Sunday, February 9, 2014
The International Book Of Comics by Denis Gifford
I came across The International Book Of Comics in my school library and it was my first taste of Denis Gifford's writing. Most of Denis' books focus solely on British comics but this one looks at ones from the world over, though mostly the U.K. and the U.S.A. I have very little interest in American comics so to be honest I skipped most of the pages covering those ones with a few exceptions such as Felix the Cat. Although comics from over the ditch fill up a majority of this book the British stuff is still good, with particular highlights being the Ally Sloper and Comic Cuts articles.
The book is a great source for looking at the origins of British comics (and comics as a whole for that matter), briefly covering the first regularly coloured comic (aptly named The Coloured Comic) and newspaper strips, but for a better look at early British comics you'd be better off reading Victorian Comics, also by Denis.
The book is an engaging read with plenty of photographs throughout, many in colour. Copies of the book do pop up for reasonable prices on Ebay and they do pop up in second hand bookshops for a good price too, so it's a cheap and quality read!