80's. It's really fun.
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,216
    Tonebone said:

    Comic Book Fever, also by Twomorrows, is excellent, if you're into the 70's and 80's. It's really fun.

    Glad you liked it!
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