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Friday, September 30, 2011
My Take On: Comix: A History of Comic Books in America - 40 Years Later!
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: Comic Book History


Michael D Hamersky On Comics Looks Back & Reviews...


A History of Comic Books in America

First Published in 1971 by Bonanza Books!  

Written by Les Daniels with Graphics by Mad Peck Studios

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TODAY'S FEATURE - Blog #3515:

Every so often in my travels I come across books on comics that I have read in the past. Today's blog is on one of those...

Most of this blog's readers will know Les Daniels best for his coffee table books that I have shared with you before, namely: 'Marvel: Five Fabulous Decades of the World's Greatest Comics' (1991), and 'DC Comics: Sixty Years of the World’s Favorite Comic Book Heroes' (1995). 

Man, it doesn't seem that long ago that the 'Marvel history book' was published!  But it has been twenty years now!  I have bought and sold several copies of that book, as well as the 'DC history book' since the dates of those books being published!

One I haven't seen in a long time is this one from forty years ago!  Sheesh, it was when I hadn't yet set up as a comics dealer at the San Diego Comic Con at El Cortez Hotel in 1972!  (See bottom left of this blog post for my 1973 setup pic.)

So when I had an opportunity to pick this book up... I just had to!

The book could be considered kind of 'dated', in that the Fantastic Four had only recently reached issue #100 in numbers, and almost all of the comics inserts are all in black and white instead of color like the more recent books by Les... But this book is like a time capsule as to what comics & comix were all about at the start of the 1970's!

For those of you that weren't fortunate to grow up in those days... Or even if you were, but weren't reading or collecting at that time... This book is a fine presentation with several chapters of what 'Comic Books in America' had evolved to at that point in 1970.

There's even a section at the end on 'underground comix', with a brief history of where they had come from, which most comics readers today probably don't know!

Of course there is the now 'obligatory' chapters on 'The Coming of Comics', 'The Birth of the Comic Book', 'The E.C. Revolution', and 'The Comics Code Controversy', but I found that the writer's chapter on 'Mighty Marvel' was pretty much the way I felt back in 1970 also, having started with them in 1962.

The notes / bibliography section was well documented.  I would put this book right up there with  the very few others from this time period as ones to be placed in your personal library as a reference to the history of comics!

Please note though... Les Daniels was circa 28 years of age when he wrote this book.  At the time there was very little published on the history of comics.  Thus this book is written more by a fan of comics, than a scientific treatise.  It does make for easier reading though, and really is a 'snapshot' of what comics were thought of back in 1970 by enthusiastic fans like Les!

My comic book grade for this book is a VERY FINE / NEAR MINT (VF/NM) 9.0 out of a possible 10.0 comic book grading scale.  After forty years it still holds the test of time as a good reference book.

Here's the only problem for obtaining one for your personal library.  You will more than likely have to buy this from an online comics dealer like myself / or other online source, as it has long been OOP (Out of Print).  I do notice that it was reprinted back in 1988, so I'll give you the info on that edition:

Hardcover: 198 pages
Publisher: Random House Value Publishing (December 12, 1988)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0517110377
ISBN-13: 978-0517110379
Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.7 x 0.8 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds

Last year I published a blog on what I would suggest as 2010 holiday gifts for either yourself or friends that enjoy reading / collecting comics.  I will be adding this book to my 2012 shopping list!

There isn't a Facebook fan page for Les Daniels, nor did I find any photos of Les during that 1970s time period, so I'm just going to post a link to his Wikipedia entry so that you can see what else Les has written!

~Michael D Hamersky On Comics!


My thanks again to all of YOU reading this blog and our archived blog posts, now at 3,515 total posts in number!  Whew! I do appreciate your continued reading and support of this Blog!

BTW, You can 'follow' this blog by clicking the 'Follow' Button at this NetworkedBlogs app link!  We currently have over 2,561 'Followers'!  Thanks to ALL of YOU that have already clicked that button! 

And for those of YOU that haven't yet... I would appreciate it if YOU would!!!

~ Michael D Hamersky

Note:  My online 'Local' Comic Book Shop (LCBS), named ComicBooksCircus.com  carries many different genres of comics, magazines, graphic novels, and comic con promotional items. Possibly even copies of the item(s) that was mentioned here today...!

If I have it... You can find it 'Under The Big Top Of Comics' at:  


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The screen display resolution is best seen at the setting of 1024 x 768 on your laptop or desktop computer.  Note:  As of Monday, June 27th, 2011, I'll be using my new laptop, where the default resolution is 'higher', so there may be some temporary glitches until I am used to the new resolution.

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Posted by makeitsomarketing at 6:29 AM PDT
Updated: Friday, September 30, 2011 7:20 AM PDT
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