Definitive book on British comics?

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steelclaw
DC Skelton
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Definitive book on British comics?

Post by steelclaw »

I didn't know that another best of Jackie was out.

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philcom55
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Re: Definitive book on British comics?

Post by philcom55 »

Lew Stringer wrote:Speaking of which, there's another one just been published by the same company, although this one only focuses on sports strips:
http://tinyurl.com/ylm47p
Another new book with a sports theme that I noticed today was "You Are the Ref": 50 Years of the Cult Classic Cartoon Strip by Paul Trevillion - an artist with a very long and distinguished pedigree in British comics, having drawn various humorous and adventure strips for comics like Eagle and TV21 over the years, as well as a vast number of sporting characters like Roy of the Rovers in Tiger.

- Phil Rushton

Earl
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Definitive book on British comics?

Post by Earl »

Just started reading 'Great British Comics'. I agree with the postitive comments about the coverage of Newspaper strips. It seems to very inclusive in general.

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HighAndMighty
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Definitive book on British comics?

Post by HighAndMighty »

Got my copy of Great British Comics at the weekend- very all-encompassing although I was expecting it to be a good couple of inches thicker like the old Dennis Gifford who's who encyclopaedia...

Still GBC is very accessible and does a pretty good job of covering all the bases. I'd recommend it to both casual and hardcore comics fans...

Also saw a copy of the hardback Commando collection- nice big reproductions- a bumper read for christmas?
cor!

steelclaw
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Definitive book on British comics?

Post by steelclaw »

In "Decembers Book Collector Magazine" they have a good article on the best 50 British comics.

Jimmy Screw
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Definitive book on British comics?

Post by Jimmy Screw »

Just got my Great British Comics through the post today. Can't wait to start reading it and the classic strips inside.

First Impression: It looks great, although I too was expecting something more encyclopaedic.

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Re: Definitive book on British comics?

Post by Lew Stringer »

HighAndMighty wrote:Got my copy of Great British Comics at the weekend- very all-encompassing although I was expecting it to be a good couple of inches thicker like the old Dennis Gifford who's who encyclopaedia...
Gifford's Encylopedia of Comic Characters was thicker, but smaller in size, so you're getting as much if not more with Great British Comics. Personally I found that 1987 Gifford book to be rather dull. Taking one panel from each strip and describing a story in text didn't show what the comics were like, or give it any sense of history, as the Gravett book does. After all, comics are about portraying a story in a sequence, and one panel is useless for that.

Lew
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colcool007
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Definitive book on British comics?

Post by colcool007 »

But in its defence, it does give you an instant snapshot of a lot of insider information such as artists and some unusual characters. However, saying that, I did spot a few bloopers. The Smasher (from Bullet) has been credited as being drawn by someone other than Ian Kennedy and a few have been left as artist unknown.

I was chuffed to pick up my copy from Swindon Library for the princely sum of 50 pence!

The Gifford Encyclopedia is good for dipping in and out of for instant nuggets of information, but not to be taken as a definitive story of comics in the UK.
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Re: Definitive book on British comics?

Post by Lew Stringer »

colcool007 wrote:But in its defence, it does give you an instant snapshot of a lot of insider information such as artists and some unusual characters. However, saying that, I did spot a few bloopers. The Smasher (from Bullet) has been credited as being drawn by someone other than Ian Kennedy and a few have been left as artist unknown.

Yes. Not meaning to disrespect the deceased but the info in Denis' books was a bit iffy when he covered the sixties onwards. Having said that, at one stage he seemed to be the only person trying to keep interest in UK comics alive and despite their faults his books gave us a lot of valuable information.

Lew
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steelclaw
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Definitive book on British comics?

Post by steelclaw »

Got my copy of Great British Comics,
Very interesting.
I notice on page 98 Tom Thug, Lew. :lol: I'm sure you know.

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fústar
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Re: Definitive book on British comics?

Post by fústar »

It's definitely a nostalgist's book for the "They don't make 'em like that any more" brigade and I imagine the long accounts of each character's fictional achievements would only be of interest to either people who fondly remember the characters or hard core fans of UK comics.
Haven?t bought or ordered this (Sporting Supermen that is) because I found the tone of the original Telegraph article that inspired it a bit too, as Lew accurately puts it, "They don't make 'em like that any more" for my tastes.

I tend to steer clear of stuff with an excessive whiff of the nostalgic or the hidebound since ?nostalgia? is often the lazy man?s version of genuine enthusiasm or appreciation. Witness the various TV incarnations of "I Love Nineteen Eighty-Whatever" for details?

In the original article Gallagher comes across a bit too reactionary and?well?"Telegraph-y" to suggest that the book will be much beyond a sepia-toned paean to bygone days. Take the following for example:
Computer games and the arrival of digital technology was the final straw for comics ? that and the invention of mountain bikes. At least we can welcome the latter. The former stifle the imagination and leave generations of youngsters with below average reading abilities.
Damn it, those pesky ?computer games? are responsible for everything ? from falling literacy levels, to juvenile delinquency. Er?wasn?t this (apparently) the fault of comics in years gone by?

Don?t get me wrong ? I love many sport stories from the 70s/80s, but I?d like to feel my love is based on something other than misty-eyed sentimentality. The stuff was good because it was good, not because it reminds me of more ?innocent days?.

Could be totally misreading the tone of the Gallagher book, but the vibe I?ve been picking up on doesn?t tempt me to part with the pennies?

As for Great British Comics: A must have.

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colcool007
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Definitive book on British comics?

Post by colcool007 »

As the discussion considers Paul Gravett's new book, has anyone got Bill Lofts' one about the artists and writers of comics?

I am seriously tempted to get both and would like to know if anyone else's opinion of the Lofts' book.
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Definitive book on British comics?

Post by paulvonscott »

If I've been good and santa can find my house I'll be getting both books. Having had a bit of a look at both, Gravetts book is excellent, while the sporting heroes isn't the comprehensive book on the subject I'd hoped, as Lew says it really bigs up a few and briefly passes over some others.

Oh well :p

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Re: Definitive book on British comics?

Post by Lew Stringer »

colcool007 wrote:As the discussion considers Paul Gravett's new book, has anyone got Bill Lofts' one about the artists and writers of comics?
Sounds interesting! Could you give more details of the Bill Lofts book please? Can't find anything about that one on the internet.

Lew
The blog of British comics: http://lewstringer.blogspot.com
My website: http://www.lewstringer.com
Blog about my own work: http://lewstringercomics.blogspot.com/

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philcom55
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Re: Definitive book on British comics?

Post by philcom55 »

Lew Stringer wrote:Sounds interesting! Could you give more details of the Bill Lofts book please? Can't find anything about that one on the internet.
Isn't that the one published in the 1970s about pre-war boys' story papers? If so, I don't think it includes much that we'd think of as comics today.

On the subject of the Gravett book - has anybody seen this for sale in ordinary book shops yet? I've only seen one copy so far (which I bought), and that was in one of the few remaining independent retailers. So far there's been no sign of it in local branches of Smiths or Waterstones, which have piles of copies of The Best of Girl etc. It's a crying shame as I'm sure it would have sold really well as a Christmas gift!

- Phil Rushton

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