Comics Subjects I STILL Don't Know Enough About

By | Thursday, July 02, 2020 1 comment
Complete Wimmen's Comix
I stumbled across a 2013 list of comics related topics that I didn't consider myself knowledgeable enough on. The list read like this...
  • Tijuana bibles
  • Local comic strips of the early 20th century
  • Carl Barks
  • Manhua
  • The creators associated with Wimmen's Comix
  • Mini-comics
  • Mid-20th century comics used in promotional ad campaigns
  • The history of comic book retailing
  • Distributors other than Diamond
  • William Moulton Marston
  • Angoulême International Comics Festival
  • Intellectual property battles involving William Randolph Hearst
  • The cultural zeitgeist in Great Britain that helped foster 2000AD and many of the characters the debuted in that title
  • Métal Hurlant
  • 1960s fanzines
  • Australian comics
  • Jack Kirby's 1970s non-Fourth World work at DC
Reading that list now, not quite a decade later, I find that I could say still say that I still don't know nearly enough about any of those topics. Despite actually having read up on and studied many of them. I've gone through multiple books on Tijuana bibles. I have the complete box set reprinting Wimmen's Comix, and I've had dinner with Trina Robbins. I've at least quintupled my mini-comics collection. I've spoken directly with people who worked at Capital City Distribution. I've researched the legal battles Hearst pursued to keep the rights to some of "his" comics. I've read (I think) all of Kirby's 1970s work from DC... including stories that weren't even published!

And yet I still think of myself as very under-educated on all of these topics.

I was talking with Frederick Luis Aldama recently, and I told him a little about how I got to studying comics. Once I gained an interest in the Fantastic Four, I started reading as much as I could about them. But that broadened to include their "world" so I started reading up on the Marvel Universe in general. And that broadened to include the guys who created it: Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, etc. And that broadened to include the other things they worked on. And so on, and so on until the 21st century when I'm now basically interested in all things comics.

It's, of course, impossible to be an expert on everything related to comics. Which necessarily means that there will always be areas I'm not as familiar with. I might have written the book on webcomics, but I can't say I know as much -- maybe that I'll ever know as much -- about comics coming out of Australia. Or Carl Barks. Or Métal Hurlant. Or...

Of course, that doesn't mean I won't try! 😉
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Gavin said...

I don’t know anything about AUSTRALIAN comics, but I do know that the character The Phantom is very popular in Australia. I’ve always wondered how that came to be