The Essential Guide to World Comics

    (Collins & Brown, 2006)
™ and © Collins & Brown, Tim Pilcher and Brad Brooks

The operative word, the introduction points out, is “Guide.” It’s not an encyclopedia. It’s not supposed to be exhaustive. It’s all about breadth, not depth.

That’s not to say that it doesn’t contain lots of new information; it does. Readers may know Marvel and DC history, but how about Fantagraphics history? What was going on in the U.K., when the U.S. Senate was investigating comic books? What murders in Japan can be linked to manga? If you don’t know, that’s why you need this book!

The “big three” comics-producing countries are far from the only ones represented. Hong Kong, Korea, and even Cambodia are here. So is Europe, and it’s not just Tintin and Asterix. Australia? Check. Serbia? You bet. India? Nigeria? Lebanon? Yes, and it’s fabulous stuff. Each of the 10 chapters is followed by a spotlight on a prominent creator from the region just discussed. You probably know Jack Kirby (U.S.), Osamu Tezuka (Japan), and Hergé (Belgium). You might not know Argentina’s Alberto Breccia or India’s Anant Pai.

And that’s why you need this book.

— Jack Abramowitz

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320 pagesTim Pilcher, Brad Brooks