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!


Kid said...

I've got this book myself (hardback) and it's got lots of great photos. Another one by Denis to look out for is The Complete Catalogue of British Comics. The price guide is well out of date, but to be honest, it wasn't all that accurate at the time either.

TwoHeadedBoy said...

Also look out for Gifford's "Encyclopaedia of Comic Characters", that one's a lot of fun. £7.92 on Amazon, if that helps.

Not comics-related, but also by Gifford and one of my favourite books is "Great Cartoon Stars: A Who's Who!". One penny on Amazon, again, if that helps.

George Shiers said...

I hope to get that Catalogue of British Comics eventually. The next one by Gifford I hope to get is Comics At War.

I have the Encyclopedia of Comic Characters, it has come in useful quite a few times when writing this blog. Denis was also a big fan of film and radio and he wrote quite a few other books on films, if you're interested.

1000MB said...

I wish I had this book in my school Library

Jim said...

We need an updated book. Steve holland could do one for his Bear alley books.?