Sorted, by author...
A mother of a motherlode of info on crime comics, lavishly illustrated, and with plenty of dirt on (and pics of) eyes you and I never even knew existed. Highly recommended.
Master pulp historian John A. Dinan serves up arguably the first book specifically on PIs in the comics. A history and appreciation of the tough guy, the deadly dame and the dog in the trenchcoat. Illustrated.
This hefty little brick of a paperback, edited by Paul Gravett, the editor of Graphic Novels: Everything You Need to Know, is like a warning tossed through the plate glass window complacency of all those skinny, over-priced little graphic "novels" that offer a lot of overblown pretentious artwork and precious little actual plot.
A wide-ranging and literate (and well-illustrated) overview of the graphic novel form, with plenty of examples, keen observations, explorations of various genres, suggested further reading and an all-inclusive view that includes not just the done-to-death usual suspects but alternative, foreign and off-the-wall graphic novels you may have missed.. Best of all, though, may be the author's analysis of what he considers 30 key graphic novels. And you've just got to love the chutzpah of quoting everyone from Frederico Fellini, Salvador Dali and Dave Eggers to... me? What the fuck? Suffice it to say I'm flattered.
A beautifully produced book, offering an interesting survey of forgotten comic book artists and writers, including two complete, hard to find stories each of Harry Lucey's Sam Hill and Pete Morisi's Johnny Dynamite.
Sub-titled "Awesome Female Characters from Comic Book history," this amzing volume traces the evolution -- and sometimes the de-evolution -- of female characters in Canadian and American comic book history, giving us the scoop on superheroes, detectives, nurses, Lois Lane and even Wendy, the Good Little Witch. Among the female P.I.s covered are Sally the Sleuth, A.Y. Jalisco, Ms. Tree and Dakota North. Sharp where it needs to be, and smart all the way through, this is just a fascinating romp through comic book history.
The perfect apperitif to the previous year's The Mammoth Book of Best Crime Comics, this collection from Dark Horse features a slew of all-original stories by some of the best writers and artists currently working the dark end of the comics spectrum, including Thrilling Detective faves such as David Lapham (Stray Bullets!), Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, Brian Azzarello, Rick Geary, Paul Grist and Gary Phillips. And all in glorious, smack-in-the-mouth black and white.
ALSO OF INTEREST
This 2006 title, by Christopher Hart, claims to give you the skinny on how to draw for "crime noir," which he proclaims the "hottest style around". And he does talk a good game, I admit -- he mentions "windswept streets, dark shadowy figures, reckless women, gleaming pistols, men without conscience, boulevards of fear," blah blah blah and he even namedrops Chandler at one point. But mostly he reduces the genre to a series of visual cliches, and then tells you how to render them.. He does offer some interesting and useful drawing tips, though (providing you can alreadydraw relatively well). It's when he expounds on the genre itself that he gets into trouble, and joins the long line of people (directors, critics, popcorn chewers, etc.) who wouldn't know noir if it bitchslapped them across the face.
List compiled by Kevin Burton Smith. Additions and suggestions welcome.
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