I found this colorful trade paperback in my local independent book shop The Book Loft a few days ago. The Essential Guide to World Comics by Tim Pilcher and Brad Brooks is exactly what it claims to be. The opening lines are: "In other countries and cultures they’re called manga, manhua, manhwa, bande dessinee or BD, komicks, bilderstreifen or bildergecshichter… In the USA and UK they’re known as comic books and they are the most prevalent, important yet misunderstood art form in the world."
Having spent a fair amount of time in Europe, immersed in the culture of comics, sometimes as a guest of festivals, and other times just visiting friends, I’ve discovered the surprising diversity – - and unity – - that makes up the world comics scene. Comics are everywhere, and the people who make them have a lot in common. I like comics people. There’s something about the art of comics that has captured all of us, and this book is the first one I’ve seen that starts to share that feeling.
This beautifully illustrated book covers the basics like Tintin, and Asterix; master creators like Eisner, Herge, Kurtzman, and Pratt, but it also sweeps through the rest of the planet giving us comics from Japan, India, South America, Down Under, and the Middle East! It touches on Lise in Norway, Max in Spain, Lewis Trondheim in France, Vitankar in India, Moer in Germany, Bryan Talbot in England, and even Comics International's Dez Skinn – - Dez Skinn!! It's great, really. Dave Gibbons writes the foreword and he sums it up this way: “Like some modern day equivalent of the Victorian Baedeker’s Guide, this present volume will thrill you, as it has me, with a bold and exciting overview of what is really out there…”
And author Tim Pilcher has this dedication on page 4: “To Megan (the biggest Bone fan I know)…and Oskar, the next generation.”
That made my day!
You can read the Booklist review and some reader reviews if you link directly to The Essential Guide to World Comics at Amazon.com!
As always, if you want to find the comic book store closest to you, call the Comic Shop Locator Serviced at 1-888-COMIC-BOOK or go to their webpage.