Visually amazing, this critical history of comic books, manga, and graphic novels is a must-have for any comic buff or collector. Over the centuries, comic books and their offshoots, such as graphic novels, manga, and bandes dessinées, have evolved into a phenomenally popular, influential, and unique art form with which we can express our opinions, our fantasies, our nightmares, and our dreams. In short: comics are emphatically no longer just for kids. This diverse, constantly evolving medium is truly coming into its own in the 21st century, from Hollywood’s blockbuster adaptations of super-powered caped crusaders to the global spread of Japan’s manga and its spinoffs, and from award-winning graphic novels such as Maus and Persepolis to new forms such as online webcomix. This volume is the perfect introduction to a dynamic and globally popular medium, embracing every graphic genre worldwide to assess the very best works of sequential art, graphic literature, comics, and comic strips, past and present. An international survey, this engaging volume is organized according to the year of first publication in the country of origin. An opening section acknowledges pioneering pre-1900 masterpieces, followed by sections divided by decade, creating a fascinating year-by-year chronicle of the graphic medium worldwide. The material includes the very earliest one-off albums to the latest in online comics and features some series and characters that have run for decades. Packed with fantastic reproductions of classic front covers and groundbreaking panels, this book is visually stunning as well as a trove of information–perfect for the passionate collector and casual fan alike.
About the Author
Paul Gravett was hailed by The Times of London as “the greatest historian of the comics and graphic novel form.” Gravett co-edited the important British magazine Escape (1983-89), which championed a wider appreciation of comics from Europe and beyond. In 1990, he curated “God Save The Comics!”, a major installation on British comics, which was opened by the French cultural minister Jack Lang for the launch of France’s National Comics and Image Centre in Angoulême. After nine years directing a project by the Cartoon Art Trust to establish a National Cartoon Museum in London, in 2001 he became an independent exhibition curator, journalist, lecturer, and broadcaster. He is the author of Manga: 60 Years of Japanese Comics (2004), Graphic Novels (2005), Great British Comics (2006), Mammoth Book of Best Crime Comics (2008), and Incredibly Strange Comics (2008). He directs the Comic festival at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts. In 2008, he curated the western world’s first exhibition of contemporary Chinese comics in London, and in 2009 he organized “In Search of the Atom Style” at the Atomium in Brussels. He is currently preparing exhibitions about Korean manhwa, Finnish artist Tove Jansson and her Moomin characters, and American comic book genius Jack Kirby.