It is hard to imagine a world without Little Orphan Annie, Popeye, Snoopy, and Garfield. Newspaper comics arrive in millions of homes each day and make families laugh out loud. They're not only funny - they also reflect their times.
American newspaper comics evolved during the latter half of the nineteenth century when powerful forces of social and technological change combined to revolutionize mass entertainment. The comics industry has changed dramatically since that time. Radio, television, and the internet have challenged newspapers for dominance. Throughout its history, the art form has, time and again, proved its popular appeal and commercial adaptability. From the newspaper wars at the end of the nineteenth century to the cutting edge competition on the information superhighway at the beginning of the twenty-first century, comics have continued to thrive.
In this color packed compendium, cartoonist and historian Brian Walker has amassed more than 700 illustrations, including scores of rare examples provided by the artists themselves. Organized by decade, with biographical profiles and descriptions of different genres and themes, The Comics is both comprehensive and graphically stunning. This humorous collection is a classic survey of American culture since 1945.
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Brian Walker has a diverse background in professional cartooning and cartoon scholarship. He is a founder and former director of the Museum of Cartoon Art (now the International Museum of Cartoon Art), where he worked from 1974 to 1992. Since 1984, he has been part of the creative team that produces the comic strips Beetle Bailey and Hi and Lois. He has written and edited over a dozen books on cartoon art, as well as numerous exhibition catalogs and magazine articles. He taught cartoon history at the School of Visual Arts, New York, from 1995 to 1996. He has served as the curator on 65 cartoon exhibitions including two recent retrospectives, The Sunday Funnies: 100 Years of Comics in American Life, at the Barnum Museum in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and 100 Years of American Comics at the Belgian Center for Comic Art in Brussels. He was Editor-in-Chief of Collectors' Showcase magazine from 1997 to 2000 and is currently the Chairman of the Connecticut Chapter of the National Cartoonists Society. He lives in Connecticut.From Publishers Weekly:
Founder and former director of the International Cartoon Museum of Art, Walker here presents a survey of postwar strips that made it to the big time of daily syndication, as well as of their creators. Strip illustrations (210 in color, 776 in all) range from Little Orphan Annie collecting scrap metal to help the war effort, to Doonesbury's Zonker parodying interactive media by losing his punchline to a computer error. Walker, who since 1984 "has been part of the creative team that produces Beetle Bailey and Hi and Lois," orients the book toward hugely popular strips like the still-running Peanuts, B.C. and Garfield and cubicle-based smash Dilbert, and thus ends up giving more of a history of American taste than of the entire form. Still, readers will be happy to rediscover the likes of '80s media tweaker John Darling; genre strips like the western Red Ryder (1938-64), '50s sci-fi Twin Earths and the adventure strip Steve Canyon; and Walt Kelly's ever-influential Pogo. Proceeding chronologically, Walker notes the effects of the invention of television, the politics of syndication, and the means of racial integration, and offers biographical profiles tracking the careers of all the names less familiar to us than the characters-the cartoonists. The whole feels a little too accepting of the dictates of syndication for a mass audience, but it is a solid account of the way various artists have worked within that system.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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